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The Appearance of the Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile Launchers of the Ukrainian Navy is Still a Secret Even in Official Videos

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One of the vehicle variants with the launch system of the Harpoon Coastal Defence System (HCDS) for firing Harpoon Block II missiles / Open source illustrative photo
One of the vehicle variants with the launch system of the Harpoon Coastal Defence System (HCDS) for firing Harpoon Block II missiles / Open source illustrative photo

The launchers of the Harpoon anti-ship missiles helped Ukraine achieve a significant victory at sea. However, the Ukrainian Navy keeps information about the Harpoon in secret

The Press Service of the Ukrainian Navy has released a video dedicated to the formation of coastal missile forces within the national fleet.

In the commentary for this video, Commander of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Rear Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa, emphasized that the full-scale war initiated by russia against Ukraine has expedited the establishment of coastal defense missile units.

Read more: ​Spain Gives Ukraine Only Five Harpoon Missiles But It's Enough to Take Down Five "Moskva" Cruisers, And More
Rear Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa, Defense Express
Commander of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Rear Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa / video screengrab

This has helped reduce the disparity in potential compared to the russian Black Sea Fleet.

While previously there was a ratio of 1:12, it is now 1:4. Consequently, russian forces are no longer daring to approach Odessa any closer than 100 nautical miles.

The Commander of the Ukrainian Navy also revealed that in addition to the domestic Neptun missile system to destroy the enemy at sea, the Harpoon coastal defense system was also employed. This system sank the enemy's Vasiliy Bekh tugboat near Snake Island.

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The "Vasiliy Bekh" rescue vessel sank hit by Harpoon missiles / video screengrab

However, they chose not to showcase the external appearance of the coastal launchers of these missiles, even in this video.

Thus, the Harpoon coastal defense systems under the control of the Ukrainian Navy can be considered perhaps one of the most secret types of armaments that have been supplied to Ukraine by Western countries.

Even a year after delivery, we still know only that for the transfer of these anti-ship missile systems to Ukraine's Navy, a coalition consisting of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Denmark was involved. As well as that, Spain, which transferred five Harpoon anti-ship missiles, played a secondary role in this coalition.

In theory, we can already learn about the external view of coastal launchers for "Harpoons" in the Danish fleet from the video posted above. But the nuance lies in the fact that Western sources claim that when it comes to Ukraine, it was an improvised, not a serial solution (regarding coastal launchers).

Furthermore, there is another user of the Harpoon anti-ship missile system in a coastal version, HCDS - Taiwan, which utilizes launchers and certain guidance equipment elements placed on trawlers. It is important to understand that there may be several variations of how the Harpoon systems of the Ukrainian Navy may look.

the HCDS system for firing Harpoon Block II, Defense Express
One of the vehicle variants with the launch system of the HCDS system for firing Harpoon Block II missiles / Open source illustrative photo

However, the logic behind Ukrainian Navy's decision to keep all possible information about Harpoon confidential is quite understandable.

The enemy constantly tries to destroy these missile systems, and Ukrainian intelligence agencies regularly report the capture of another russian agent who attempted to gather reconnaissance data about a location of coastal anti-ship missile systems.

Read more: ​Exactly One Year Ago Ukraine’s Naval Forces Sent the Moskva Cruiser to Bottom with the Neptune ASM