“Hammered harpoons” – Russia claims third success in destroying US anti-ship missiles supplied to Ukraine
During a special operation, the Russian military destroyed another launcher from the US Harpoon anti-ship complex in the Odessa region, according to Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov.
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“A launcher of the American Harpoon anti-ship missile system was destroyed near the settlement of Veliky Dalnik in the Odessa region,” Konashenkov said.
Konashenkov said that strikes by operational-tactical and army aviation, missile forces and artillery against military installations on the territory of Ukraine continue.
During the day, two ammunition depots were destroyed in the areas of the Seversk and Kaleniki settlements of the Donetsk People’s Republic, a center for the supply of fuel and lubricants for military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near the city of Nikopol, Dnepropetrovsk region.
This is the third time that Russia claims to have struck Harpoon anti-ship missiles (AShM) or Harpoon-related infrastructure as part of its strikes against weapons caches supplied to Ukraine by the United States ( United States) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
On July 18, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed to have destroyed Harpoon missiles stored at an “industrial enterprise” in Odessa, as well as a launcher and a cargo transport vehicle of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System ( HIMARS).
Again, on July 24, Russian forces claimed to have destroyed a Ukrainian warship and an AShM harpoon in the port of Odessa.
“Long-range precision-guided naval missiles destroyed a docked Ukrainian warship and a warehouse of US-supplied Harpoon anti-ship missiles in the seaport of Odessa on the territory of a repair plant ships,” the Russian Defense Ministry said at the time.
Russian weapons target NATO arms depots in Odessa pic.twitter.com/8T2yOVNfNl
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Harpoons also harassed Russia
The EurAsian Times reported a Ukrainian Navy video on June 17 showing two Harpoon missiles hitting the Russian salvage tug Spasatel Vatsily Bekh nearly 30 km east of Snake Island (or Zmiinyi).
A Bayraktar TB2 drone recorded the footage and was used to transmit the coordinates of the Russian ship.
According to a Ukrainian regional official, Harpoon anti-ship ground systems recently supplied to Ukraine by the United States and Denmark carried out the attack. It seemed to match the skimming cruise missiles in the video.
The Vasily Bekh was reportedly armed with a Tor-M2 series surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, but failed to evade the attack. This defense system becomes standard on Russian warships Operating in the Black Sea, especially around Snake Island.
The attack on the Bekh came after the loss of the Moskva, which Russia initially blamed on a weapons explosion caused by a storm.
Its subsequent silence on the matter and the lack of an explanation from its otherwise ready for numbers and statistics Ministry of Defense meant that the Ukrainian claim was valid.
Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva was sunk by R-360′ Neptune’ Anti-Ship Cruise Missile (ASCM) missiles, designed by Ukrainian design bureau Luch.
Harpoon: a missile to be reckoned with
Since its introduction into US Navy service in 1977, the Harpoon missile has been the most widely used Western anti-ship weapon.
The latest variants of the Boeing-built turbojet weapon have significantly increased range and guidance capabilities over the previous type. At the end of May, the shipment of ground-launched harpoons to Ukraine and their critical launchers was announced.
The UK has also supplied Ukraine with land-based Brimstone anti-ship missiles.
It is a subsonic, high-explosive, over-the-horizon, sea-skimming anti-ship missile. It uses active radar to track its target and explodes on contact.
The warhead of this missile weighs 221 kilograms and is designed for a penetrating explosion. The Harpoon’s 300-kilogram Teledyne CAE J402-400 turbojet engine provides propulsion, allowing it to travel at a speed of approximately Mach 0.5 (617 km/h).
This weapon system is adaptable and can also be used to launch missiles from trucks, submarines and aircraft. The Harpoon went through several blocks or phases of development. Block 2 is the latest operational model in the Harpoon range with new features including improved countermeasure resistance and improved targeting.
Additionally, the latest variants of the Boeing-built turbojet weapon have significantly increased range and guidance capabilities over the previous type.
The US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced in late May that it would begin discussions with Boeing regarding the production of Harpoon Coastal Defense Cruise Missiles (HCCCM).
Under the planned contract, a mobile coastal defense cruise missile supporting partner capacity building will be designed, produced, tested and delivered.