Ukraine intends to modify Neptune subsonic cruise missiles that can be used to strike Moscow and other targets in Russia, a Ukrainian official told The Drive on condition of anonymity.
Ukraine is not allowed to use Western weapons to strike targets inside Russia. The Armed Forces of Ukraine currently launch Neptune anti-ship missiles with the help of ground-based installations.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is used to correct the missile flight trajectory, whereas an infrared homing head with a target image preloaded in its memory gets activated as the missile is approaching the target. The technology that guides the missile to the target in the final section of its flight trajectory makes the missile virtually invulnerable to electronic warfare, The Drive said.
A ground-launched Neptune with a 350-kilogram warhead has a range of 400 kilometres, the unnamed Ukrainian official said.
"If accurate, that would make it the longest-range, hardest-hitting ground attack missile or rocket built by Ukraine. However, we have no way of independently verifying these claims," the publication said.
Ukraine has produced about 20 Neptune missiles. Russian air defence systems are capable of shooting such missile down, the Ukrainian official said adding that Neptune missiles will be modified to attack Moscow. In particular, the weight of the missile will be reduced while the fuel volume will be boosted.
"That will increase the range and enable it to strike Moscow. It will happen, the official said.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky fears that his country may split into two similarly to the Korean scenario.