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Ukraine test-fires first locally made cruise missile

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By Katy Dartford
Ukraine test-fires first locally made cruise missile

The Ukraine has tested a cruise missile capable of delivering precise hits on ground and seaborne targets.

Authorities did not reveal the range of the locally made missile but said it was in line with the country's international agreements.

"It was the first test, but it is very important for us because after complete disarmament, which happened after the Budapest memorandum was signed, no cruise missile remained in service in Ukraine," said Oleksandr Turchynov from the National Security and Defence Council.

"Today we opened a new stage of missile programme."

Ukraine has been battling Russian-backed separatists in the east in a conflict that erupted after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Kiev has committed to spending 5 percent of the county's gross domestic product on defence.

The missile was not named by the authorities, but has been identified on the Defence Blog media outlet as the Neptune, based on the Soviet-designed Kh-35 introduced to the Russian military in 2003, the Kyiv Post reported.

According to the Kyiv Post, the missile can sink warships with displacements of up to 5,000 tons of water – which would include all of Russia’s landing ships and frigates.