Spain to provide Ukraine with 5 Harpoon missiles – a lot can be accomplished with them – Technology Org

The Harpoon is an American anti-ship missile, in service since 1977. It’s an all-weather weapon, capable of hunting targets over the horizon. The range of the Harpoon missile depends on the exact version, but is generally between 100 and 315 kilometers. The Ukrainian Navy is getting these missiles in order to defend its coast. Spain is sending 5 Harpoon missiles to Ukraine, but it is not as little as it sounds.

Harpoon missiles are extremely effective at destroying naval targets.

Harpoon missiles are extremely effective at destroying naval targets. Image credit: DoDMedia via Wikimedia

The Spanish government donated “five naval systems” to Ukraine and journalists believe those to be Harpoon missiles. Spain has supported Ukraine from the beginning of the invasion and this is just a part of the aid Spain has provided.

Harpoon missiles were also donated by the UK and the Netherlands, while Denmark also supplied ground-based launchers. It is not public how many Harpoon missiles Ukraine now has, but 5 of them are a significant number.

Ukraine’s Navy top commander Oleksiy Neizhpapa reminded the media that it only took two Neptun missiles to sink the Russian Black Sea Navy flagman missile cruiser “Moskva”. In fact, maybe one would be enough in other circumstances.

Moskva was a large military ship, with multiple levels of defenses and it was hit twice by Ukrainian-made anti-ship missiles, causing tens of millions of Euros of damage to the Russian war effort. Each one of the Harpoon missiles could sink a ship, because that is what they were designed to do. The Harpoon anti-ship missile system was specifically designed to attack big Russian surface warships, such as the Project 1164 missile cruisers.

However, their impact is not just direct. Just the presence of Harpoon missile systems can prevent landing attempts. Ships are not like tanks – while there may be hundreds of tanks going on the attack, ships are fewer in numbers. If one landing ship comes within range of the Harpoon system, it can be destroyed quite reliably with two missiles.

This means that 5 Harpoon missiles can take out 2-3 Russian ships with quite a bit of accuracy. But Ukraine definitely has more of them – 5 came just from Spain. Then there are Ukrainian Neptun missiles, as well as shorter-range weapons. This entire defense suite should ensure that Russia will not attempt a landing invasion in, let’s say, Odessa.

And it works. There are no indications that Russia is planning a landing operation in Southern Ukraine. It would be a stupid suicidal mission, having in mind the secret presence of the Harpoon systems.

Of course, Russia would prepare for such an operation by shelling the coast with aviation bombs as well as cruise missiles. But it would be impossible for them to ensure that all anti-ship systems were destroyed, which would make seaborne landing very difficult.

Sources: , Wikipedia

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