Weapons Russia used to stop Ukrainian warships during Kerch Strait clash – did an Su-30 fire missiles?
Almost two weeks since military forces of Russia and Ukraine clashed in the strategic Kerch Strait area, a more detailed account has now emerged of what weapons where used during the exchange that occurred.
As is known, the engagement between Russian and Ukrainian forces resulted in the latter losing three military ships – two Gyurza-M-class ‘armored artillery boats’ and a tugboat armed with two heavy machine guns. These ships we first disabled and then captured.
Despite the best attempts of Russian forces to preserve operational security following the detainment of the three Ukrainian ships, photos showing the ships whilst in Russia’s custody have nonetheless been leaked.
After lengthy examination of the leaked photos by military and weaponry experts, a general consensus has been reached that cannon-caliber battle damage spotted to at least one of the Gyurza-M-class ships, the BK-02 Berdyansk, is the result of 30-mm gun fire most likely delivered by a AK-630 naval artillery system (from a Russian ship).
Several days after the clash, Business Insider claimed that Ukrainain Secret Service (SBU) sources had stated that a Russian Su-30 strike fighter used “two unnamed combat missiles” to attack the Ukrainian ships, resulting in the injury of a Ukrainian SBU officer.
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This is extremely unlikely given that even the smallest Russian anti-ship missiles carry a warhead large enough to virtually obliterate (no exaggeration to say) a light warship such the Gyurza-M-class. A strike from such a missile would not only have sunk the Ukrainian ships (rather than leave them in an operable state), but also have resulted in huge crew fatalities, rather than several cases of treatable injuries.