The Luch Design Bureau, in March 2022, innovated on the Neptune, transforming this subsonic all-weather multi-role cruise missile into a more versatile asset.
It’s now equipped with the ability to have target data pre-loaded, and as it closes in on its objective, the missile reduces its altitude to wave-top levels, relying on an active homing radar for the terminal phase.
About the Neptune
A fully operational Neptune coastal defense system comprises various components. The USPU-360 mobile launcher, mounted on a truck, carries four missiles.
In addition, there’s a TZM-360 transport/reload vehicle, an RCP-360 command and control vehicle, and a special cargo truck, all of which are vital cogs in this formidable defense machinery. Interestingly, Czech Tatra T815-7 trucks have been chosen to replace the earlier prototype KrAZ vehicles. Despite its coastal defense label, the Neptune system is engineered to function inland, up to 25 kilometers (16 mi) from the shoreline.
The Neptune missile, inclusive of its rocket motor, spans a length of 5.05 meters (16 ft 7 in). Its unique design features a cross-shaped hard wing, and the missile is intended to be housed in transport and launch containers (TLC) that measure 5.30 by 0.60 by 0.60 meters.
The missile system can strike targets from a staggering distance of up to 300 kilometers (190 mi). Each missile tips the scales at 870 kilograms (1,920 lb), out of which 150 kilograms (330 lb) accounts for the warhead. Powering the missile is the Motor Sich MS-400 engine, lauded for its high thrust-to-weight ratio.