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Ukraine's new Neptune cruise missile is far from being God of Sea

31 11 12

First, let's take a look at the missile at question. The Neptune is a Ukrainian subsonic low-altitude anti-ship missile designed to destroy vessels with a displacement of up to 5,000 tons, as well as hit ground targets. The Neptune – developed by Ukrainian manufacturer Luch Design - can be launched from ships, coastal missile systems and combat aircraft.

Ukraine's Navy plans to use the anti-ship missile as the primary weapon of its promising Vespa missile boats. However, the construction of the actual craft to carry the missile is still at the planning stage. The Neptune was unveiled at the international Arms and Security exhibition in Kiev back in 2015, and was created based on the designs of the Soviet Kh-35 anti-ship missile. The initial tests were conducted on March 22, 2016.

According to the National Interest, an American magazine, the missile has a range of just under 300 km and is equipped with a 150-kilogram high-explosive fragmentation warhead. With a cruising speed of Mach 0.8 to Mach 0.85, the Neptune also boasts a new inertial guidance system and active radar seeking.

Kiev believes that the cruise missile can provide Ukraine with a deterrent against Russia in the Sea of Azov, the magazine writes.

But how well does the Neptune meet the requirements of modern-day warfare? The Neptune being a 'reincarnation' of the Kh-35 does not require any further discussion. It is an indisputable fact, and there is no need to go looking for a Soviet 'fingerprint' in Ukraine's new weapon – the link is far too obvious.

There is, however, a number of other facts to look at and interesting conclusions to be made. In Soviet times, the Kh-35 was never really at the center of attention. Back then, the country prioritized the development of cruise missiles that could sink a nuclear-powered strike carrier. In this context, the Kh-35 looked........

© RT.com