P-8A flying over the ocean with warship below

The Mystery of the Moskva and Makarov

The Russian cruiser Moskva was attacked in the Black Sea on April 13th. There are unconfirmed reports also that the Russian frigate Admiral Makarov was attacked on May 6th.  As details emerge, four important questions arise:

First, were these vessels, equipped with supposedly excellent air defense systems, caught by surprise and, if so, how did that happen?  There is no suggestion, from any source, that Russian sailors attempted to shoot down Ukrainian missiles, or even that they knew they were there before they were hit.

Second, was there anything special about the Ukrainian missiles that made them undetectable?

Third, why didn’t either or both ships respond?

Fourth, what, if any, role did the US play in the attack on both of these ships?

Russian warships are equipped with modern air defenses, combining excellent radars and effective interceptor missiles of different types. The Moskva has two systems: an older one known as the Osa-MA (SS-N-4), a short-range system that is supposed to counter in-bound anti-ship missiles; and the newer S-300F, a more capable, longer-range air and missile defense system.

Read the full article at Asia Times.

Stephen Bryen is a Senior Fellow at Yorktown Institute.

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