The anti-ship missile system RK-360 MC “Neptune” is the pride of the Ukrainian defense industry. Moreover, it was developed from scratch and in cooperation with leading Ukrainian defense enterprises. The main purpose of "Neptune" is to protect the sea borders of Ukraine. "Neptune" can engage warships of the cruiser, destroyer, frigate, corvette, landing and tank landing ships. "Neptune" can become a threat both for single enemy ships and for a group of ships at a distance of up to 280 km. At the same time, the launch of pro-ship missiles can be carried out at a distance of up to 25 km from the coast.
In the absence of a powerful combat fleet at the Ukrainian naval forces, "Neptune" can become the main guarantor of control over the water area of ??our seas. Therefore, the creation of such a missile system is a breakthrough in the Ukrainian defense industry. In addition, the RK "Neptune" includes not only the launcher, but also the TZM-360 transport and loading vehicle, the RCP-360 command post and other equipment. And it was all created from scratch. Thus, Ukraine has confirmed its qualifications in missile armament.
By 2019 "Neptune" still had to go through many tests before it takes over on combat duty. But there is already something to wait. Note that "Neptune" is based on a Ukrainian-made chassis. The KrAZ-7634NE 8x8 is used for the launcher, the rest of the vehicles are based on the KrAZ-6322. GKKB "LUCH", GHK "Artem" and SE "Zhulyanskiy machine-building plant" VIZAR "," AvtoKrAZ "," Ukrainian armored vehicles "and others took part in the creation of the complex.
The new Ukrainian missile - the Neptune anti-ship complex - is said to be completely neutralizing the activities of the Russian fleet. With a range of 300 kilometers, the rocket will calmly find a target at any point. In principle, little is known about the Neptune complex. Nevertheless, the details are quite obvious - he, like a twin brother, resembles the Russian Kh-35 anti-ship missile. During the Soviet era, engineers from the Luch Kiev design bureau worked on the development of this machine. The engine was to be made at the Zaporozhye Motorsich, and the final assembly of the product was to be done at the Kharkov Aviation Plant. The collapse of the Union of Socialist Republics put an end to the project. Nevertheless, Ukraine inherited all the project documentation and, oddly enough, did not lose and did not sell it.
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.
The general director of the Tactical Missile Armaments Corporation Boris Obnosov said that the Russian Kh-35U missile "is fundamentally different from the previous one." For example, it has a different engine, additional space is freed up for fuel. As a result, the range of its flight increased to 260 kilometers. And, it seems, she was taught to work in a group, which the Ukrainian model does not have.
Former Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchinov said that the Neptune cruise missiles could "in a matter of minutes blow" the bridge across the Kerch Strait. In addition, they will destroy warships of the Russian Navy "of any class in the ports of the Black and Azov" seas. It is impossible not to agree, they can. But Mr. Turchynov and other Ukrainian experts constantly ignore that they will have to fight not with the natives on wooden pies, but with the most modern operational-strategic association of the Russian Navy in Crimea. And in Soviet times, his zone of responsibility included not only the Black and Mediterranean Seas, but even the Indian Ocean. Today's ambitions are more modest, but still very ambitious.
The strategic feature of Crimea and its main military base - Sevastopol - is that it is the center of the Black Sea theater of military operations in any direction for the use of weapons. Being in this territory, Russia completely controls everything that happens in the region. This force is projected by the Moskva missile cruiser with the P-500 Basalt anti-ship missiles, the patrols of the far sea zone, three of which are armed with Kalibr cruise missiles, large landing ships and several small missile ships also with long-range cruise missiles. And one more plus to this - six diesel submarines of Project 636.3 "Varshavyanka", again with the same notorious "Calibers". In 2021, it is expected that Project 22800 Karakurt small missile ships will also be added to the combat strength.
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