Naval forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA) has test-fired a Soviet P-15 Termit anti-ship missile, Libyan and Turkish activists claimed on July 19.
The activists shared photos of the alleged missile test, which took place in an unspecific location on the Libyan coast line. The activists provided no further details on the test.
Hafter milisleri bugün Tobruk’ta eski bir Sovyet yapımı anti-gemi füzesi olan P-15 Termit (NATO kodu Styx)’i test etti. pic.twitter.com/G6SXIEWtRu
— Turkish Market (@kamerknc) July 19, 2020
The P-15 Termit is guided by active radar homing and equipped with a inertial navigation system. Missiles of this type have a range between 35 and 80 km depending on the variant and a top speed of Mach 0.95.
The Gaddafi-era Libyan Navy had large stockpiles of P-15 missiles. Koni-class frigates and Nanuchka-class corvettes were armed with the missile. The navy also operated an unknown number of 4K51 Rubezh costal defense systems, which were armed with an advanced copy of the missile.
After the fall of the al-Gaddafi government, many P-15 missiles and even 4K51 systems found their way to the hands of rebels.
While the reports of the LNA testing the P-15 remain unconfirmed, the army may be indeed in possession of missiles of this type. These missiles could pose a serious threat to Turkish Navy warships stationed off Libya’s coast and even to cargo vessels shipping weapons from Turkey to forces of the Government of National Accord.