A Russian missile strike had destroyed a storage warehouse for Harpoon anti-ship missiles in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on July 17.
“A warehouse for Harpoon anti-ship missiles supplied to Ukraine by NATO countries was destroyed with [Russian] high-precision long-range missiles at an industrial site in Odessa,” the MoD’s spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said during his daily briefing.
The Harpoon is a sea-skimming anti-ship missile that is equipped a GPS-aided INS [inertial navigation system] and an active radar seeker. When launched from surface, the missile has a range of 124 to 280 kilometers depending on the version. It is armed with a 221 kg penetration high-explosive blast warhead.
The warehouse was reported targeted with Kh-101 stealth cruise missiles, which were launched from Tu-95 strategic bombers.
The Kh-101, which was developed by MKB Raduga, is said to has a maximum range of 4500–5500 kilometers. The missile guided by a GLONASS-aided INS [inertial navigation system]. It is reportedly re-targetable, and can be also equipped with a radar or optical seeker for terminal guidance. It is armed with a 400–450 kg conventional warhead.
In the last few months, Ukraine received Harpoon missiles from several of its Western allies. In late May 2022, Denmark sent Harpoon launchers and missiles to Ukraine, 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.
This was not the first Russian strike to target Ukraine’s newly-acquired Harpoon missiles. On July 8, a pinpoint missile strike on Odessa oblast wiped out two Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers which were recently supplied by the UK.
The US and its allies claimed that their move to supply Ukraine with Harpoon missiles is meant to “defeat Russia’s naval blockade”. Russia and Ukraine has already reached an agreement to end the blockade. Yet, Harpoons missiles are still apparently being sent to Ukraine. The real purpose of these missiles is to escalate the conflict in Ukraine.
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