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UA MoD/MIC cruising?

August 18, 2018

On 17th August in the southern-most parts of Odessa Oblast, Olexandr Turchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council made claim to successful Ukrainian built cruise missile launches via the NSDC website.

Well bravo – though a reader may consider this a minor achievement for a nation that has a long history of missile development and a proven ability at lobbing satellites into orbit during the dark Soviet days and continuing since independence.

What matters with the claims of “cruise missile capabilities” is not that Ukraine can manufacture them, but rather should there be a requirement to use them, the high degree of accuracy needed for targeting, the consistency of target destruction, and the ability to actually reach the target without being intercepted.

Thus it is noteworthy that the new Ukrainian Neptune cruise missile will apparently employ inertial guidance with an active radar seeker to find its target.  During its final flight time it will be guided to its target by command feeds from an active radar homing head and radio altimeter.  A GOT rather than GOLIS system.

According to Mr Turchinov, the range of the missile is up to 300 Kilometers, with missiles of this class being powerful high-precision weapons “capable of destroying any sea and land targets.  During the test, the maritime target was exactly destroyed at a distance of 100 Kilometers.”

Mr Turchynov went on to state that “with the help of cruise missiles, military and infrastructure facilities could be destroyed – in particular strategic bridges and ferry crossings if they were used by the enemy for aggression against our state.”  A very thinly veiled reference to the newly built Russian Kerch bridge.

As surely as there is no such thing as an impenetrable A2AD, there is also no such thing as a missile guaranteed to get through A2AD.  Nevertheless Mr Turchynov was there to witness and proclaim capabilities and not necessarily battlefield realities.  Further, such capabilities have to be taken into account by an aggressor.  Ukraine is thus far better off having these capabilities than not – regardless of battlefield realities and associated successes thereon.

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