Woodchopper wrote: ↑
Wed Sep 13, 2023 9:40 am
EACLucifer wrote: ↑
Wed Sep 13, 2023 8:16 am
Woodchopper wrote: ↑
Wed Sep 13, 2023 5:48 am
I’m assuming it was carried out by an upgraded Neptun. I hope they have production line making lots of them.
Looks like taking out the Crimean S400 and possibly the Boyko Towers operation opened the door.
A spokesperson credited their pilots, so could be Scalp-EG/Storm Shadow.
Also, to overcome Sevastopol's formiddable defences, a time-concentrated attack by multiple systems including decoys may have been needed.
If it was a Storm Shadow then where was the Russian air defence? I assumed that a Neptun flying close to the sea might be able to evade detection and that appears to be what they used to destroy the S400 system. But if they can get an air launched missile into Sevastopol then they can hit anything else there.
Storm Shadows have a low radar cross section, and fly very low for most of their flight. Typically they make a "terminal bunt", where they climb up a bit and dive onto the target, but flight profiles of cruise missiles are usually selectable from a range of options, including high altitude ones to maximise range where air defence isn't relevant, low altitude to sneak under the radar and so on. We can assume we don't know all the options for Storm Shadow.
The other issue is that air defence might have been firing at Neptuns. They were firing at something, but missed the incoming missile. Perhaps there were too many Storm Shadows. Perhaps there were threatening drones out there. Or perhaps they were trying to work out why that returning patrol of Su-30s had just turned into American B-1B Lancers...wait, no, now they are Tomahawk cruise missiles as those American-supplied air launched decoys exploit their ability to impersonate other flying objects.
Or perhaps the credit to the Ukrainian air force was partial, and they merely contributed to a salvo that also included Neptun. You are quite right to highlight the recapture of Boyko towers as key. One wonders - especially with fears of a new pacific war looming - if an uncrewed anti-shipping missile station could be developed to leave on small atolls and drilling rigs etc.