Ukrainian Naval Forces Coastal Missile Division received the first training and combat kit of the R-360 Neptune (Neptun,Нептун) anti-ship coastal missile system for armament. The Ukrainian Fleet Commander headed by Navy Commander Rear Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa, representatives of the developer company State Enterprise “State Kyiv Design Bureau “Luch”, the regional state administration and the clergy took part in the special event. Also among the invited were cadets of the Naval Institute – future missile engineers, who are already studying this complex and will serve on it in the future. It should be noted that a special team of Coastal Missile Division officers, who serve on this complex, had already been training during the development of the Neptun and took part in the state trials of this type of military equipment.
“This complex is designed to protect Ukraine both in the Azov and Black Sea regions. Thanks to this battery, practical training of the newly created division will begin. Work on the construction of the next divisions will follow. This will become Ukraine’s missile shield on the sea. This day will go down in the history of establishment of coastal missile forces of the Ukrainian navy,” said Rear Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa.
In his turn, the head of the state enterprise Luch, Doctor of Engineering,Oleg Korostelov has noted that according to the plan, they have commenced manufacture of a serial sample, which will allow for transition from a combat training complex to mass production.
Neptune is a Ukrainian cruise anti-ship missile developed by Luch Design Bureau which has maximum firing range of 280 km. Expected to be mounted on three platforms: ship, land and air launchers. The missile is in service in the Ukrainian Navy since March 2021. The missile is based on a design of the Soviet anti-ship missile Kh-35, however Ukrainian constructors substantially improved missile range and electronics. The system is designed to defeat combat surface ships from the structure of shock groups (convoy) or moving individually with a displacement of up to 5,000 tons. The missiles are designed to be located in transport and launch containers (TLC) with dimensions of 5,300 × 600 × 600 mm. The length of the missile itself with an accelerator of 5,050 mm. TLC with a rocket with a cross-shaped hard wing can be placed on terrestrial, marine or air carriers.
Production of missile takes place in cooperation with other Ukrainian enterprises, including Artem Luch GAhK, Kharkiv State Aviation Plant, Motor Sich, Pivdenne YuMZ PivdenMash, Lviv LORTA. After the United States and the Russian Federation both left the INF Treaty, Ukraine announced that it was considering developing intermediate-range cruise missiles. Analysts consider an extended-range Neptune missile to be a candidate for such an effort (300 km). A Memorandum was signed with the Republic of Indonesia on concluding a contract for the supply of a complex of anti-ship cruise missiles RK-360MC “Neptune” manufactured by KB “Luch”. Thus, Indonesia may become the first foreign buyer of “Neptune”. In March 2021, the Ukrainian Navy obtained the first units of the RK-360MC Neptune.