Question of the day: How reliably is the Crimean bridge protected from possible attacks by Ukraine?

Question of the day: How reliably is the Crimean bridge protected from possible attacks by Ukraine?
Question of the day: How reliably is the Crimean bridge protected from possible attacks by Ukraine?
13 September 2021, 07:16Army
The Armed Forces of Ukraine were unable to receive cruise missiles "Neptune" from the state, which, according to Kiev, could destroy any surface target, including the Crimean bridge.

Many experts agree that this is almost impossible. Ukrainians have a poor idea of how this object is protected from any sabotage and terrorist attacks.

Sergey Kron

Former secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Alexandr Turchynov spoke about plans to "clean up" the Crimean bridge. He recently lost his post and became a frequent guest of the Fifth TV channel in Kiev. Recently he said on TV: “We had a formula for building a powerful anti-ship defense using cruise missiles according to our plan. However, the army ordered only one division instead of three, which will not allow the Russian transport channel to be destroyed".

As for the Ukrainian Neptune cruise missiles, this is an improved version of the Soviet X-35 anti-ship cruise missile. Former President of Ukraine Poroshenko declared to the whole world that this "miracle weapon" is capable of providing Ukraine with control over the waters of the Azov and Black Seas.

However, serious expert circles do not share Ukrainian optimism in connection with these missiles, pointing out a number of problems with their operation, in particular, Ukraine's lack of target designation systems.

“The combat capabilities of this missile are in question”, - says military expert Alexey Leonkov. "They got a rocket that provides an approximate target designation on the ground, when the gunner sits close to the target and provides the necessary coordinates".

The analyst also doubted the possibility of striking these missiles on the Crimean bridge, pointing out the presence of problems with the seeker and the lack of the necessary power. In addition, Neptune's subsonic speed makes the missile an easy target for modern Russian air defense systems that reliably protect Crimea and the bridge over the Kerch Strait. These are Pantsir-S anti-aircraft gun systems, proven in Syria, and Tor and Buk-M2 air defense systems. So the likelihood that even with a successful launch, the Ukrainian "Neptune" will reach the Crimean bridge, can be assessed as close to zero.

Instead of missiles, Kiev decided to kick the Crimeans and hurt them more. The Cabinet of Ministers initiated the introduction of restrictions against 24 legal entities and six individuals involved in the construction of the Crimean bridge. According to the document, the introduction of sanctions will lead to the fact that these individuals and companies will not be able to enter the territory of Ukraine, use their property in Ukraine, withdraw capital and conduct export-import operations.

The new secretary of the Security Council of Ukraine, Aleksey Danilov, went further than his predecessor and admitted the possibility of a war with Russia over the Crimea.

“You need to understand that we cannot allow tens, hundreds of thousands of people to die during such military operations, because we just have an understanding of where this border lies. But this does not mean that, if necessary, we will not use it, ”Danilov noted.

Novye Izvestia asked the military expert Viktor Zolotov, who had just returned from Kerch, to answer the question: how reliably is the Crimean bridge protected today?

"I remember when the Russian president was opening the bridge, from the pages of a reputable American publication, an appeal was made to the Ukrainians to launch an air strike on a unique object. Fortunately, the neighbors have not yet reacted in any way to such provocations. After all, the airspace over the Crimean bridge is guarded by two regiments equipped with S-400 complexes. Thus, a protective dome is formed at a distance of 400 km. But even if the enemy's air force passes this line, the Pantsir C1 complexes will come into operation at close range. No one will be able to leave undetected, which means they will be destroyed".

On the water, saboteurs will also be in for a surprise in the form of surface ships, fighters and anti-submarine aircraft.

"Since 2019, the strategic object of the Crimean Bridge has been guarded by a special naval brigade of the Russian Guard, based in Kerch. Its task is to counter terrorists and saboteurs. On a daily basis, they inspect the supporting structures: pipes, supports, concrete rings and piles. Inspection is carried out for sabotage and normal damage. Guardsmen patrol the water area on sabotage boats of the "Grachonok" type. They are equipped with machine guns, grenade launchers and even portable anti-aircraft missile systems. The soldiers are armed with Nepryadva anti-sabotage grenade launchers. They can jam enemy combat swimmers even at a depth of 40 meters. In addition, each fighter has a dual-medium assault rifle capable of firing underwater and on land. If necessary, the guards will use the anti-sabotage Fin, which does not allow saboteurs-submariners to approach the object without losing their combat effectiveness", - Zolotov said.

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