A new twist has come in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine for the last 51 days. According to Ukraine's claim, it has shot down the Russian warship Moskva with a Neptune missile. However, Russia has denied this claim of Ukraine. But he has admitted that the warship caught fire and then sank. This warship was leading the sea attack against Ukraine.
According to Russia's Defence Ministry, Moskva was being hauled to port after being damaged in the Black Sea, but it sank due to a storm. According to Ukraine's claim, it attacked this warship with two 'Neptune' missiles. Although Russia did not report any such attack, it has only said that the ship sank after the fire. But it is clear that Moskva was leading the sea campaign against Ukraine and drowned in the fire. The sinking of Moskva is a big blow to Russia.
According to the sources, Neptune or RK-360MC is an anti-ship missile developed by Ukraine. It was developed by the Luch Design Bureau. Neptune is Russia's version of the Kh-35U. Ukraine developed it in a hurry after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. This missile has been developed with a longer, larger fuel carrier and some significant changes than Russia's Kh-35U.
The missile has a range of up to 280 km. It can be carried and launched from naval, land and air platforms. The development of the Neptune land-based anti-ship missile system was completed in 2019. In 2019, this missile successfully demonstrated a range of more than 250 km for the first time. It consists of a High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) warhead, which weighs about 145 kg. This missile is capable of destroying ships up to 5,000 tonnes. This missile strikes at subsonic speed. In such a situation, the anti-ship missile can be easily intercepted by the advanced defence system.
After the destruction of this warship of Russia, an air alert has been put in all over Ukraine. Because there is a fear that Putin may launch a major attack amid a protracted war. According to the New York Times report, CIA Director William Burns has raised fears that Putin may use light nuclear weapons against Ukraine. He has said that the Russian army has suffered in Ukraine in many ways. This has deeply disappointed Putin and the leadership of Russia. Under these circumstances, Russia can use tactical or light nuclear weapons on Ukraine, which is not a good sign.
Tactical nuclear warheads are called non-strategic nuclear weapons (TNWs), according to the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) report. These nuclear weapons are typically used in short-range attacks, including surface-to-surface missiles with a range of less than 500 km and air- and sea-launched warheads with a range of less than 600 km.