While the Russian warship had older point-defense systems, they would have been capable of countering the Neptune missiles based on a 40-year-old Soviet design, which was in turn based on the U.S. Navy’s Harpoon anti-ship missile, he said. “This is like Harpoon. It’s a small missile. Its warhead is about 145 kilograms, travels less than 10 meters off the deck [and has] radar homing,” Carlson said. “This is not, shall we say, a stressing threat for air defense systems. It’s not supersonic.” In particular, the radar system that would have directed Moskva’s OSA-M surface to air missiles to counter the Ukrainian missiles appears to not have been active with its emitters stowed, based on the photograph.
“If you’re not running it, your point defense [surface to air missiles] are not going to be playing,” Carlson said.
In addition, on Moskva, “you’ve got old stuff, which means it’s temperamental. It’s hard to maintain, and at-sea maintenance has not been a Russian strength.”