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Russia attacks Liberian civilian ship Kmax Ruler in port of Odessa.

| 2023

According to information published by Ukrinform on November 9, 2023, a Russian missile strike targeted a civilian ship under the Liberian flag as it was approaching a port in the Odessa region. Turkish observer Yörük Isis claims that the vessel in question is the Kmax Ruler.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Liberian bulk carrier Kmax Ruller. (Picture source: Ukrinform/Cyprus Sea Lines)

The Russian Armed Forces launched an anti-radar missile Kh-31P from their tactical aviation operating over the Black Sea, which struck the vessel's superstructure during its port entry maneuvers.

About the missile

The Kh-31 missile, known in NATO terminology as AS-17 Krypton, is a Soviet-designed tactical air-to-ground missile of medium range, compatible with fighter aircraft such as the MiG-29 and Su-27. The Kh-31 comes in several variations tailored for specific combat scenarios, including anti-ship (Kh-31A) and anti-radiation (Kh-31P) versions, along with others designed for different operational needs.

Adopted into service in the late 1980s, the Kh-31 series showcases various seeker types, such as the passive radar homing L-112(E) for the Kh-31P, and the active radar homing ARGS-31 for the Kh-31A. Its propulsion system is based on a ramjet engine, providing it with the necessary thrust to engage targets at significant distances.

The missile's performance characteristics include a minimum launch range starting from as low as 7.5 kilometers, extending up to a maximum range of 250 kilometers under optimal conditions. It maintains an impressive flight speed of around Mach 3.3, with an operational ceiling that reaches up to 15 kilometers.

The Kh-31's design integrates a high degree of precision, capable of striking within a 2-5 meter range of its intended target. The physical dimensions of the missile are a length of up to 5.34 meters and a wingspan of up to 954 millimeters, depending on the variant.

The missile remains compatible with a variety of launch platforms, extending its legacy into modern warfare. It can be deployed from numerous Russian aircraft, including newer models such as the Su-34 and MiG-35, demonstrating the enduring nature of this Soviet-era missile technology.

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