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Ukraine may have sunk Russian ship with US ATACMS missiles

Ukraine’s potential acquisition of advanced US ATACMS rockets with 470-pound warheads may have allowed it to sink a Russian warship in Crimea.
ukraine destroyed russian black sea fleet's minesweeper kovrovets mine sweeper
Russian Black Sea Fleet’s Kovrovets minesweeper. Photo: X/@DefenceU
Ukraine may have sunk Russian ship with US ATACMS missiles

The Ukrainian military might have sunk another Russian warship, the minesweeper Kovrovets, in the port of Sevastopol, with American-supplied Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) rockets, according to Forbes.

The Ukrainian Navy reported overnight on 19 May that the Ukrainian Defense Forces destroyed the 266-M Kovrovets, a Russian Black Sea Fleet minesweeper.

“If Ukraine indeed did hit Kovrovets with ATACMS, it could mean two things,” Forbes reports. “First, Ukraine has gotten 170-mile M48 or 190-mile M57 ATACMS with 470-pound warheads in addition to getting M39 and M39A1 ATACMs with submunitions.”

Phillips O’Brien, a professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews, said that If ATACMS were taking out Russian warships in Sevastopol, it would be hard to see the base having much utility left for the Russians.

Nuno Felix, a Portuguese military consultant, said, “Russians have almost no capability to deal with them.”

Fabian Hoffmann, a researcher with the Oslo Nuclear Project, explained that accurate ATACMS with unitary warheads “could represent a serious danger to the Kerch Bridge,” which connects southern Russia to occupied Crimea.

“ATACMS make a serious difference in making untenable the key terrain of the war: Crimea,” Nuno Felix, a Portuguese military consultant, said.

In March, the Ukrainian Navy reported that a third of the Russian warships in the Black Sea had been destroyed or disabled. With Ukraine’s Navy virtually non-existent, Ukraine employs missiles and the newly-created fleet of various maritime suicide drones to counter Russia’s dominance in the Black Sea. These tactics led to the destruction or severe damage to at least 17 vessels of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, including the sinking of the Moskva, the Fleet’s flagship, early in the all-out war.

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