The July 23 missile strike on the port of Odessa destroyed a docked Ukrainian warship as well as a warehouse where Harpoon anti-ship missiles, recently supplied by the US, were stored, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on July 24.
The MoD added that the strike also disabled an important plant that was used by Ukraine to repair and upgrade its warships.
While the Russian MoD did not elaborate on the type of warship that had been destroyed in the strike, Ukrainian sources revealed that it was the Centaur-class fast assault craft Malyn. Boats of this class are typically armed with two 12,7 mm machine guns, a 40 mm rocket launcher and two 80 mm multiple rocket launchers.
The Harpoon missiles stored in the warehouse levelled by the Russian strike were a part of a batch that was recently supplied by the US. The Harpoon is a sea-skimming anti-ship missile that is equipped with a radar altimeter and a GPS-aided inertial navigation system. The missile locks on its target with 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 strike was carried out with at least four 3M14T Kalibr land-attack cruise missiles, which were launched from a Buyan-class corvette of the Russian Navy.
The 3M14T has a range of 1500-2500 kilometers. The missile’s guidance system is built around an GLONASS-aided inertial navigation system. The cruise missile, which has a top speed of Mach 2.9, can fly as low as 20 meters above water and 50 meters above ground with a help of a TERCOM [terrain contour matching] system. It is armed with a 450 kg high explosive fragmentation or bunker buster warhead.
Kiev and its Western allies claimed that the Russian missile strike on Odessa port was a violation of the UN-sponsored grain export agreement that was signed just a day earlier. Nevertheless, the agreement does not give Kiev forces the permission to store weapons in ports designated for the export of Ukrainian grains.
The strike on Odessa demonstrates Russia’s determination to achieve the goals of its special military operation in Ukraine. Kiev’s attempts to prolong the conflict will only lead to more Ukrainian losses.