Is the Ukrainian cruise missile "Neptune" dangerous? - Defensive view (2023)

Last year, Ukraine began testing the promising Neptune anti-ship missile. Recently, it became known that for the next test launch, it should be operational at the moment of acceptance of the rocket. The RK-360 coastal complex equipped with such missiles should become the most important military-civilian tool and increase the combat capabilities of the Ukrainian army. It's not entirely clear, however, whether the Rockets will be able to justify the hopes placed on it.

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The "Neptune" project can be regarded as a typical "long-term construction" feature of the Ukrainian military industry. The first proposals to create a promising anti-ship missile system were presented in the 90s. The project in its current form was proposed in 2010, but actual work did not begin until late 2014.

Is the Ukrainian cruise missile "Neptune" dangerous? - Defensive view (1)

In 2015, the State Design Bureau Luch presented the material for Neptun products for the first time. In the spring of 2016, the rocket model was built in a simplified configuration - it did not have a power unit and main electronics. At this stage, the new Ukrainian product R-360 "Neptune" is already clearly an improvement on the old Soviet Kh-35 missile, redesigned for the capabilities of the Ukrainian industry.

In January 2018, a missile launch test was carried out in the Alibe region (Odessa region). The first full-scale launch took place on December 5, 2018, and demonstrated the operation of the equipment. The next flight is on April 5, 2019. It is claimed that during these tests, the experienced anti-ship missiles passed the required paths, reaching the intended training targets.

On May 24, the rocket with the new tracer conducted its next test launch. On November 28, another flight was conducted in standard configuration. GKKB "Luč" claimed that the development of "Neptune" as a spacecraft was completed. Improvements to functionality can now be addressed, as well as complex debugging.

(Video) Brutal Attack!!! Ukrainian troops fires Neptune cruise missile that destroy Russia biggest warship

Is the Ukrainian cruise missile "Neptune" dangerous? - Defensive view (2)

Despite the reported success, the state of the Neptun project is not encouraging. The development of the original X-35 program took about five years, given Ukraine's production capabilities, and subsequent testing and detailed design. The big question is how quickly the next job can be completed (and whether it will be successful).

Therefore, the "Neptune" missile system has not yet come out as a product that can be used for combat and use. As part of the April tests, Ukrainian leaders claimed the anti-ship missile system would be operational by the end of the year. Last November, it was said that state exams would end this year. During such a period, it is unlikely that the necessary work will be completed and the production of a complete combat-ready missile system will be ready.

Design Features

So far, all the basic data on the RK-360 "Neptune" complex are known, which makes it possible to determine its advantages and disadvantages and to draw conclusions about its combat potential, benefits for the army and the possibility of impact . International military and political situation.

In its presentation form, "Neptune" is a coastal missile system consisting of several vehicles on a car chassis. The complex includes R-360 missiles, launchers on the KrAZ-7634NE chassis, control vehicles and transport and loading vehicles. The possibility of creating ship and aircraft versions of the complex was mentioned earlier.

The main task of the missile system is to strike ground targets, however, it has been declared capable of engaging coastal targets. In particular, some hotheads have already argued that with the help of Poseidon, the Ukrainian army will be able to threaten the Russian Black Sea Fleet and the recently built Crimean bridge.

(Video) Ukraine's R-360 Neptune Subsonic anti-ship cruise Missile

Is the Ukrainian cruise missile "Neptune" dangerous? - Defensive view (3)

As an evolution of the existing Kh-35 missile, the Ukrainian product R-360 retained its main features and principles of work. In addition, similar tactical-technical characteristics were obtained. The missile is equipped with a turboprop engine, an active radar-guided warhead and a penetrating warhead.

The declared flight range is 300 km. And the flight speed is Mach 0.85. The missile weighs 870 kg and can carry a 150 kg warhead. The existing version of the missile system has a self-propelled launcher with 4 transport and launch containers for R-360 products.

in conclusion

Interestingly, the main positive feature of the Neptune project is entirely related to the fact of its existence. It is a source of pride that Ukrainian industry continues to develop its first "own" anti-ship missile system despite known problems. Whether the missile can serve is not only related to the combat capability of the army, but also to the prestige of the country.

There isn't much reason for pride or optimism about the technical aspects of Project Neptun. The R-360 missile is based on a much newer project that has significant limitations. In addition, new components had to be developed for it - according to various sources, some basic units of the rocket still need to be optimized.

When completed, the Neptune anti-ship missile system will have a number of positive attributes. The mobile version of the coastal complex allows you to quickly deploy to dangerous areas and attack formations of enemy ships. The theoretical ability to adapt the R-360 to different carriers (similar to the basic X-35) would expand the range of tasks to be solved. The course part of the flight is carried out at low altitude, which increases the probability of successfully breaking through the air defenses and delivering the warhead to the target. ARGSN is able to provide efficient target acquisition and successful target localization.

(Video) How Ukrainian R-360 Neptune Cruise Missile works

Is the Ukrainian cruise missile "Neptune" dangerous? - Defensive view (4)

The declared flight characteristics may not be sufficient for effective combat performance. Thus, subsonic speeds would make the missile more vulnerable to the ship's air defenses. Effective defensive penetration would likely require massive launches, requiring the simultaneous use of multiple batteries and a battery of launchers. Therefore, new requirements were placed on the fabrication and installation of the complex.

The Ukrainian anti-ship missile "Neptune" in its final form should have the characteristics and capabilities of the base model in the form of the X-35. Such an achievement might have been a source of pride if the two rockets hadn't been decades apart. In fact, only now Ukraine has managed to repeat the Soviet products of the early eighties, even with changes in certain components.

Military political tool?

The Neptune missile system was created not only to increase national prestige, but also to solve political problems. It has been repeatedly cited as a tool to contain "Russian aggression". In recent years, however, little else has been used by the Ukrainian military and industry.

We must admit that Russia should value Neptune's work. In the near future, a new missile system with certain capabilities and threats may appear in the hands of a hostile neighbor. Military planning and construction must take this into account.

Is the Ukrainian cruise missile "Neptune" dangerous? - Defensive view (5)
(Video) 'Neptune' anti-ship missile.

Theoretically, the Neptune complex could be developed on the entire Ukrainian coast of the Sea of ​​Azov and the Black Sea. Combined with a range of up to 300 km, this would make it possible to control large area and attack surface (and possibly land) targets in both sea domains.

However, Ukrainian missiles should not be overestimated. Of course, they will be put into use, but Ukraine should not be expected to build the complexes and missiles needed to block major waters in large numbers in a reasonable time. Many bold and important Ukrainian projects in recent years have faced financing and production problems, which is why they have not all delivered the expected results.

Tactical-technical characteristics and origin significantly reduce the danger of "Nepseido". The R-360 missile is subsonic, which limits its combat capabilities and simplifies interception. Plus, it's based on the Soviet X-35, and the Russian military can easily identify effective countermeasures.

pride and pessimism

The fact of the development of the first own anti-ship missiles and their coastal complexes, despite the current and expected difficulties, is probably a source of pride for the Ukrainian industry. Otherwise, there is no reason for optimism and positive reviews.

Is the Ukrainian cruise missile "Neptune" dangerous? - Defensive view (6)

In fact, a slightly modernized version of a rather old missile has been developed. It has limited functions, but their acquisition is related to technical difficulties. Manufacturing and developing such weapons entails exceptional costs, which may be prohibitively high for Ukraine's current military budget. In the end, the operational version is not particularly dangerous for Russia.

(Video) Final tests of the Neptune anti-ship missile with warhead.

Breaking into the international market will be extremely difficult. Developed countries have long shared the market for anti-ship and anti-shore missiles, and it is impossible to retreat without a fight. Furthermore, we should not forget that Ukraine's reputation as an arms supplier has been damaged in recent years.

Ukraine's "Neptune" is a source of pride for Kiev, but does not mention Moscow's particular concerns. It is necessary to take into account the existence of such weapons and take the necessary measures, but nothing more. The Black Sea Fleet and other forces in the region have all the means to deal with the new missile "threat" and will be able to successfully fight back. Of course, if the R-360 missile can break the range and enter the army.


How does Ukraine defend against missiles? ›

IRIS-T can purportedly protect an entire city from missiles that are up to 40 kilometers away. It also detects low-flying missiles (such as Kalibr) and drones thanks to its sensitive radar, which integrates data from various sources.

What is the best anti-ship missile in the world? ›

The two anti-ship weapons that hold the most promise, LRASM and Maritime Strike Tomahawk, are adaptations of existing munitions that have been produced in far greater numbers – JASSM and the land-attack Tomahawk.

Does Ukraine have Neptune anti-ship missiles? ›

R-360 Neptune (Ukrainian: Р-360 «Нептун», romanized: R-360 "Neptun") is a Ukrainian subsonic anti-ship cruise missile with all-weather capabilities developed by the Luch Design Bureau. With a range of over 200 kilometres, It is capable of neutralizing targets up to 5,000 tonnes.

Which is the most powerful cruise missile in the world? ›

Tomahawk Cruise Missile

Tomahawk cruise missiles use a variety of mission-specific guidance systems to fly over an evasive path at high subsonic speeds and extremely low altitudes. To avoid being picked up by radar, Tomahawk was built to fly at subsonic speed while maintaining a low altitude.

Can the US intercept hypersonic missiles? ›

2) Hypersonics cannot be intercepted

Moreover, interception of even these bleeding-edge weapons isn't impossible.

How good is Ukraine air defense? ›

Answer: Astonishingly good!

We were captivated by reports out of Ukraine the morning of the 16th of May 2023 that Ukrainian air defenses intercepted a total of eighteen incoming Russian missiles, to include six top-of-the line “hypersonics”[i].

Who has the best missile defense system in the world? ›

RAFAEL's IRON DOME™ is the world's most deployed missile defense system, with more than 2,000 interceptions and a success rate greater than 90%. The system can protect deployed and maneuvering forces, as well as the Forward Operating Base (FOB) and urban areas, against a wide range of indirect and aerial threats.

Which country has the best missile defense system? ›

#1 – Russian anti-aircraft system S-400 Triumf

One system containing up to 8 divisions (divisions) can control up to 72 launchers, with a maximum of 384 missiles (including missiles with a range of less than 250 km (160 miles)).

What is the defense against cruise missiles? ›

Defending against cruise missiles is similar to defending against hostile, low-flying manned aircraft. As with aircraft defense, countermeasures such as chaff, flares, and low altitude can complicate targeting and missile interception.

Where did Ukraine get the Neptune missiles? ›

The RK-360 Neptune is itself based on an old Soviet cruise missile called the Kh-35, which had been produced in the Ukrainian town of Kharkiv. The company that developed Neptune, Luch Design Bureau, was founded in 1965 and had a long history of designing Soviet missiles.

How much is the Ukrainian Neptune missile? ›

On August 23, 2020, the Neptune missile system was adopted. Interestingly, the development of the entire RK-360MC Neptune complex, including the cruise missile and all the machines, cost Ukraine only $40 million.

Who sent Neptune missiles to Ukraine? ›

The Neptune anti-ship missile was one of Ukraine's secret weapons. Developed in fits and starts and completed just weeks before Russia widened its war on Ukraine, the 1,900-pound cruise missile was the Ukrainian navy's greatest hope for holding back the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

What is the deadliest missile in the world? ›

1. LGM-30 Minuteman III (United states)-Minuteman missiles have existed since the late 1950s. These weapons provide quick reactions, inertial guidance, high reliability, high accuracy, and significant, long distance target capabilities.

Can a fighter jet intercept a cruise missile? ›

Tomahawk cruise missile is not that hard to shoot down by any modern fighter ,yes the f-35 can shoot it down . Tomahawk has less speed than most jets,you can even fly his side and hit it's wings to drop him(brits did that in WW. 2) though this is dangerous,pilots will tell you that.

Can a cruise missile destroy an aircraft carrier? ›

The most significant threats to carriers are cruise missiles, wake-homing torpedoes, ballistic missiles and mines. But cruise missiles are unlikely to penetrate the battle group's integrated air defenses, and few potential adversaries are capable of employing submarines or torpedoes effectively.

How would us defend against hypersonic missiles? ›

Air defense systems, such as Patriots and Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, are capable of taking down ballistic missiles that reach hypersonic speeds, but only over small areas.

Can us defend itself against hypersonic missiles? ›

"Aegis SBT is the only active defense available today to counter hypersonic missile threats," he added. In order to expand the battlespace against hypersonic threats, the agency has initiated the Aegis Glide Phase Interceptor program.

Can the US defend against hypersonic nuclear missiles? ›

Only very effective long-range defenses would be likely to threaten ballistic missiles in midcourse; to date, no potential U.S. adversaries have deployed such defenses. Hypersonic missiles could cost one-third more to procure and field than ballistic missiles of the same range with maneuverable warheads.

How many fighter jets does Ukraine have left? ›

Since Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Ukraine's air force has lost 60 fighter jets, 40% of its pre-war fleet, according to a recently leaked American document. It has just 80 or so left. Russia has almost 500 planes allocated to the war.

How effective is Iris T in Ukraine? ›

IRIS'T's combat efficacy has been lauded in Ukraine as videos surfaced on social media showing the system in action. Videos have shown how these missiles have engaged and destroyed highly advanced Russian missiles like the Kalibr amid a heavy Russian barrage.

What is the US most accurate missile? ›

Precision Strike Missile (PrSM)

What is America's best missile defense system? ›

THAAD is a highly effective, combat-proven defense against short, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missile threats. THAAD is the only U.S. system designed to intercept targets outside and inside the atmosphere.

What is the most advanced US missile defense? ›

The National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, or NASAMS™, is a highly adaptable combat-proven medium-range air defense solution.

What is the most advanced air Defence system in the world? ›

Overview – Undoubtedly, the best air defence system in the world is S – 400. Countries like Turkey and India opted to buy this air defence system even after threats of sanctions by the United States.

How far can U.S. nukes travel? ›

Its unrefueled range is approximately 6,000 nautical miles (9,600 kilometers).

Does the US have a missile defense system? ›

Ground-based interceptor missiles

One major component is Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD), consisting of ground-based interceptor (GBI) missiles and radar in the United States in Alaska, which would intercept incoming warheads in space.

Can Patriot intercept cruise missiles? ›

Global Patriot® Solutions is a missile defense system consisting of radars, command-and-control technology and multiple types of interceptors, all working together to detect, identify and defeat tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, drones, advanced aircraft and other threats.

Can fighter jets shoot down cruise missiles? ›

Tomahawk cruise missile is not that hard to shoot down by any modern fighter ,yes the f-35 can shoot it down . Tomahawk has less speed than most jets,you can even fly his side and hit it's wings to drop him(brits did that in WW. 2) though this is dangerous,pilots will tell you that.

Why is it so hard to defend against cruise missiles? ›

Unlike ballistic missiles, which arc up into space before traveling back down towards earth, cruise missiles fly close to the ground, making it hard for radar on the ground that's pointed up at space to see them.

How fast is the Ukraine Neptune missile? ›

Although its 900-kilometer-per-hour speed is subsonic, the missile has the potential to foil enemy radar by flying at altitudes of 10 to 15 meters, or even as low as 3 to 10 meters.

Did Ukrainian troops use Neptune missiles to explode big Russian warships in Black Sea? ›

Ukrainian military officials said they struck the Moskva with Ukrainian-made Neptune missiles - a weapon designed after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, and the naval threat to Ukraine in the Black Sea grew. The US now also believes the Moskva was hit by two of these missiles, a senior official said on Friday.

How deep is the wreck of the Moskva? ›

Ukraine declared the wreck of Moskva as having "underwater cultural heritage". It is being advertised as a dive wreck as it is only 130 km off the coast from Odesa and the water is only 45–50 metres deep. The wreck "can be admired without much diving".

How much does 1 Russian cruise missile cost? ›

Kalibr (missile family)
Unit cost$980,000 (domestic, land-attack version) $6.5 million (export, anti-ship version)
MassVaries on variant, from 1,300 kg-1,780 kg-2,300 kg
21 more rows

How much does a Ukraine javelin missile cost? ›

To Replenish Ukraine Drawdown

It costs $178,000, including the launching system and the missile, which alone costs around $78,000.

Do Ukraine have long range missiles? ›

News of Ukraine's enhanced long-range missile capabilities comes at a time when the country is poised to begin a major counteroffensive that is being widely billed as a potentially decisive moment in the war.

How high do Neptune missiles fly? ›

ASM "Neptune" is a subsonic missile (that is, it flies at a speed lower than the speed of sound - 331.46 m / s under normal conditions). The flight pattern is standard for a cruise missile. On the marching section, the flight height is 10-30 m, in the final section - 4-5 m. The warhead is a high-explosive fragment.

Have Patriot missiles been sent to Ukraine? ›

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — American-made Patriot missiles have arrived in Ukraine, the country's defense minister said Wednesday, providing Kyiv with a long-sought new shield against the Russian airstrikes that have devastated cities and civilian infrastructure.

What is the guidance system for Neptune missile? ›

The Neptune missile uses an internal navigation system to home on its target and flies 10-15 meters above the water on its way to the target but drops to 3-10 meters on its final approach so as to counter any ship defences.

Is there a missile defense system in Ukraine? ›

Along with missiles, a Patriot battery includes radars and control stations to identify, track and target enemy weapons. The locations of Ukraine's two Patriot systems are a closely kept secret, though one recently used to take down missiles is based in or around Kyiv, according to a U.S. defense official.

How does Ukraine intercept missiles? ›

Ukraine uses US-made air-defense system to intercept Russian ballistic missile. Ukraine used a U.S.-made air-defense system to intercept a Russian ballistic missile, the first known time that it has been able to block one of Russia's modern missiles.

Is Ukraine able to shoot down Russian missiles? ›

Thanks to foreign partners, Ukraine's air defense network is capable of shooting down all types of Russian missiles, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said at a press conference on June 1, as reported by Ukrinform.

Does Ukraine have the Patriot missile system? ›

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — American-made Patriot missiles have arrived in Ukraine, the country's defense minister said Wednesday, providing Kyiv with a long-sought new shield against the Russian airstrikes that have devastated cities and civilian infrastructure.

Can Patriot shoot down hypersonic missile? ›

Can Patriots knock out hypersonic missiles? The Patriot system was designed before hypersonic weapons were sent to battlefield, and Raytheon has not said publicly that it is effective against a missile flying at hypersonic speeds (anything above five times the speed of sound).

What is the range of a Patriot missile? ›

A Patriot battery is served by about 90 soldiers and can be dispersed over an area of several square kilometers on the ground, making it unlikely that a single missile will destroy a battery. The PAC-2 missiles, with a range of 160 kilometers, use a proximity fuse, which explodes near a missile to be intercepted.

What is the range of Ukraine missiles? ›

The Storm Shadow cruise missile has a range of over 250km (155 miles), according to the manufacturer. By contrast, the US-supplied Himars missiles used by Ukraine only have a range of around 80 km (50 miles). The weapons will give Ukraine the "best chance" of defending itself, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said.

Is Patriot air defense good? ›

The Patriot did eventually become the first system to ever intercept an inbound ballistic missile, but as the war went on, the Army claimed the Patriot had an 80% success rate in Saudi Arabia and 50% in Israel.

How many Patriot systems does USA have? ›

Each Patriot battery consists of a truck-mounted launching system with eight launchers that can hold up to four missile interceptors each, a ground radar, a control station and a generator. The Army said it currently has 16 Patriot battalions.

What is the difference between a cruise missile and a ballistic missile? ›

Strategic missiles are either of the cruise or ballistic type. Cruise missiles are jet-propelled at subsonic speeds throughout their flights, while ballistic missiles are rocket-powered only in the initial (boost) phase of flight, after which they follow an arcing trajectory to the target.

Can Patriot shoot down planes? ›

The system was successfully used against Iraqi missiles in the 2003 Iraq War, and has also been used by Saudi and Emirati forces in the Yemen conflict against Houthi missile attacks. The Patriot system achieved its first undisputed shootdowns of enemy aircraft in the service of the Israeli Air Defense Command.

Has Ukraine shot down a hypersonic missile? ›

KYIV, May 16 (Reuters) - Ukraine said on Tuesday it had shot down six Russian Kinzhal missiles in a single night, thwarting a weapon Moscow has touted as a next-generation hypersonic missile that was all but unstoppable.

How much does a Russian cruise missile cost? ›

The only figure known for sure where it comes from is the "cost" of a "Kalibr" cruise missile – 6.5 million US dollars per unit.

Did Russia destroy a Patriot missile system? ›

Russia's defence ministry made the assertion on Tuesday after an overnight air attack on the Ukrainian capital. Two U.S. officials later said a Patriot system had probably suffered damage but that it did not appear to have been destroyed.

How many Patriot missiles does Ukraine have? ›

Ukraine has received at least two Patriot systems, one from the United States and one from Germany, to enhance its air defenses, which have previously been unable to intercept more modern Russian missiles such as the Kinzhal.


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