On July 19, the Libyan National Army (LNA) test-fired the Soviet-era P-15 Termit anti-ship missile in an apparent showcase of anti-ship capabilities and a threat to Turkish warships deployed near the country.
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 and also operated an unknown number of 4K51 Rubezh costal defense systems, which were armed with an advanced copy of the missile. Thus, the LNA may have an access to at least a part of these stockpiles.
Nonetheless, the video, which appeared online on July 20, demonstrates that the missile test failed as the missile fell a few seconds after the launch. Photos released by pro-LNA sources were mostly a propaganda move to demonstrate the supposed LNA capabilities.
19 July: Video of #LNA P-15 Termit / Styx / SS-N-2 missile ‘test’ launch in position 32.0174361, 24.7633389, IVO Zawiyat Zanzur. Nosediving suggests no guidance control. Launch largely symbolic and serving little military purpose. #Libya pic.twitter.com/q8o07yvTil
— Libya Monitoring 🇱🇾 (@Libya_OSINT) July 20, 2020
However, after the video leaked, the missile test near Zawiyat Zanzur apparently had a quite different effect with pro-Turkish sources openly moking ‘uncapable’ LNA forces. Indeed, such failed missile tests and demonstrations of issues within the LNA could strengthen the Turkish readiness to launch a full-scale attack on the port city of Sirte.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Libyan Army Test-Fired Soviet Anti-Ship Missile (Photos)
- Military Situation In Libya On July 19, 2020 (Map Update)