On 30 January 2018, the National Security and Defense Council announced tests of the first cruise missile made entirely in Ukraine. In the media, she became known under the designation "Neptune." Neptune is similar to the Soviet X-35 missile, also known as 3M24 Uranus, but with significant modifications. The missile range is 280 kilometers. Three modifications are planned: ship, ground and air based. Neptune will be placed in transport and launch containers. The length of the accelerator rocket is five meters. The mission of the missile is the defeat of warships and transport ships; it will be armed with coastal defense units. Design bureau "Luch" developed the rocket.
"After the complete disarmament of the Ukrainian army, according to the Budapest Memorandum, there was not a single cruise missile in service with the Ukrainian Armed Forces," said Secretary of the National Security Council Oleksandr Turichnov, justifying the need for developments conducted by the Luch State Design Bureau (GKB). And although the name of the new cruise missile was not directly mentioned, military experts concluded that it was a Neptune anti-ship missile project , which had been developed by the aforementioned design bureau for a long time. Its basis can be considered the Soviet and Russian anti-ship missile X-35, however, with significant modifications.
The director of Defense Express, an information and consulting company, Sergey Zgurets, who spoke with the management of the Luch State Design Bureau, opened a number of preliminary tactical and technical characteristics (TTX) of Neptune (the final ones will be known after all the tests). It is a subsonic missile (that is, its flight speed does not exceed the speed of sound). On the marching section, flight altitude: 10-30 m, on the final: 4-5 m (such relatively low altitudes are one of the strengths of cruise missiles, as they complicate their detection by radar systems). The potential of homing heads allows destroying targets both at sea and on land. The warhead is high-explosive fragmentation (can be used against various targets, except for heavily armored, underground or underwater).
This is a completely national project - it is not dependent on foreign partners, which is of particular importance against the backdrop of the refusal of some Western defense companies to supply Ukraine with similar samples or components to them. It can be argued that State Enterprise Kyiv Design Bureau "Luch" has created a new national high-tech cooperative, which includes enterprises that provide the creation of combat units, control systems, homing heads of various types, radio altimeters and more.
the “marine” version of “Neptune” - “Neptune-V” - will be developed for coastal missile systems, and will also be able to be installed on ships, in particular, on new Lan boats, which they plan to launch in 2018. Some Ukrainian experts doubt that Neptune is a new development. There are opinions that the “Luch” simply modified the Soviet anti-ship missile X-35 or borrowed technological solutions implemented in the American RGM-84 “Harpoon” rocket.
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