A new Ukrainian ground-based cruise missile underwent a successful test launch on Jan. 30, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov announced.

According to the Turchynov, the missile, a solely Ukrainian project designed by the Kyiv-based Luch defense development bureau, can deliver precise strikes on ground and seaborne targets.

“During the successful tests, the missile’s flight efficiency and systems operations were checked,” Turchynov said.

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He said that under the provisions of the Budapest Memorandum, an agreement signed in 1994 by Russia, Ukraine, the United States, and Britain, under which Ukraine agrees to give up its nuclear arsenal in exchange for security assurances, Ukraine’s armed forces had handed over its cruise missile stockpile.

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In the wake of Russia’s occupation of Crimea and launching of its war on Ukraine in the Donbas, the National Security and Defense Council initiated a project to develop “not only land-based cruise missile complexes, but also sea- and airborne systems,” that would be “of important deterrent value against the (Russian) aggressor,” Turchynov said. He said the missile’s range and warhead type do not violate Ukraine’s international commitments on this type of weapon.

Later in the day, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko hailed the results of the tests.

“More extremely cheering news today,” read a post on Poroshenko’s Facebook page regarding the Jan. 30 tests.

None of the official statements gave a name to the cruise missile.

However, according to the Defence Blog media outlet, the recently tested missile is identified as the Neptune, a Ukrainian advanced subsonic cruise missile based on the Kh-35, a Soviet-designed subsonic anti-ship missile put into service in Russia in 2003.

According to the UkrOboronProm defense industry concern, the Neptunes are capable of sinking warships with displacements of up to 5,000 tons – which would include all of the Russian landing ships and frigates currently in service.

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