Ukraine is currently working on the development of the so-called long Neptune, a cruise missile against ships. This is a new modification for the Neptune system, Deputy Minister of Defence, LtGen Ivan Havrylyuk said in an interview with Army Inform.
He said that active work is also underway to strengthen the air defence system. The Buk and S300 anti-aircraft missile systems are being modernised.
"Currently, the domestic manufacturer meets the needs of the army only partially. There are various reasons for this. For a long time, there was a lack of funds for government orders, and as a result, not all specialised enterprises are able to set up assembly-line production of equipment in a short time. At the same time, the President has set the task of maximising the workload of domestic defence companies, expanding and scaling up production. For example, we plan to order more than 750 armoured combat vehicles of various types from domestic manufacturers. In addition, there is a task to increase the production of mortar shells several times and start producing shells," said the lieutenant general.
The development of the Neptune anti-ship missile at Luch Design Bureau began back in 2010. At that time, the Navy was armed with Soviet systems. "Luch was developing new missiles at its own expense, and in 2012 the state opened design work on a new missile, which could be a special step to undermine the potential of the Ukrainian defence industry, Militarnyy writes.
After the occupation of Crimea began in 2014, the Ukrainian Navy lost its anti-ship weapons.
In 2016, it became known about the first flight samples of the Neptune missile, and in 2017, non-public tests of the missile were conducted. A year later, public tests were conducted. During the full-scale war, the missiles successfully hit enemy targets.
The R-360 Neptune is a missile with a common aerodynamic design that is launched from a transport and launch container using a launch engine. The first models were powered by a launch engine from S-125 anti-aircraft missiles, and later it was developed.
The length of the missile with the launcher is about 5m, the launch weight is 870kg, and the weight of the penetrating high-explosive warhead B-360 is 150kg. The missile is activated by a fuze when it comes into contact with a target or non-contact sensors.
The Buk and S-300 are still Soviet anti-aircraft missile systems, and their production is ongoing. The Russians have similar systems.