Navy spy plane tracked Russian warship Moskva before it was sunk, British media reports
Information is leaking out of the United Kingdom that the US Navy used its new marine surveillance aircraft to provide accurate targeting data to Ukrainian forces to sink the Russian Black Sea flag ship Moskva on April 13.
Ukraine claimed it fired two Neptune missiles at the Russian warship which was patrolling south of Odesa.
Russia initially claimed the vessel, which had more than 500 crew on board had blown up after a fire onboard.
Later, the Kremlin was forced to admit the vessel – named in honour of the Russian capital – had been taken out by hostile action.
According to information coming out through the British press, a US surveillance P-8 “Poseidon” aircraft, was tracking Moskva in the hours before it was attacked before supplying its location to the Ukrainian military.
The Boeing-made aircraft is based upon the Boeing 737-800 jet – which is widely used by airlines such as Ryanair.
However, instead of passengers, the Poseidon is packed with state-of-the-art surveillance equipment which can track surface vessels and submarines at ranges of more than 100 miles.
According to the claims in British media outlets, the P-8 took off from Italy and took up station on the Romanian Black Sea coast where it attempted to locate the position of the Russian Black Sea fleet.
The P-8 left US Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily on April 13, hours before the attack.
Before reaching the Black Sea coastline, the Poseidon turned off its trackers, so it could no longer be followed online.
The aircraft was ‘hidden’ for almost three hours before it returned to Flight Radar 24.
Aviation data analysis Amelia Smith says there were slightly more US aircraft covering the Black Sea coast on the day of the attack.
However, the US Navy refused to confirm if they assisted Ukraine with the attack by providing intelligence data.
A Defense source added: ‘In keeping with our support to NATO’s eastern flank, we have been conducting some limited air patrols off the coast of Romania. But we will not speak to the details of operational matters.’
From WarNews24/7 (Greece)
Russians search for NSM missile arrays in Odessa – How they sank Moskva – Drone & weather
“It was a mistake that we did not have AFNS in the area”
“The sinking of” Moskva “did not come from” Neptune “” Russian military media reveals that Russian forces are looking for arrays of NSM anti-ship missiles in Odessa.
The NSM received Moskva coordinates from a drone while the Russians make their self-criticism for the non-existence of AFNS in the disputed area. They reveal that Ukrainians and NATO members took advantage of the weather in the region.
What they mention is extremely important for us, for our Archipelago.
What is described in the article, the information about how the strike took place, probably comes from the testimonies of members of the crew of the Moskva cruiser. It is not explicitly stated but the will and the Russian military plan are expressed to locate the NSM arrays and to take measures to protect the Russian Fleet from the Norwegian Stealth missile.
Confirmed by WarNews247 that had written from the beginning that the Russians had turned from the first 24 hours to the Norwegian Stealth missile NSM.
Read also HERE
Big bang in Moskva: Did Stealth NSM dismantle the cruiser? – The Russian Army is in a state of shock
“They were not Neptune rockets”
The Russian analysis states the following:
“On April 14, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that the Moskva cruiser, which was damaged by an ammunition explosion, and later sank during towing.
Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities also announced the sinking of the Moskva cruise missile by two Ukrainian-made Neptune missiles (a descendant of the Soviet Kh-35 anti-ship missile).
From a technical point of view, this last statement seems unreliable (in simple words, false).
Neptune rockets as well as Harpoon) could not hit Moscow?
The armament and equipment of “Moskva” is such that it could not be successfully attacked by the Ukrainian “Neptune”. The “Moskva” had a sufficiently powerful set of radar and electronic warfare equipment to detect and intercept guided cruise missiles. “Neptune” has only one active radar.
Any such anti-ship missile, when it has such a warhead, says to the target ships: here I am. And he “speaks” loudly: the power of the radiation there is enough, it is impossible not to detect. Soon after, the target ship activates the electronic warfare equipment that blinds the missile.
But that is not all. If the “Moskva” (rather impressive) EW set did not work, it had air defense. Starting with the ship version of the very good S-300 (S-300F) and ending with the OSA. The total number of anti-aircraft missiles of these systems in Moskva is 104. In addition, the cruiser had six 30-mm cannons, designed only to hit cruise missiles and other air targets. Each of these weapons had a rate of fire of one hundred rounds per second.
The conclusion is simple: this pair of anti-ship missiles (there are no supersonic anti-ship missiles in the Western world, as Russia has) could not penetrate all of them. A few dozen – yes, probably, but not a couple.
NSM surprise attack
How then could a fire break out in the Russian cruiser? The most likely answer is simple: its electronic warfare and air defense systems either did not see the missile at all in stormy conditions or spotted it too late, when they had no time to do anything. (This was broadcast by the Russians from the beginning, as WarNews247 had noted)
There is nothing new here: this is exactly what happened 40 years ago, in 1982, with the British destroyer Sheffield, which sank from a rocket fired by Argentina.
A truly sudden attack on a Russian cruiser is possible only in one case: the missile was Norwegian.
In the western world, the main anti-ship missiles are the American Harpoon and the Norwegian NSM. The first, if not launched by aircraft, has the same “radar” as Poseidon. The second is much more dangerous.
The NSM, created by the Norwegian company Kongsberg, flies without “active radar”. First, the main coordinates of the target are entered in it, obtained, for example, from a drone ID. (eg Bayraktar TB2 or other NATO in the area)
The rocket then travels to these coordinates using a combination of inertial guidance and GPS navigation. Shortly before the collision, the Norwegian missile activates the passive IIR sensor, which allows the missile to locate and trap the target without being detected by the enemy.
The rocket compares the images on the horizon with the library from its memory and selects the most important target (if there is more than one).
The passive sensor of the Norwegian rocket emits practically no radiation at any range. Therefore it does not warn the enemy ship of the attack. In addition it is stealth.
All this sets him apart from the “Neptunes” and “Harpoons” rockets.
As a result, the NSM is today the most powerful anti-ship missile available in Russia’s rival countries. To give the missile the primary coordinates of the target, a drone guidance is enough.
The weather conditions
Under normal weather conditions, Moskva’s air defense systems would have detected the missile by electro-optical means and then shot it down.
However, apparently, the Ukrainian side calculated everything correctly:
The strike took place in stormy weather, when the effectiveness of optical systems for detecting anti-ship missiles is minimal. It is very difficult to see them while there are bad weather conditions with waves and stormy winds.
The strange post
At this point, the Russians include a post on the “Meduza” website whose editorial team has long been accused of being “agents of the West.”
They specifically mention:
“But what about Meduza’s article that Moskva was simply not equipped with radar to see low-flying missiles?”
The authors of Meduza (foreign agents) may not have understood this well enough. They wrote in their publication that “Moskva” during the modernization did not receive new radars capable of effectively detecting low-flying targets, such as the anti-ship missile Neptune.
Meduza obviously messed up some things. Maybe intentionally.
Anti-ship missiles such as the unmanned Neptune or Harpoon could be detected by Moskva.
In fact, the Russian Navy began to learn how to detect missiles against low-flying ships even under the USSR, after which the Tomahawks appeared and the Soviet fleet saw them as the main anti-ship weapon of the enemy.
In addition, “Moskva” radars are at a remarkable height, which makes it easier to detect low-flying targets.
It could not detect a small Stealth rocket in a storm without active radar.
The water at the top of the waves still absorbs the radio waves and the polymers transmit them quite well – and this basic physical data is unlikely to change in the near future.
The presence of the NSM in Ukraine practically does not affect the naval part of the military campaign. There are many Russian ships in the Black Sea and after the loss of Moskva, their ability to reliably block both Ukrainian ports and the Black Sea straits has not changed much.
The Black Sea is small, the range of Russian missiles is large.
In other words, the missile range of Russian ships is many times that of the NSM. The small ships are about an order of magnitude smaller than the Moskva, but they can block the Ukrainian coast almost as effectively. And thanks to the range of their missiles – from the same bay of Sevastopol.
As long as we have a Russian AFNS patrol off the Ukrainian coast to alert our ships to the presence of targets there.
However, the “Moskva” also needed such aerial guidance: hundreds of kilometers of coastline could not be monitored by a ship.
The Russian Army is looking for NSM launchers
The Russian army is already looking for NSM launchers in Odessa. This is certain. But it is by no means certain that all the small mobile arrays will be located and destroyed in time.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces, as seen in the videos they upload, use stationary civilian vehicles, even ambulances, to transport them. The Russian Air Force is not destroying all vehicles still moving in Ukraine.
This means that only one thing can guarantee protection against NSM attacks:
Avoid approaching the Ukrainian coast for 200 kilometers or less. Especially with storms. The range of “Neptune” and “Harpoon” is higher, but, as noted, they are significantly less dangerous than the Norwegian rocket.
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