There was an explosion near the ship, and the Russians shot down their plane: Ukrainian Navy commander on the first use of Neptune missile in the war

Their ships sailed near Odesa

The Commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Vice Admiral Oleksii Neizhpapa, spoke about the first use of the Ukrainian anti-ship cruise missile Neptune in the war with Russia. The missile was detonated near a ship, and the Russian occupiers shot down their plane.

Neizhpapa spoke about this in an interview with the Ukrainian media. "The first use of the Neptune missile was when the Admiral Essen frigate came very close to our shore. And it was followed by more landing ships along the Tendra Spit," he said.

The naval commander clarified that these ships were heading in the direction of the Pivdennyi port, between Pivdennyi and Ochakiv, to the area of the resort village of Rybakivka in the Mykolaiv region.

According to him, they were carrying out so-called demonstration actions. They did this so that the marines and other units that were standing on the shore at the time were constantly preparing for landings in order to prevent these brigades from being moved to the Mykolaiv direction or towards Voznesensk for support. The enemy wanted to keep the Ukrainian military in constant suspense that an amphibious assault was about to take place.

At the same time, their ships were sailing near Odesa, firing shots from deck guns right at the city, shelling civilian objects.

"It was clear that there would be no landing right now because the conditions were not right. But they kept repeating it, landing units were lining up, moving towards Odesa with fire support ships. Everything was classic, as the book says," Neizhpapa said, adding that it was clear that these were purely demonstration actions.

And when the Essen frigate approached, the Defense Forces decided to try what the Ukrainian-made Neptune missile could do.

"The first launches were not as successful as the ones against the cruiser Moskva, but it was the first time that this Essen frigate was damaged. As far as I know, they had several victims on board. The ship urgently returned to Sevastopol for repairs, so the missile did not hit the ship directly, as I understand it. There was an explosion right next to the ship, damaging the weapon system on this frigate. And the most interesting thing is that they even shot down their own plane right off the coast, which was providing air cover for the ships. This was the first use of the weapon," the Navy Commander said.

In addition, other amphibious assault ships also deployed alongside the Admiral Essen.

At the same time, there were still enemy approaches to our shores that were quite strange.

"For example, the frigate Admiral Makarov chased a small diving boat that was sailing along the shore, delivered a fire attack, and there were big splashes of water near the boat, just like in movies. But the crew did not get confused as they were under the protection of the coastal artillery, which was targeting the Makarov. The latter realized that it had nothing else to do there and quickly returned to Sevastopol. There were many such examples. That's why this small war at sea continued at that time," Neizhpapa summarized.

It should be added that the R-360 Neptune is a Ukrainian anti-ship cruise missile. It was developed by the Kyiv-based Luch Design Bureau in 2010-2020. The subsonic, low-altitude anti-ship missile is designed to destroy ships with a displacement of up to 5,000 tons. In 2023, a variant for striking ground targets will be developed. Neptune can be launched from ships, aircraft and ground launchers.

As a reminder, the Neptune cruise missile of the Ukrainian Navy destroyed a particularly important enemy ground target for the first time in history. We are talking about the 48YA6-K1 Podlet air reconnaissance radar and the 5P85SM2-0 launcher of the S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile system of the aggressor country Russia.

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