A Russian missile strike on Odessa oblast wiped out two Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers which were recently supplied by the UK to the Ukrainian military, Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, announced on July 8.
“Sea-launched precision weapons eliminated two Harpoon coastal missile launchers in the area of the settlement of Liman in the Odessa Region delivered from Great Britain,” the spokesman said during his daily briefing on the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.
The Harpoon is a sea-skimming anti-ship missile that is equipped with a radar altimeter and a GPS-aided inertial navigation system, or INS. For terminal guidance, the missile is equipped with an active radar seeker. When launched from surface, the missile has a range of 124 to 280 kilometers depending on the version. The missile is armed with a 221 kg penetration high-explosive blast warhead.
In late May 2022, Denmark sent Harpoon launchers and missiles to Ukraine to help their war effort, and shortly after, the Netherlands sent additional missiles. Later in mid-June 2022, the US announced that they would supply Ukraine with Harpoon launchers and missiles and the UK Defence Secretary said that they also were looking into supplying Ukraine with the missiles.
On 17 June, Ukraine claimed to have sunk the Russian Navy’s tugboat Spasatel Vasily Bekh with two Harpoon missiles. These claims are yet to be confirmed.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned back in May that the Russian military is keeping a close eye on Harpoon deliveries and taking corresponding measures.
The supply of Harpoon anti-ship missiles to the Ukrainian military was justified by US officials as a way to help Ukraine “defeat Russia’s naval blockade”. However, the real purpose is to escalate the conflict in Ukraine and maximize Russia’s losses.
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