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Ukraine is upgrading its Neptune missile, which was used to sink Russia's most powerful warship in the Black Sea

Dark smoke billows from a ship in grey waters in a still from a video
A video that allegedly shows Russia's Mosvka warship after an attack by Ukraine in April 2022.Telegram/Military Informant
  • Ukraine is working on an updated version of its Neptune missile that sank a Russian warship last year.

  • An official confirmed the work for the first time. Reports say the missile's range could be extended.

  • A Neptune sank the Moskva, Russia's flagship in the Black Sea, last April.

A Ukrainian defense official said the country is working on an updated version of its Neptune missile, which sank Russia's most powerful Black Sea warship last year.

The Neptune was used to hit and sink Russia's Moskva warship in April 2022. The vessel was Russia's flagship in the Black Sea, and was considered its most powerful vessel in the region.

Ukraine is now working on an updated version of the missile, Ivan Havrylyuk, Ukraine's deputy minister of defense, told ArmyInform, a publication of the Ukrainian defense ministry.

The upgraded missiles are called "Long Neptune," according to the Kyiv Post's translation of Havrylyuk's remarks.

The Russian missile cruiser Moskva patrols in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Syria, on December 17, 2015.
The Russian missile cruiser Moskva patrols in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Syria, on December 17, 2015.MAX DELANY/AFP via Getty Images

The Moskva is believed to be the largest warship sunk in combat since World War II, as Business Insider's Abbie Shull previously reported.

The sinking was also highly symbolic: The ship had been involved in one of the most-publicized events of the war, when it made contact with Ukrainian border guards on Snake Island and told them to surrender. The guards replied "Go fuck yourselves," which became a rallying cry for Ukrainians.

Havrylyuk's comments to ArmyInform were the first time an official confirmed that Ukraine was working on updates to Neptune, the Kyiv Post reported.

But earlier reports said this was happening. These included an anonymous Ukrainian defense official telling The War Zone in April that Ukraine was converting the missile so it could hit targets about 225 miles away.

The current version has about a 200-mile range.

It is not clear if the updates being worked on match what was outlined in that report.

Neptune R-360 missile, Kyiv 2021.
A Neptune R-360 missile in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 2021.VoidWanderer / Wikimedia Commons

Havrylyuk told ArmyInform he was not able to comment on the new missile's specs or how much development had been done, according to the Kyiv Post's translation of the interview.

Ukraine's defense ministry and the Neptune missile manufacturer, Ukroboronprom, also declined to comment to the Kyiv Post, telling the outlet that they needed to keep state secrets.

Ukraine is trying to boost its domestic weapons manufacturing, at least in part to reduce its reliance on Western aid in its fightback against Russia's full-scale invasion, which started in February 2022.

These efforts include Ukraine manufacturing its own howitzers, as well as ramping up its production of missiles, drones, and ammunition.

Havrylyuk also said that he believes Ukraine's domestically produced antiaircraft guns will be popular for other countries to buy when the war ends.

Read the original article on Business Insider