Breaking News: Ukraine Develops New Land Variant of Neptune Anti-ship Cruise Missile


Lieutenant General Ivan Havryliuk, Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Defense, has revealed the Ukrainian defense industry's latest achievement: a new land-based version of the renowned Neptune anti-ship cruise missile. This development marks a significant advancement in the Neptune missile system, highlighting Ukraine's continuous efforts in defense innovation.
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The Neptune is a Ukrainian-made anti-ship cruise missile system. (Picture source Wikimedia)


The project, a collaborative endeavor between the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Strategic Industries, aims to bolster Ukraine's air defense capabilities. Defense Express reports that the adaptation primarily involves the R-360 missile from the Neptune complex, now tailored for ground target engagement.

This modified version of the missile boasts impressive enhancements. Its potential range is estimated at 400 km, a substantial increase from the 300 km range of its naval counterpart. Furthermore, the warhead's weight has been upped to 350 kg, more than doubling the original 150 kg. These figures, however, might not be the final specifications, as ongoing developments could lead to further refinements.

Production of these advanced missiles is currently in its nascent stage, with only a few dozen units manufactured as of late August. Notably, the new Neptune variant retains the thermal imaging-based homing system for target acquisition, a feature that uses pre-loaded images for precise targeting. Additionally, it employs the same launcher as the anti-ship version, ensuring seamless integration into existing systems.

The Neptune missile gained international acclaim following the destruction of the Russian cruiser Moskva on April 13, 2022, a testament to its effectiveness. These missiles, products of Ukroboronprom enterprises, were launched from Neptune's coastal missile system, demonstrating their strategic impact.

Ukraine's strides in missile technology underscore its commitment to defense innovation, marking a new chapter in military capabilities. Stay tuned for more updates on this groundbreaking development.

The Neptune is an anti-ship missile system, developed by Ukraine's Luch Design Bureau, is a significant advancement in the country's coastal defense capabilities, designed to counter a variety of surface threats, including battleships, tankers, and landing craft. The Neptune is a cruise missile that utilizes advanced guidance and propulsion technology, ensuring accuracy and effectiveness in targeting enemy vessels.

A key feature of the Neptune system is its adaptability to different environments, making it versatile for various tactical situations. The missile is notable for its high subsonic speed, which allows it to approach and hit targets while reducing detection by enemy defenses. The guidance system is a critical component, employing a combination of inertial navigation and active radar homing. This sophisticated guidance system ensures high accuracy, even in adverse weather conditions and against electronic countermeasures.

In terms of its technical specifications, the Neptune missile boasts a range of approximately 300 kilometers, enabling it to strike targets far from the coast. The missile carries a warhead of about 150 kilograms, powerful enough to inflict significant damage on enemy ships. The propulsion system of the Neptune includes a turbojet engine, facilitating its high subsonic speed and enhancing its stealth capabilities by keeping its flight path close to the sea surface, thus evading radar detection.

The launch platform versatility of the Neptune system is another important aspect. It can be launched from land-based launchers, sea platforms, and there is potential for air platform launches, though this would require additional development. This flexibility allows for strategic deployment based on operational needs and threat assessments.

The Neptune missile system's operational range and effective guidance system extend the defensive perimeter along Ukraine's coastline. This missile system represents Ukraine's commitment to enhancing its maritime defense in response to regional security challenges.


Defense News December 2023