Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Russian huge missile cruiser sinks in the Black Sea

Russian officials confirmed Thursday that one of the Russian Navy’s most important warships has sunk in the Black Sea. It is the first Russian Navy loss of a flagship since the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-1905. 

Russian state news agency TASS reported Thursday evening that the guided-missile cruiser Moskva had sunk, citing a statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense.

“During the towing of the cruiser Moskva to the port of destination, the ship lost its stability due to hull damage received during a fire from the detonation of ammunition. In the conditions of stormy seas, the ship sank,” the statement said, according to TASS.

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Governor of the Russian-occupied city of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Friday that the cruiser had been a genuine symbol.

The Moskva cruiser rose to prominence at the beginning of the war when a group of Ukrainian soldiers defending Snake Island told its operators to “go f— yourself” instead of surrendering, according to Reuters. Moscow is now saying the warship went down after a fire on board caused an explosion.

According to some reports, like one from CNN, a huge Soviet-era missile cruiser sunk after it was hit by two Ukrainian-made Neptune R-360 cruise missiles.

“In the Black Sea operational zone, Neptune anti-ship cruise missiles hit the cruiser Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet — it received significant damage,” Ukraine’s Operational Command South statement said. “A fire broke out. Other units of the ship’s group tried to help, but a storm and a powerful explosion of ammunition overturned the cruiser and it began to sink.”

Neptun anti-ship cruise missile system

Ukrainian RK-360 Neptune coastal missile system includes six USPU-360 launchers with 24 R-360 cruise missiles. The R-360 missile weighs 870 kg; the weight of its warhead is 150 kg; its launch range is up to 280 km and its speed is about 900 km/h. It is able to get at a height of from 3 m to 10 m above the surface.

The complex can simultaneously launch up to 24 missiles, i.e. a full salvo of 6 launchers, with an interval of launches in a salvo being from 3 to 5 seconds.

Ukraine’s Neptun cruise missile can be located at a distance of up to 25 km from the coastline, and its deployment lasts up to 15 minutes.

Neptun R-360 missile is generally similar to the Kh-35, however, Ukrainian constructors substantially improved missile range and electronics. The new missile has a longer body with more fuel, a larger booster, and some other modifications.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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