How Ukraine Tricked Russian Air Defenses into Launching Missile at Warship ‘Moskva’

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  • 02:22 AM, April 15, 2022
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How Ukraine Tricked Russian Air Defenses into Launching Missile at Warship ‘Moskva’
Neptune anti-ship missile sinking target ship: Infographic by Luch Design Bureau

Ukrainian Forces flew an airplane over the Black Sea within range of Russian warships’ air defenses and launched the ‘Neptune’ missile when these were fully engaged in tracking the aerial threat.

Unconfirmed audio intercepts of Russian seamen on social media caught one of them stating that Ukrainian forces used an airplane northeast of the port city of Mykolayiv as a decoy, distracting the ship’s anti-air defense systems and allowing the Neptune missile to strike, KyivPost reported.

The Neptune anti-ship missile is based on the Soviet-era KH-35 and developed by Luch Design Bureau. According to company information, the missile has a maximum range of 300 km.

Russian MoD confirms warship’s Sinking

The flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the cruiser Moskva, on which a fire broke out, sank while being towed, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

"When the cruiser Moskva was being towed to the port of destination, the ship lost its stability due to damage to the hull received during the fire from the detonation of ammunition. The ship sank in the conditions of stormy seas," the ministry said.

"As previously reported, the crew of the cruiser was evacuated to the ships of the Black Sea Fleet in the area."

Pentagon official's statement:

"There has been some speculation the damage (to the warship Moskva) was caused by a missile strike; however, the Pentagon cannot rule out other causes."

How Ukraine Tricked Russian Air Defenses into Launching Missile at Warship ‘Moskva’
Raketa-360- the missile that probably sank Russian warship 'Moskva'

Ukrainian forces asserts Neptune missile sank Russian warship

"In the Black Sea operational area, the Russian Black Sea Fleet's flagship, the cruiser Moskva, was hit by a Neptune anti-ship missile and was seriously damaged. A fire broke out. Other ships wanted to assist, but a storm and a powerful explosion of ammunition capsized the ship and it began to sink," The press service of the Ukrainian Operational Command South reported this on Facebook.

The previous day there was a flurry of drone activity in the Black sea. The Russian MoD reported one of its ships shot down Bayraktar drone using a Shtil anti-aircraft missile.

The Neptune system needs accurate targeting data which could have been provided by multiple Ukrainian drones operating in the region besides NATO AWACS and satellite systems tracking the movement of Russian warships.

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