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Surface To Air Missile Fail: The Ukrainian Navy Can't Catch A Break

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The Ukrainian Navy has had a pretty miserable time as of late, and this dud OSA-M surface to air missile is just the start of it. The ship depicted in the video above, U-209 Ternopil, a Grisha Class corvette and one of the the newest ships in the Ukrainian Navy, was seized by Russia after their annexation of Crimea.


At first, Russia said the ship would be returned to Ukraine, but that never happened, and seeing as the type is still in service with Russian naval forces, there is a good chance it will be flying the Russian Navy or Border Guard flag sometime soon.


Much of the Ukrainian Navy's equipment belonged to Russia, before it was split up between the two ex-Soviet states in the mid 1990s. This excerpt from a previous Foxtrot Alpha feature on Russia's Naval interests in Crimea explains this unique settlement:

Ukraine remained a Soviet state until the dissolution of USSR back in 1991. When this occurred, a severely weakened Russia was left having to share its naval fleet and bases in Crimea with Ukraine, although command and control was still heavily lopsided in Russia's favor. In 1997, the fleet was split 70-30% with Ukraine as a settlement over ownership of once soviet military assets. As part of this deal, Russia would have to lease its Black Sea Fleet's headquarters in Sevastopol and its associated air bases, from Ukraine. The lease would run through 2017.

Surrendering vessels, including their only submarine, being trapped in their own port while being invaded and having commanding officers defect, have been just part of the continued shame Russian forces have imposed on Ukraine's relatively small but proud naval force.


I guess that considering the events of the last eight months, an errant missile maybe wasn't such a big deal, but it still is frightening as hell.

Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who edits the website Foxtrot Alpha for You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address