TechUkrainian Forces Strike Russian Tanker, Mechanik Pogodin, with Precision Missiles

Ukrainian Forces Strike Russian Tanker, Mechanik Pogodin, with Precision Missiles

Destruction of the Russian ship
Destruction of the Russian ship
Images source: © Youtube
5:31 PM EDT, March 12, 2024

Situated on the left bank of the Kherson region, the Mechanik Pogodin, a Russian river-sea tanker, has garnered attention due to its storied past. According to the Militarny website, Ukrainian law enforcement detained the vessel at the Kherson port in 2018, after which the Russians attempted to reclaim it in 2022.

However, these attempts to extract the ship were unsuccessful, as it ran aground. Since then, the Mechanik Pogodin has remained in a so-called gray zone between Ukrainian forces and Russian troops.

Contrary to being merely an abandoned relic, the vessel reportedly played a significant role for the Russians. According to defense reports, it was utilized on the left bank of the Kherson region as a platform for deploying reconnaissance and observational equipment, essentially serving as a camouflaged command center.

A precise attack on the Russian ship

The specifics of the weapon utilized to obliterate the tanker remain undisclosed by the Ukrainians. Nonetheless, the Militarny website suggests that the precision of the strike and the extensive damage indicate the attack was executed from the air, employing either American JDAM or French AASM (Hammer) missiles, with the latter posited as highly probable. This assertion is bolstered by the emergence of a video in early March displaying an attack by Ukrainians using an AASM bomb.

It's important to note that AASM Hammers and American JDAM/ER systems are essentially similar. Both are designed to be used in standard bombs Mk82/83/84, weighing 500, 1000, and 2000 pounds. However, a distinguishing feature of the French equipment is including a rocket engine in the tail section.

This engine enables the bomb to be launched from low altitudes, achieving a distance of about 9 miles, an essential advantage for conducting attacks beneath the radar horizon. Consequently, medium-range anti-aircraft radars do not threaten the Hammer system as they fail to detect it. The range of the AASM increases significantly when launched from higher altitudes, reaching over 43 miles, a capability comparable to the JDAM/ER.

Related content