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British intel: Russian pilot hit civilian ship due to its poor weapons employment tactics

Russian anti-radar missile hit a civilian Liberian flagged cargo ship in Odesa port, killing a harbour pilot, injuring three crew members, citizens of the Philippines.
A civilian vessel with a Liberian flag hit with Russian missile on 8 Nov. 2023. Source: Operational Command South
British intel: Russian pilot hit civilian ship due to its poor weapons employment tactics

A Russian anti-radar missile, which hit a civilian Liberian flagged cargo ship on 8 Nov., probably was used by Russians to target Ukrainian military radars in the area, the UK Defense Ministry reported.

However, according to the UK intel, it was a realistic possibility the air launched AS-17 missile in the absence of a live military radar signature, locked onto the civilian ship’s radar.

The analysts concluded, that “if so, this would demonstrate poor weapons employment tactics on behalf of the Russian pilot.”

On 8 November 2023, Ukraine’s Operational Command South said that Russia fired a Kh-31P anti-radar missile at a civilian Liberian flagged cargo ship entering a port in the Black Sea in Odesa Oblast.

Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister said the ship was loading freight iron ore destined for Russia’s strategic ally, China.

“Continuing the terror of civilian shipping, the Russian insidiously fired a Kh-31P anti-radar missile in the direction of one of the ports of Odesa Oblast from tactical aircraft in the Black Sea.The missile hit the structure of a civilian vessel flying the Liberian flag as it was entering the port,” the Ukrainian Army said.

According to the British intel, a harbour pilot was killed, three crew members, citizens of the Philippines, were injured in the attack, and one of them was hospitalized.

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