For the first time, Ukraine use Denmark-supplied Harpoon anti ship missiles against a Russian navy ship.
The Ukrainian military for the first time used NATO missile weapons to strike. As it became known, we are talking about high-precision cruise missiles fired by the Ukrainian military at a sea target in the area of Zmeiny Island from a distance of over 60 kilometers. According to reports, the cruise missiles were transferred to Ukraine by Denmark.
The tugboat, identified as the Vasiliy Bekh by Odesa region’s governor, had been transporting soldiers, weapons and ammunition to the Russian-occupied Zmiinyi (Snake) Island in the Black Sea, the Ukrainian navy said.
At the moment, it is known that the rescue tugboat “Vasiliy Bekh” destroyed by the Ukrainian military to the east of the island of Zmeiny was hit not by British Brimstone missiles, as originally reported, but by Harpoon anti-ship cruise missiles supplied by Denmark. The missiles were fired at the target from a distance of over 60 kilometers and accurately hit the ship twice. Information on this subject has been confirmed, among other things, by the Ukrainian military and the Pentagon.
#war The war at sea is becoming increasingly fierce. 🇺🇦Ukraine said they struck the 🇷🇺Russian navy's Vasiliy Bekh rescue tug in the Black Sea with two Harpoon missiles on Friday, the first time Ukraine has said it hit a Russian vessel with the Western-supplied AShM. pic.twitter.com/KZLg0nbd6L
— Capt(N) (@Capt_Navy) June 17, 2022
“Ukrainian forces struck at least one Harpoon missile on a sea tugboat,” the U.S. Defense Department said, confirming the Ukrainian claims. According to the official, the missiles were not supplied to Ukraine by the United States, but they are of American production, “the journalist of The Washington Post said, citing data from a senior official in the US Department of Defense.
The Russian Defence Ministry did not immediately respond to a written request for comment.
The Ukrainian military published a video of what it said were two Harpoon missiles hitting the vessel on the Telegram app. Reuters could not independently verify the footage.
“During the full-scale war in the Black Sea, (anti-ship missiles) were used twice, first the (Ukrainian-made) Neptune, and today, June 17, the Harpoon. Both uses were successful. At the same time, the air defense of Russian ships proved to be entirely ineffective,” the Armed Forces Strategic Communications Directorate said.
It is known that Ukraine deployed Harpoon cruise missiles on the Black Sea coast less than a month ago. The latter were supplied from Denmark. According to preliminary data, we are talking about a version of the RGM-84G missile, with a target range of up to 280 kilometers.
At the moment, it is known that as a result of two direct hits, the ship received critical damage, but the fact of sinking the vessel off the coast of Snake Island has not yet been confirmed, since due to high cloudiness, high-quality satellite images have not yet been taken.
The AGM/RGM/UGM-84 Harpoon is an all- weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system. The regular Harpoon uses active radar homing, and a low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory to improve survivability and lethality.
RGM-84G gives the SLAM a re-attack capability, as well as an image comparison capability similar to the Tomahawk cruise missile; that is, the weapon can compare the target scene in front of it with an image stored in its on-board computer during terminal phase target acquisition and lock on (this is known as DSMAC). Block 1G missiles AGM/RGM/UGM-84G; the original SLAM-ER missiles were designated AGM-84H (2000-2002) and later ones the AGM-84K (2002 onwards).