TechUkrainian forces strike Russian ships with Neptune missiles in Crimea

Ukrainian forces strike Russian ships with Neptune missiles in Crimea

"Konstantin Olszański" still under the Ukrainian flag
"Konstantin Olszański" still under the Ukrainian flag
Images source: © Licensor
5:44 PM EDT, March 27, 2024

The unlucky streak for the Black Sea Fleet continues. The spokesperson for the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lt. Dmytro Pletenchuk, confirmed that during attacks from March 23 to March 24, the Ukrainians targeted the large landing ship "Konstantin Olshansky," a project 775 vessel. Notably, this ship was under Ukraine's ownership until 2014.

Further details have surfaced regarding the attacks carried out overnight from March 23 to March 24, which were aimed at Russian military facilities in Crimea. Initially, reports emerged that Storm Shadow missiles had hit and damaged two large Russian landing ships, the "Jamal" and the "Azov".

The Black Sea Fleet sufffers losses

On March 26, Lt. Dmytro Pletenchuk, speaking on the "Freedom" television channel, reported that additional Russian ships encountered damage in the attacks. He mentioned that on that very day, the "Konstantin Olshansky" was struck by a Neptune missile, although the extent of its damage remains unclear.

"For 9 years, it moored in Sevastopol Bay, was dismantled into parts – essentially stolen. By the 10th year of the conflict, [the Russians] realized they were running low on project 775 large landing ships and decided to refurbish them. The restoration was completed over the year... Regrettably, this ship was intended to be used against Ukraine," Pletenchuk elaborated on the motive behind the attack. It's important to recall that "Konstantin Olshansky" was originally a Ukrainian vessel, taken over by the Russians after Crimea's occupation in 2014.

The RK-360 Neptune - a threat to the Russian fleet

The RK-360 Neptune has proved to be a highly effective Ukrainian weapon, previously aiding in the attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet's largest vessel, the missile cruiser "Moscow." This development followed the occupation of Crimea by Russia, a time when Ukraine lost a significant portion of its ships and anti-ship systems. The Kyiv design bureau Luch undertook the task of creating this maneuvering missile. The primary aim of the Neptune missiles is to neutralize large warships, including aircraft carriers and landing ships.

However, the Ukrainians designed it as a versatile weapon, noting its capability to be launched from ground launchers, ship decks, or aerial platforms. The missile weighs approximately 1918 pounds, with the warhead alone weighing about 331 pounds, and it has an estimated range of about 174 miles. Neptune can reach speeds of up to 559 mph. Its resistance to radio interference and the ability to maneuver to evade missile defense systems are particularly highlighted by Ukrainian officials.

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