In days and weeks after the anti-ship missile battery of the Ukrainian Navy The cruiser of the Russian Black Sea Fleet sank Moskva On April 13, a lot of rumors circulated.
Many rumors have tried to explain how a navy without big ships or planes could defeat a navy with so many large, heavily armed ships and planes. Some of the rumors stalled on the assumption that the Ukrainians needed foreign help in order to strike Moskva.
Did a Turkish Bayraktar TB-2 drone of the Ukrainian Navy infiltrate it? Moskva And locate it, 80 miles south of Odessa, for the Neptune battery? Did a high-flying US Navy Boeing P-8 patrol plane transmit the critical coordinates?
Battery assistance she did Receiving… came from nature. An atmospheric phenomenon called “temperature inversion” created a kind of channel for radar waves that allowed them to travel up the curve of the horizon and back.
“Nature itself unexpectedly helped Ukraine on April 13,” Ukraineska Pravda Romanian correspondent Romaniuk wrote. “Neptune operators shouldn’t be up Moskva With normal radar, but that’s exactly what happened.”
On the afternoon of April 13, the radar operator of the Neptune battery recorded, on his monitor, a large flash of light south of Odessa. “There can be only one object of similar size in this sector of the Black Sea – the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, the cruiser MoskvaRomaniuk Books.
“But how can normal radar show a target beyond the horizon at such a distance?” Romaniuk asked. “As the Ukrainian missile engineers are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, nature itself is on the side of the defenders.”
An atmospheric inversion is a boundary layer in air where the usual moderate dynamic—warmer air below, cooler air above—changes. Above the inversion, the air is warmer than it is less coup.
The reflection, which may occur hundreds or thousands of feet above the surface, is only very thick. At an altitude of a few hundred or thousands of feet, the atmosphere returns to its usual temperature dynamic: the higher, the cooler.
Think of inversion as an invisible roof. Things tend to accumulate at a height where the temperature changes suddenly. Clouds and pollution, for example. Electromagnetic waves too.
when the weather Thus only A reflection forms at the right place and height, and radar that normally sees only up to the horizon — 30, 40, or 50 miles, depending on the radar’s altitude — may suddenly see During horizon. That’s because radar waves are directed through the curve of the Earth by reflection. Scientists call them “ducts”.
It is difficult to anticipate these circumstances. So the Ukrainian radar operator was confused when Moskva He first appeared on his binoculars that April afternoon.
but not for long, Romanyuk explained. “After a few minutes of hesitation and intense deliberation, he gave the command” launch “- and two missiles headed towards the Russian cruiser.”
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