In the latest of multiple missile strikes targeting depots for Western armaments recently supplied to Ukraine, the Russian Military has deployed P-800 anti ship missiles for a land attack role to neutralise caches at a military airfield near the Black Sea port of Odessa. Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov stated that the missiles destroyed a hangar with “weapons and ammunition received from the U.S. and European states,” adding that a runway at the airfield was also destroyed. A video of the missile launch was subsequently released by the ministry. This followed claims by Odessa’s governor Maxim Marchenko confirming a Russian “Bastion missile, launched from Crimea” had struck a newly constructed airport. The P-800 was designed as an anti ship cruise missile compatible with both surface combatants such as the Admiral Gorshkov Class frigate, as well as with the Bastion ground based coastal defence system. The Bastion armed with the P-800 has proven highly capable of neutralising ground targets during the Russian-Ukrainian War, raising the possibility that other Russian anti ship missile designs such as the new Mach 9 Zicron could also have dual uses as air to ground platforms.
Targeting deliveries of new Western armaments into Ukraine, which have amounted to tens of billions of dollars worth of hardware, has been a priority for Russian missile strikes. Targeting Western combatants, who have flowed into the country in considerable numbers since the war begun to fight Russian forces, has also been prioritised. Alongside the targeting of armaments, the P-800 strike on Odessa also destroyed two S-300 air defence missile batteries near the cities of Zaporozhye and Artemovsk and five other military targets. Deliveries of Western armaments to Ukraine have been substantial enough to raise concerns in Washington that the United States Military’s reserves of weaponry could run too low, with one notable effect being that it could force defence manufacturer Raytheon to restart production of the Stinger surface to air missiles after close to two decades out of production to restore stocks depleted by supplying Ukraine.