Neptune Cruise Missile
Neptune is the name of a Ukrainian anti-ship cruise missile that was developed by the Luch Design Bureau. The design of this missile is based on the Soviet Kh-35 anti-ship missile. Compared to the Kh-35 it has improved electronics and range.
- This missile system has been developed to destroy transport vessels and surface warships.
- This missile system entered the service of the Ukrainian Navy in March 2021.
Development of the missile
In the Weapons and Security 2015 exhibition that was held in Kyiv, this missile was first revealed. This cruise missile’s first flight samples were manufactured in 2016’s second quarter. The production of the advanced missile systems was developed in collaboration with other Ukrainian enterprises like Kharkiv State Aircraft Manufacturing Company, Artem Luch GAhK, Pivdenne YuMZ PivdenMash, Motor Sich (MS-400 turbofan engine), Vyshneve ZhMZ Vizar Kyiv, Radionics (seeker), Lviv LORTA and other radar electronics, Arsenal SDP SE (navigation system), etc.
Design of this missile
This missile system consists of a USPU-360 truck-based mobile launcher, a TZM-360 transport vehicle, four missiles, RCP-360 control, and command vehicle, as well as a special cargo vehicle. The length of the missile including the rocket motor is 5.05 metres. It also has a cross-shaped hard wing. The missiles have been designed so that they can be housed in transport and launch containers having a dimension of 5.30 by 0.60 by 0.60 metres. The maximum range of this missile system is around 300 kilometres. The weight of a single missile is 870 kilograms out of which the warhead weighs 150 kilograms.
In March 2016, the first test of this missile system was conducted. In mid-2017, the Neptune missiles were tested along with the Vilkha missiles. In January 2018, the first successful flight test of this missile was conducted. In 2018, the missile successfully hit a target that was placed at a range of 100 kilometres.
MoU with Indonesia
In April 2019, the missile was again successfully tested. In 2020, an MoU was signed by Ukraine with Indonesia to supply a number of Neptune missiles, thus Indonesia became the first foreign buyer of this missile.
The operational history of this missile
On 13th April 2022, the Russian cruiser Moskva was hit by two Neptune missiles during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.