Ukrainian cruise missile severely damaged a Russian warship

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Ukrainian cruise missile severely damaged a Russian warship

  • Ukraine has claimed to have severely damaged the Russian Black Sea Fleet Flagship ‘Moskva’ off the coast of Odessa via a Neptune anti-ship cruise missile strike on the ship.
  • Russia, on the other hand, has claimed that an onboard ammunition fire caused the blasts on the ship.

Neptune anti-ship cruise missile

  • The design of this missile is based on a Russian Kh-35 cruise missile which goes by the NATO name of AS-20 Kayak.
  • Inducted into the Ukrainian Defence Forces in March 2021 after being in development for around six years.
  • Developed in haste by the military as the Russian threat to the coastal areas of Ukraine was growing rapidly since the occupation of Crimea in 2014.
  • It is a coastal anti-ship cruise missile which is capable of destruction of naval vessels in a range of 300 km.
  • Ukraine also intends to integrate Neptune with missile boats, patrol vessels and corvettes as an integrated defence system which could take on any attack from the seas.

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  • A guided missile cruiser of the Russian Navy named after the city of Moscow.
  • It has a displacement of 12,490 tons.
  • Flagship of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy and carries a crew of around 500 personnel.
  • Originally commissioned as the Slava in 1983.
  • Recommissioned in 2000 as the Moskva with refurbished weapon systems and electronics.

Course of events

  • Neptune cruise missile attack was carried out using TB-2 drones as decoys along with other measures towards saturation of the cruiser’s Air Defence systems.
  • This caused distraction and enabled the cruise missiles to slip through the ship’s defences.
  • The Ukrainians had previously claimed to have hit Russian Naval vessels in the Black Sea but none appear to have been as big as the Moskva or suffered as much damage as it.

Severity of the damage

  • Unconfirmed reports that Moskva has rolled on to its side after being struck by the cruise missiles and that it is close to sinking.
  • Also some unconfirmed visuals of a ship on fire which are being claimed to be of Moskva.

Major types of Missiles

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Ballistic MissileCruise Missile
It is propelled only for a brief duration after the launch.Self-propelled till the end of its flight.
Similar to a rocket engine.Similar to a jet engine.
Long-range missiles leave the earth’s atmosphere and re enter it.The flight path is within the earth’s atmosphere.
Low precision as it is unguided for most of its path and its trajectory depends on gravity, air resistance and Coriolis Force.Hits targets with high precision as it is constantly propelled.
Can have a very long range (300 km to 12,000 km) as there is no fuel requirement after its initial trajectory.The range is small (below 500 km) as it needs to be constantly propelled to hit the target with high precision.
Heavy payload carrying capacity.Payload capacity is limited.
Can carry multiple payloads (Multiple Independently targetable Re-entry Vehicle)Usually carries a single payload.
Developed primarily to carry nuclear warheads.Developed primarily to carry conventional warheads.
E.g. Prithvi I, Prithvi II, Agni I, Agni II and Dhanush missiles.E.g. BrahMos missiles

Exam Track

Prelims Takeaway

  • Types of missiles
  • Neptune Missile
  • Moskva

Mains Track

Q. The current ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has been a mixed bag of successes and failures for both countries involved. Comment.