Analysis of Missile Engagements: Salvo Equations Applied to What Occurred
The US has confirmed that the Ukrainians did indeed launch anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs), destroying the Russian cruiser MOSKVA. A comprehensive examination of the conflict would reveal that the Ukrainian ships fired short missiles and that the Russian ships’ defensive capacity was inadequate. We will undertake this analysis using the Salvo Equations devised by Captain Wayne Hughes and extensively detailed in Fighting the Fleet. MOSKVA is armed with Rum Tub and Side Globe electronic warfare (EW) systems and two PK-2 DL chaff and flare launchers, all of which have believed to be capable of defeating ASCMs. The equations for this combat between two Ukrainian Neptune ASCMs and the Russian cruiser MOSKVA may be performed in advance of the encounter to assess it.
In this example, we assumed the Ukrainians launched 11 ASCMs to surpass the MOSkVA’s estimated capability of defeating six (6) incoming ASCMs. Consequently, each of the 11 missiles struck its intended target precisely: if any missed or another target obtained another rocket, they would not inflict the desired damage on the other ship. Rather than that, both missiles struck the Moskva, which sustained severe damage and sank. MOSKVA’s main armament, 16 large P-500 Bazalt or P-1000 Vulcan ASCMs, housed 16 large missile tubes, taking up much of the exposed deck space onboard. Should a missile hit one or more of these launchers, it is presumed that it might cause a significant secondary fire or explosion, causing even more damage than an incoming missile might cause. Thus, Figure 2: Anthony Cowden depicts the accurate Salvo Equation.