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Neptune missile was first used in February when it saved Mykolaiv from Russian landing group

Tuesday, 13 December 2022, 09:18
Neptune missile was first used in February when it saved Mykolaiv from Russian landing group

A Neptune Ukrainian coastal defence missile that sank the Russian missile cruiser Moskva on 14 April, was first used in combat during the first days of the full-scale war. At that time the Ukrainian missiles did not hit their targets but prevented a Russian landing at Mykolaiv.

Source: Ukrainska Pravda article "Sinking Moskva: unknown details. How the Ukrainian Neptune destroyed the flagship of the Russian fleet"

Quote from the article: "Almost no one knows about this, but the first combat use of the Neptunes took place not in April but in the first days of the full-scale invasion by Russia.

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It was then that three Russian landing ships left ports in Crimea and headed towards the Ukrainian coast in Mykolaiv Oblast. The landing of Russian troops in this area gave them a springboard to attack both Mykolaiv and Odesa. The first three Neptune missiles were launched to destroy these ships."

Details: According to an Ukrainska Pravda source in the military involved in the Neptune project, the missiles were first launched from the south of Odesa Oblast.

Then Ukrainian defenders fired missiles towards Mykolaiv, and in order for the missiles to pass safely over Odesa, they were launched at an altitude of about 120 metres above the water, rather than five-six metres, as it should be.

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The source suggests that the Russians may have detected the Ukrainian missiles and most likely destroyed them.

It was not possible to establish exactly when Neptune’s baptism of fire took place. But the author of the article notes that this happened no later than 26 February. On that day, the General Staff issued an official report that a Russian warship had shot down its own aircraft over the Black Sea.

Despite the fact that none of the three Neptunes launched in February hit their target, they completed their mission to protect Ukrainian territory.

Sources of the Ukrainska Pravda stated that when the Russian landing ships realised the possibility of such missile strikes from the Ukrainian side, they turned around and retreated to Crimea.

The author of the article notes that the "surprise" of the Russians is understandable because the Neptunes were not supposed to be operational with the Armed Forces at the end of February.

For reference: The first full-fledged Neptune missile mounted on the new chassis from Tatra was assembled in August 2021, ahead of the parade to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence.

According to information available to Ukrainska Pravda, the first missiles commissioned by the state only left for Odesa from the 20th of February 2022.

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