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Thread: Russian : PGM / Antitank & Other Unguided Weapons

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    Russia's Tank Stoppers, Part 1
    Ground-Launched Anti-Tank Guided Missiles
    by Michal Fiszer [www.edefenseonline.com]
    Nov. 10, 2004

    The Soviet Union and then Russia developed more types of anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) systems than any country in the world. This does not change the fact that the ATGM was a weapon of secondary importance due to its defensive nature. At the same time, the Soviet Union had the largest armored force in the world, and Soviet doctrine was geared toward offensive operations. Defensive operations were to be conducted only temporarily in order to create conditions for transitioning to the attack. Ground-launched ATGMs were an important instrument for achieving and maintaining such conditions.



    Under Soviet doctrine, anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) were primarily defensive weapons intended to secure flanks against counterattacks by Western armored forces. Such weapons can now be found throughout the world and in large numbers. Pictured here is a 9P148 launcher on a BRDM wheeled reconnaissance vehicle with a mix of 9M111 Fagot (smaller) and 9M113 Konkurs ATGMs loaded. Miroslav Gyurosi

    While a Soviet/Warsaw Pact offensive was conducted in selected directions, other areas were to be protected by smaller forces supplied with fewer tanks and artillery. There was always the danger that the enemy would attack these "weak" lines in an effort to disrupt the Soviet/Warsaw Pact offensive and even to seize the initiative. During such attacks, the mainly mechanized and motorized infantry would potentially face enemy tanks of superior numbers and quality. In order to stop these counterattacks quickly and without diverting any main forces advancing into enemy territory, infantry units required effective anti-tank weapons of various types that were capable of dealing with Western tanks at all ranges.


    Organization of Soviet Anti-Tank Units

    For the first 10 years after the WWII, the Soviet Union relied on gun barrels as the main type of anti-tank weapon. Most infantry divisions had an anti-tank battalion of three batteries, equipped with 85mm D-44 or D-48 guns, or 100mm BS-3 guns. An infantry regiment had a similarly equipped battalion but with only two batteries (or just a single battery in a few cases). In the 1950s, lower-echelon anti-tank units, such as those of infantry battalions, received 107mm and later 82mm recoilless guns and RPG-2 (and later RPG-7) unguided anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers to replace the 57mm ZIS-2 guns they had been using since WWII. The early RPGs were more or less copies of the German Panzefaust. (Since there was no RPG-1 in use, a common joke was that the Panzerfaust was the RPG-1.)

    Development of Western anti-tank guided missiles – initiated by France in the form of the SS-10, SS-11, and the lighter Entac – was observed by Soviet specialists but initially ignored. Faith in its overwhelming tank superiority led the Soviet Union to forego developing an ATGM of its own. In 1956 Viacheslav A. Malyshev, a member of Minister's Council, ended this policy when he insisted on improvements of the Soviet Armed Forces in general and anti-tank defense in particular. Malyshev, who occupied various key positions in the Soviet military-industrial complex starting in 1939, died in February 1957, but his efforts had the desired effect. On May 8, 1957, the Soviet Ministers Assembly endorsed a decision to develop new tanks, new anti-tank destroyers, and missiles for them. This decision launched the development of the first Soviet guided anti-tank missile, the 3M6 Tshmel (AT-1 Snapper).


    When the more versatile and effective 3M14 Malutka (AT-3 Sagger) was introduced into service in the fall of 1963, it was issued to the anti-tank platoon of infantry battalions in a man-portable version. The platoon was transported by three-wheeled armored personnel carriers (APCs) and consisted of three squads with the Malutka system (six missiles) and three sections of three SPG-9 73mm recoilless guns.

    At the regimental level, there was an anti-tank battalion consisting of two batteries. After the introduction of the Tshmel, one battery received six self-propelled missile launchers, while the other remained armed with 85mm and later 100mm guns. Initially, the guns were towed by trucks, but since the mid-1970s, the prime movers have been MTLB tracked APCs. As of the late 1960s, the 2P27 launchers of the Tshmel system were gradually replaced by the 9P110/9P122, based on a BRDM-1 armored reconnaissance vehicle, and later by 9P133 vehicles based on the BRDM-2.

    Beginning in 1967, some infantry regiments started to exchange their wheeled vehicles for tracked BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles. Since every such vehicle was armed with a Malutka launcher, there was no anti-tank platoon in infantry battalions so equipped. The regimental-level anti-tank battalion was being gradually reduced to a single battery, equipped solely with self-propelled missile launchers, in the 1970s. Motorized (wheeled) infantry regiments experienced a similar reorganization of their anti-tank battalions a decade later.

    In the 1970s, most of the front-line mechanized infantry divisions had three infantry regiments apiece: one mounted on BMP-1 and two on BTR-60 (later, BTR-70), along with a tank regiment, artillery regiment, air-defense regiment, anti-tank artillery battalion, tactical-ballistic-missile battalion, and many other sub-units. An armored division had three tank and one infantry (BMP) regiment, as well as similar sub-units, with the exception of an anti-tank battalion, which wasn't required.

    At the same time, Malutka missiles in anti-tank platoons of BTR-mounted infantry battalions were being replaced by an increased number of 9K111 Fagot (AT-4 Spigot) – nine instead of six – because a single Fagot section consisted of two rather than three soldiers, and there was room in the vehicles for more missiles. Three SPG-9 73mm recoilless guns remained in the platoon. At the same time, increasing numbers of units received 9P133 vehicles in the regimental anti-tank battalion.

    In the second half of the 1970s, the 9M113 Konkurs (AT-5 Spandrel) was introduced to regimental anti-tank battalions, which in BMP-equipped regiments were a single battery (missile), and in BTR-equipped regiments were two batteries (one missile and one with 100mm guns). Older 9P122/133 vehicles were transferred to the divisional anti-tank battalion, which up until then had been equipped with guns only. A guided-missile battery usually replaced guns in one of the battalion's three batteries, and the spare guns were transferred to second-line units, replacing obsolete 85mm and 100mm gun types. In the mid-1980s, when the Konkurs reached the regimental anti-tank battalions in great numbers, the units were reduced to a single battery with self-propelled missile launchers. The second battery was transferred to the divisional anti-tank battalion, enabling it to establish a fourth battery (three with guns and one with self-propelled ATGM launchers, most often also Konkurs).

    In the early 1980s, the main change was that BMP battalions started to receive the BMP-2 instead of the BMP-1, which meant that they became armed with the Konkurs/Fagot instead of the obsolete Malutka. At the same time, wheeled-APC battalions (now mainly on the BTR-70) started receiving the new 9K115 Metys (AT-7 Saxhorn) ATGM system, which was being issued to machinegun/anti-tank platoons in every company (a squad with three missiles), which was previously a pure machinegun (MG) platoon. In the second half of the 1980s, the infantry units gradually transitioned to BTR-80 APCs, but the anti-tank weapons did not change (except that the Fagot was replaced by the Fagot-M).

    There were many ATGM changes in the Russian Army of the 1990s. There was a general trend to increase the number of BMP-mounted infantry regiments at the cost of a reduction in the number of BTR-mounted infantry regiments. In most units, the SPG-9 guns were finally withdrawn from service in favor of the Metys systems that were delivered to the anti-tank platoon of every battalion (nine Fagot-Ms plus nine Metys). In some cases, when the 9K115M Metys-M (AT-13) was being issued, the Fagots were totally withdrawn, resulting in a platoon consisting of nine Metys-Ms only, sometimes with an attached grenadier squad with AGS-17 grenade launchers.

    At the same time, regiments were reorganized as mechanized brigades and these received the 9K135 Kornet (AT-14) ATGM systems for their anti-tank platoons, replacing the Fagots. Metys-M systems were retained as well. The Kornet was also issued to the brigade anti-tank battalion, which consisted of a single self-propelled missile battery and a single gun battery. Plans existed to replace the 100mm MT-12 guns in these batteries with 125mm smooth-bore towed D-25 guns, but this has not yet been realized. It is also worth noting that the MT-12 guns fire the 9K116 Kastet guided missile, which has a semi-active laser seeker to home on targets marked by a laser designator.

    At the echelon of army, there was an anti-tank regiment that was armed with guns only into the 1960s and with a mixture of missiles and guns into the 1980s, wherein one battery of nine self-propelled missile launchers replaced one of the gun batteries. Finally, in the 1980s, these regiments started to be purely missile armed. The typical complement was nine batteries with nine launchers apiece, totaling 27 launchers in the regiment. The regiments were armed with Falanga and Falanga-P systems and eventually with Shturm-S systems. In the 1990s, a new ATGM system, the Krizantema, was developed for anti-tank regiments, but the system has been fielded in very limited numbers. [Note: Since these systems (except for the Krizantema) were all used mainly on helicopters, they are described in Part II of this article, which focuses on air-launched ATGMs.]

    Bear in mind that the above organizational descriptions refer to most units of the Soviet and later the Russian Army, but there are exceptions. Some second-echelon units retained older organizations and equipment after front-line units converted. The pace of new equipment delivery was high, but at the same time, the Army was so large that sometimes three generations of equipment were in service at the same time. Often one rearmament process had yet to be completed before another had begun. For example, there were instances in which Konkurs ATGM systems were replacing ancient Tshmel systems, because those units had never received the Malutka.

    Also with respect to organization, non-Soviet Warsaw Pact armies often had different orders of battle than the Soviet Army. Above all, non-Soviet units received new equipment later than their Soviet counterparts did, with delays from three to 10 years. Units also had fewer pieces of equipment per soldier. For example, in Poland regiments had only one anti-tank battery, which until the 1970s was armed with guns and later with 9P122- and finally with 9P133-mounted missile launchers. Wheeled-APC-mounted battalions (equipped with the Czech OT-64 Skot, since Poland never used the BTR in any version) had anti-tank platoons organized along Soviet lines (six Malutka and three SPG-9 guns), but only a few of them received Fagots until the late 1980s. Most Polish infantry regiments had BMP-1s, so they continue to use the Malutka even today. These obsolete systems will be replaced by the Israeli Spike family in the coming years.

    Anti-Tank Tactics

    From the lowest echelons to the highest, ATGMs were mainly used in defense. In the assault, when infantry squads dismounted from BMPs or BTRs, they were supported by the BMPs' missiles, which were used to destroy enemy armored vehicles and sometimes his fire positions. It was very difficult to guide the missile on the move, so the launching BMP had to stop to fire – which in the attack was very dangerous – using terrain cover where possible. Soldiers often used their RPGs to destroy various field fortififications, bunkers, MG positions, etc. Enemy armored vehicles were to be only very rarely engaged by RPGs in assault, given their limited range. In defense, RPGs were used almost exclusively from ambushes. Assault infantry was strongly supported by tanks moving behind it and various fire means located in reinforced positions. Among the latter were anti-tank launchers to engage enemy armored vehicles that left their positions for whatever reason.

    In the defense, all the anti-tank means up to battalion level were positioned in reinforced (dug-in) camouflaged positions. Usually such positions consisted of main and alternate firing positions so a given unit could displace after a few rounds. It was also foreseen that, in the defense, units might need to be withdrawn to a second line, which would also have prepared positions. A battalion usually kept a single line, with all three companies in line abreast. A regiment was usually positioned in two echelons, with one battalion in the second line – usually less one company, which went to the regiment commander's reserve. In all cases, battalion-level anti-tank means always accompanied mother units and were integrated into the fire system of the defense, along with other fire means. All the launchers had dedicated sectors of engagement but could be redirected as required by a company or battalion commander. Upon withdrawal to the second line, the anti-tank units could set up ambushes to slow down the enemy and enable friendly forces to establish themselves in the second line.

    The regimental commander usually kept an anti-tank reserve element in hand that might consist of an ATGM battery, an anti-tank gun battery, an engineering company, and one or two infantry platoons. Such a reserve was kept ready to move to block an enemy breakthrough with ambush-type defenses, rapidly deploying small minefields and protected by guns and missile launchers, as well as infantry snipers. Well-camouflaged elements of this anti-tank ambush usually allowed the enemy to pass by, while the other defenders engaged the oncoming tanks and APCs with maximally massed fire. If the enemy tried to maneuver, he would find himself hung up or constrained by mines or other obstacles. Those enemy infantry and crews that dismounted to combat the anti-tank ambush would be engaged by by snipers and infantry while the anti-tank launchers and guns moved to new positions. Those hidden elements of the ambush that had been passed by would now deny any enemy attempt to withdraw from the trap and would also delays any reinforcements. After inflicting maximum losses on the enemy, the anti-tank reserve would withdraw to new positions, leaving additional mines and obstacles behind them.

    Division-level anti-tank units acted in very much the same way, except that they typically had more time for preparing positions together with one or two companies from the divisional engineering battalion and accompanying infantry for protection. Their guns were less mobile and, thus, less suited to the hit-and-run tactics used by regimental elements, but the guns and other fire elements could achieve more intensive fire, stopping the enemy for a longer time and create conditions for mobile elements to destroy the stopped vehicles in series of hit-and-run engagements. The engineers could, at the same time, quickly set up minefields – even behind the engaged force – using rocket-launched mines to prevent withdrawal and block reinforcements.

    Finally, the army-level anti-tank regiment could be used independently, but this was rarely done. Usually in defense, its elements were used to reinforce the lower-echelon units or to form one or two anti-tank reserve elements as described above, also reinforced by engineers and infantry. An army also had combat helicopter units that it could employ.

    In the offensive, the army's anti-tank regiment moved behind the main forces and was used to counter any attempt to cut-off the advancing force by flank attacks supported by tanks.





    3M6 Tshmel (AT-1 Snapper)

    Complex 2K15/2K16
    Missile 3M6
    Dimensions:
    Missile Length 1,080 mm
    Missile Caliber 135mm
    Wingspan 755 mm
    Missile Weight 23.5 kg
    Effective Range:
    Maximum 2.0 km
    Minimum 0.7 km
    Average Speed 90-100 m/s
    Warhead:
    Weight 3.3 kg
    Penetration 150 mm at 60 degrees; 380 mm at 90 degrees
    Guidance manual LOS, command wire
    Launcher:
    Man-Portable no
    Self-Propelled 2P26 on GAZ-69 chassis (2K16) 2P27 on BRDM-1 chassis (2K15)
    Users: withdrawn from service.

    In the spring of 1957, the Soviet Council of Ministers charged SKB (Special Design Bureau) in Kolomna near Moscow with developing the country's first anti-tank guided missile and portable launcher under the code name "Subject 7." Previously, SKB had been developing mortars and recoilless guns. Some Soviet design bureaus undertook development of anti-tank guided missiles even before 1957, but all of these remained on paper. Among them were projects for wire- and radio-guided missiles, as well as missiles equipped with a miniature TV camera that transmitted a black-and-white analog picture to the operator's station by wire.

    The Subject 7 missile followed the aerodynamic scheme of the French SS-10, with large wings and control surfaces. The missile did not rotate in flight, so aerodynamic control surfaces maintained stability. Six servomechanisms moved the surfaces, which made the missile design somewhat complex. The missile's attitude was maintained with the help of central gyroscope that was accelerated before launch and spun inertialy, with no onboard power supply needed. The missile had a rocket booster that fired for 0.6 seconds and a rocket sustainer motor that fired for 20 seconds, both of which used solid propellant. The horizontal wings had smoke tracers on the tips to enable the operator to follow the missile in flight. To make the control possible, the missile was relatively slow (90-100 m/s). The operator controlled the missile manually by observing the target and the missile via a binocular-type sight and maintaining the missile on the crosshairs. Guidance commands were send to missile by wire.

    At 23 kg, the missile, designated 3M6, was too heavy to be used from portable launchers. The full complex -- with launcher, sight, six reload missiles, and associated equipment -- weighed 470 kg and required 22 soldiers to carry it. Therefore, in mid-1959 it was decided to switch to self-propelled launchers, which were mounted on GAZ-69 cross-country vehicles (2P26 launcher) or on BRDM-1 armored reconnaissance vehicles (2P27 launcher). The first had four rails and missiles with no reloads, while the latter had three rails with missiles and three reloads. Reload time was about 20 minutes. The first guided launches of 3M6 missiles were conducted in June-July 1958. They were not fully successful due to frequent engine failures. Improvements made to the fuel's chemical composition solved the problem. Subsequently, the system underwent factory and then state trials. The systems were called 2K15 (3M6 missile with 2P26 launcher) for mechanized divisions and 2K16 (3M6 missile and 2P27 launcher) for motorized divisions, and they were officially accepted to service on August 1, 1960. The launchers were introduced to infantry-regiment batteries, where they started to replace 85mm and 57mm anti-tank guns in a single battery (the other remained gun equipped).



    Malutka (AT-3 Sagger)

    Complex 9K11
    Missile 9M14
    Dimensions:
    Missile Length 860 mm
    Missile Caliber 125mm
    Wingspan 393 mm
    Missile Weight 10.9 kg
    Effective range:
    Maximum 3.0 km
    Minimum 0.5 km
    Average Speed 115 m/2
    Warhead:
    Weight 2.6 kg
    Penetration 200 mm at 60 degrees; 400 mm at 90 degrees
    Guidance manual LOS, command wire
    Launcher: Man-Portable 9P111
    Self-Propelled 9P110 on BRDM-1 chassis 9P122 on BRDM-2 chassis launcher also on BMP-1 and BMD-1
    Users:Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, (The People's Republic of) China, Czech Rep., Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Hungary, Iran, Iraq (till 2003), Kazakhstan, Laos, Libya, North Korea, Miramar, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Somalia, Syria, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, and some other countries, including the former Soviet Union.


    In 1961, Soviet land forces had a requirement for a portable ATGM to equip battalion- and company-level anti-tank elements. SKB Kolomna developed a very light but capable missile incorporating some novel features. First of all, they simplified the guidance and control systems. Instead of six servomechanisms, the new missile, called the 9M14 Malutka, used just one for single-channel control. The missile rotated in flight at a speed of 8.5 revolutions per second, and the control command was enacted when missile was in the proper position. It did not have any aerodynamic-control surfaces, but a valve in one of four nozzles of the sustainer motor could be opened to provide directional control, so the servomechanism was a very simple "on-off" type. The position of the missile was calculated with the help of an onboard gyroscope and "reported back" to the launcher over the wire, which also conveyed guidance commands from the operator.



    A Czech Army 9M14M Malutka missile on a portable launcher.Miroslav Gyurosi

    The portable version of the 9K11 complex, with 9M14 missiles, was crewed by three soldiers. A commander/operator carried a container with the 9S415 control and guidance module and the 9Sh16 binocular sight, which altogether weighed 12.4 kg. Each of the other two soldiers carried a container with a partially disassembled missile (body and warhead had to be connected before launch) and a 9P111 launcher, which altogether weighed 18.1 kg. It took just over a minute and a half to transition from travel to launch.

    At the same time, the mobile launcher, again based on the BRDM-1 armored reconnaissance vehicle, was developed and designated the 9P110. The launcher carried six ready-to-launch missiles on rails and eight reload missiles in the vehicle. The rate of fire was two missiles per a minute. The launcher vehicle additionally had a 9S414 guidance system with binoculars mounted in a rotating turret, which also housed the operator's 9V832 control station. The vehicle also carried a 9V833M portable control station with binoculars that enabled the missiles to be launched and guided remotely (within about 20 m) while the crew was dismounted from the vehicle.

    In 1961 the system underwent its first trials. The Maultka was officially accepted into service in September 1963.

    As early as 1965, the first modification was introduced to service. The missile received a more effective warhead that increased armor penetration: 180-200 mm at a 60-degree angle (400 mm at a 90-degree angle). The fuze was relocated to increase its reliability. The new missile was called the 9M14M. In 1966 the 9M14M became the armament of the BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle. Starting in 1968, six Malutka launchers were mounted on the BRDM-2 wheeled armored reconnaissance vehicle, and the new launcher received the designation 9P122.

    The Malutka was a very useful missile and quickly spread through the Soviet Army, and in the late 1960s, it was exported to Warsaw Pact countries. The Malutka, with its large numbers and cheap production, soon became one of symbols of Soviet arms exports, like the legendary Kalashnikov or the Strela-2. Virtually all of countries in the world that purchased Soviet weapons became a Malutka user. The Egyptian Army, for instance, delivered the Israelis an unpleasent "Sagger surprise" in the 1973 October War. The system was also produced under license in a few countries – namely Bulgaria, China, Iran, and Yugoslavia. In the Soviet Union, the Matluka remained in production until 1984.




    Fagot (AT-4 Spigot)

    Complex 9K111
    Missile 9M111
    Dimensions:
    Missile Length 863 mm (container length 1,098 mm)
    Missile Caliber 120mm
    Wingspan 369 mm
    Missile Weight 11.3 kg (13.0 kg in container)
    Effective Range:
    Maximum 2.0 km
    Minimum 0.07 km

    Average Speed 185 m/s
    Warhead:
    Weight 2.5 kg
    Penetration 200 mm at 60 degrees; 400 mm at 90 degrees
    Guidance SACLOS, command wire

    Launcher:
    Man-Portable 9P135
    Self-Propelled Can be used from 9K113 Konkurs launchers.
    Users: Afghanistan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, India, Jordan, Iran, North Korea, Kuwait, Libya, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Syria, Ukraine, Vietnam, and some other minor users.

    In September 1963, when the Ovod lost to the Malutka, KBP Tula remained without any program. A. Nudelman critically reviewed the shortcomings of his competitor's winning 9K11 Malutka system and started to work on a much improved replacement. The difficulty of controlling the manually guided Malutka has already been described, but there were also other shortcomings. The two most important weaknesses were the long deployment time of the portable version and the large "dead zone" caused by the missile's minumum range of 500 m.



    A modernized BMP-1 of the Czech Army armed with a Fagot missile.Michal Fiszer


    Both problems were resolved by KBP through the use of a tube-launched missile. The missile would be transported fully assembled in a sealed launch tube, making it less vulnerable to damage. It only had to be placed on a tripod launcher. The tube also enabled a charge that shot the missile out a safe distance away before the rocket sustainer motor ignited. The operator was, thus, able to use a sight mounted on the tripod itself and could control the missile immediately. This feature greatly reduced the "dead zone" in the engagement envelope.

    Another other problem that had to be resolved was the weight of the SACLOS system, which was also carried by an anti-tank infantry squad in a portable configuration. After some tests, it was decided to replace the TV tracking system with an infrared sensor on gimbals, similar to the one used in seekers on air-to-air missiles. The operator's binoculars had a special mirror system that enabled the infrared "seeker" to track the missile. Such a device was much lighter than the TV systems used in those days and was equally effective.

    The missile had the same caliber as the tube (135mm), but the front part of the body had a smaller diameter to accomodate aerodynamic-control surfaces. This made the missile more agile than Malutka's one-dimensional venting system. KBP designed its new missile to rotate in flight also, but the guidance signals were distributed via a gyroscope-controlled switch to the appropriate control surfaces. Thus, two-dimensional control was achieved with the use of only two servomechanisms. At the rear, the missile had squared wings of a bent shape to fit against the missile body when folded. There was no unfolding mechanism, but the flexible mount of the wings enabled them to be deployed after launch by centrifugal forces when missile started rotating. The warhead was a shaped charge. Interestingly, the servomechanisms were found to block the hollow stream of the shaped-charge explosive on detonation, but KBP somehow resolved the problem. The specifics remain an engineering secret to this day.

    The new system was designated the 9K111 Fagot, and the missile 9M111. The portable launcher was designated the 9P135. It consisted of the 9P56 tripod, 9P155 launch mechanism, 9S451 guidance equipment, and 9Sh119M1 sight system. The disassembled launch/command unit weighed a total of 22.5 kg and could be carried by the system's operator. The second soldier in the team carried two missiles in their tubes, which each weighed 13 kg.




    Konkurs (AT-5 Spandrel)

    Complex 9K111-1
    Missile 9M113
    Dimensions:
    Missile Length 1,165 mm (container length 1,260 mm)
    Missile Caliber 135mm
    Wingspan 468 mm
    Missile Weight 14.5 kg (25 kg in container)
    Effective Range:
    Maximum 4.0 km
    Minimum 0.075 km
    Average Speed 208 m/s
    Warhead:
    Weight 2.7 kg
    Penetration 250 mm at 60 degrees; 500 mm at 90 degrees
    Guidance SACLOS, wire guided
    Launcher:
    Man-Portable 9P135
    Self-Propelled 9P148 on BRDM-2 chassis launcher also on BMP-2, BMP-1P, and BMD-2/3
    Users: Afghanistan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, India, Jordan, Iran (licensed production as the Towsan-1), North Korea, Kuwait, Libya, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Syria, Ukraine, Vietnam, and some other minor users.
    Complex 9K111M4 (Konkurs-M)
    Missile 9M113M
    Dimensions:
    Missile Length 1,260 mm (container length 1,263 mm)
    Missile Caliber 135mm
    Wingspan 468 mm
    Missile Weight 16.5 kg (26.5 kg in container)
    Effective Range
    Maximum 4.0 km (2.5 km at night)
    Minimum 0.075 km
    Average Speed 200 m/s
    Warhead:
    Weight 3.3 kg (tandem type)
    Penetration 300 mm at 60 degrees; 800 mm at 90 degrees
    Guidance SACLOS, wire guided Thermal day/night sight
    Launcher:
    Man-Portable 9P135M
    Self-Propelled no
    Users: Users: Russia, proposed for export.

    In February 1970, the Soviet Council of Ministers decided that a new long-range anti-tank missile was needed to deal with new types of Western tanks then under development. KBP Tula proposed a wire-guided missile based on the proven Fagot system that was ultimately developed as the 9M113 Konkurs.



    A Russian soldier with a 9P135M Konkurs-M launcher Rosoboronexport

    The Konkurs missile was very similar to the 9M111 Fagot, KBP made sure that both systems had maximum commonality and many common parts. However, the Konkurs is used with portable launchers mainly by airborne forces and sometimes by Soviet/Russian marines.

    A new self-propelled launcher, based on the BRDM-2 and designated the 9P148, was developed especially for 9M113 missiles. On the top of the vehicle was a stand for five missile rails, from which either Konkurs or Fagot missiles could be launched. Beginning in 1979, BMP-1 vehicles were produced in the BMP-1P version that came equipped with a semi-automatic guidance system.

    The 9M113M Konkurs M missile, introduced into service in 1985, had a tandem warhead that significantly increased penetration capabilities (800 mm instead of 600 mm at a 60-degree angle) and was also able to deal with reactive armor. In 1991 another modernized system was introduced, called the 9K111M4, that was equipped with a 1PN86-1 thermal-imaging sight, enabling it to be used at night and in reduced-visibility conditions. The system is being produced mainly for export by the Mayak  plant in Kirov.




    Metys (AT-7 Saxhorn)

    Complex 9K115
    Missile 9M115 (9M116 in container)
    Dimensions: Missile Length 730 mm (container length 784 mm)
    Missile Caliber 93mm
    Wingspan 187 mm
    Missile Weight 4.6 kg (6.2 kg in container)
    Effective Range:
    Maximum 1.0 km
    Minimum 0.04 km
    Average Speed 190 m/s
    Warhead:
    Weight 1.87 kg
    Penetration 200 mm at 60 degrees; 460 mm at 90 degrees
    Guidance SACLOS, command wire
    Launcher:
    Man-Portable 9P151
    Self-Propelled no

    Users: Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus
    Complex 9K115M (Metys-M, AT-13)
    Missile 9M131
    Dimensions:
    Missile Length 930 mm (container length 980 mm)
    Missile Caliber 130mm
    Wingspan 187 mm
    Missile Weight 10.0 kg (13.8 kg in container)
    Effective Range
    Maximum 1.5 km
    Minimum 0.08 km
    Average Speed 180 m/s
    Warhead:
    Weight n/a (tandem type)
    Penetration 400 mm at 60 degrees; 900 mm at 90 degrees
    Guidance SACLOS, command wire Thermal day/night sight
    Launcher:
    Man-Portable 9P151M
    Self-Propelled no

    Users: Russia, limited use and proposed for export.

    In the late 1970s, the new generation of NATO tanks were being introduced into service. Soviet forces had just introduced new anti-tank systems, but analyses showed a gap in a battalion's defense between the distances of 600-800 m (in which most of the ATGM systems were effective) and 50-100 m, where numerous RPGs and rifle grenades could be used. It was, therefore, decided that a new system had to be developed that was light enough to be issued to company-level anti-tank squads and optimized for engagements between 50 m and 1 km.



    A Metys-M missile is launched unspooling its command wire.KBP Tula


    Such a system, ultimately designated the 9K115 Metys, was developed by KBP Tula, again using the proven technology of the Fagot and the Konkurs. However, the Metys received only two control surfaces for single-channel control. Improved electronics enabled high missile agility despite the single-channel control. Interestingly, to decrease weight and simplify missile construction, it does not have a gyroscope. Instead, the missile had a single tracer on the tip of one wing that created a spiral pattern due to missile rotation. On the light 9P151 launcher, a seeker-type tracking system recognized the missile's position in order to send guidance commands at the proper moment.

    In 1980 the system was accepted into service was issued to company-level machinegun/anti-tank platoons to close the aforementioned gap in tank-engagement capabilities. A squad typically had three launchers and nine missiles.

    In first half of the 1990s, a new type of missile called the 9M131 Metys-M was developed. It was larger and had an increased range of 1.5 km and a tandem warhead. The main improvement, however, was in the guidance system. The new 1PN86BVI Mulat-115 thermal-imaging system is capable of tracking the missile at night and in adverse weather. The missile will be issued to battalion-level anti-tank platoons.




    Kornet (AT-14)


    Complex 9K135 Kornet
    Missile 9M133

    Dimensions:
    Missile Length 1,200 mm (container length 1,210 mm)
    Missile Caliber 152mm
    Wingspan n/a
    Missile Weight 26.0 kg (29.0 kg in container)

    Effective Range:
    Maximum 5.5 km (3.5 km at night)
    Minimum 0.1 km

    Average Speed 500 m/s
    Warhead:
    Weight n/a (tandem type)
    Penetration 600 mm at 60 degrees; 1,200 mm at 90 degrees

    Guidance laser beamrider Thermal day/night sight
    Launcher:
    Man-Portable 9P163
    Self-Propelled P163-1 on BMP-3 chassis, TKB-799 Kliver turret module for BMP-1/2 and BTR-80

    Development of the Konkurs replacement started at KBP in the 1980s. The general layout of the successor Kornet missile was similar to the Konkurs-M, with front control surfaces and folded, flexible wings in the rear. The missile has a tandem warhead, which enables it to penetrate no less than 1,000 mm of armor (at a 90-degree angle), even reactive armor.



    A 9P162 launcher for Kornet missiles on a BMP-3 chassis.Miroslav Gyurosi

    The 9K135 Kornet with the 9M133 laser-beamrider missile was intended to replace the Konkurs system in Russia and other countries. Prototype systems were first demonstrated in 1994, and low-rate production started in 1996. On the launcher there is the 1PN79 Metys-2 (not to be confused with the Metys anti-tank missile) day/night thermal-imaging sight with a laser designator. The device weighs 11.0 kg and can track the target day or night, as well as in conditions of limited visibility. The operator puts the crosshairs on the target and tracks its movements. Along the line of sight, a laser beam is sent, and the missile follows it, using the receiver on the end that faces the launcher. Such a system was chosen because a semi-active laser system is much more vulnerable in poor-visibility conditions in which the beam can actually be seen. The guidance process is relatively simple, with no guidance commands needing to be sent. The laser also provides a rangefinding function before launch. The lack of a wire enables the missile to achieve a range of 5.5 km in daytime mode and 3.5 km at night using the thermal imager. The minimum range is only 100 m.

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  2. #32
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    9M111 Fagot (smaller) and 9M113 Fagot ATGMs loaded.
    Nice post, but the above caption is wrong. As later mentioned the 9M113 is Konkurs. The launcher is unified for the two missiles which equate to Milan and HOT respectively.

    The list doesn't seem to include Tank gun launched missiles nor other ground launched systems like Krisanthema or AT-6/-9 SHTURM/ATAKA.

    BTW the comments about the panzerfaust being the first in the RPG series is a little flippant. The panzerfausts were more like recoiless rifles in that they were blasted out of their tubes but they didn't have sustainer rocket motors and so lacked the range of the Russian systems we know as the RPG series that have two methods of propulsion.

  3. #33
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    Russia's Tank Stoppers, Part 2
    Ground-Launched Anti-Tank Guided Missiles
    by Michal Fiszer [www.edefenseonline.com]
    Nov. 10, 2004

    One of the most important types of Soviet helicopter-launched anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) began its life as a land system. As development proceeded on the first Soviet anti-tank missile, 3M6 Tshmel, an alternative design was being developed by NII-642 in Moscow, led by Aleksandr D. Nadiradze. The main difference in the missiles was the guidance system. The new missile was to be radio controlled, instead of employing somewhat cumbersome wire guidance.

    In May 1958, the NII-642 facilities were passed to OKB-52 (Reutovo), led by Vladimir Nikolaevich Chelomei, a celebrated and influential rocket designer (Sergei N. Khrushchov, son of Nikita, was working in his bureau). Work on the anti-tank missile was finally passed to OKB-16 (presently KB Totshnovo Mashinostroyenia), led by Aleksandr Nudelman. Interestingly, the Falanga system developed by the organization was the only anti-tank guided missile that it ever fielded. Afterward, KB Tochnovo Mashinostroyenia focused on the automatic-gun business.



    A Soviet-era Mi-24D armed with 9M17P Scorpion missiles of the Falanga system (outboard) and unguided rocket pods. Miroslav Gyurosi

    From August 1958 until July 1959, OKB-16 conducted 87 launches of missile prototypes, including 20 guided shots. Some of these were conducted from test stands, and some from a prototype launcher on a BRDM vehicle. Finally, the 2K8 Falanga system with the 9M11 Falanga missile was officially accepted to service in August 1960, together with the 2P32 launcher on a BRDM chassis.

    The system had better performance than the competing 3M6 Tshmel missile. It had range of 2.5 km, and it could penetrate 560 mm of armor. It had manual control, but guidance commands were sent via radio link rather than by wire. But the system was even more complicated than the Tshmel. It also did not rotate in flight and made only a 45-degree revolution to position the wings vertically and horizontally (on the launcher they were in the "X" position). Six gyroscopes powered by an explosive charge were used for system stability. The 9P32 launcher weighed about six tons and carried four ready-to-launch missiles.

    The Falanga system was deployed to anti-tank regiments on the army and front level. Such regiments were intended to be attached to divisions that would be responsible for protecting the flanks of assaulting forces and, thus, would generally be fighting defensively. Initially, only a two-battery battalion was attached to such a regiment, which also retained two anti-tank gun battalions.



    A Polish Mi-24V armed with 9K114 Kokon missiles of the 9K113 Shturm system.

    In 1964 a modernized system was introduced: the 2K8M Falanga with 9M17M missiles. Above all, it had a more powerful launcher and sustainer rocket motors, which increased the range of missile to 4 km. In 1968 yet another version was introduced: the 9K17 Falanga-P with the 9M17P Scorpion missile. This represented a major step forward, with the manual control system replaced by a semi-automatic command line-of-sight (SACLOS) guidance system, still with the use of a simple radio link. The new system also received a new 9P137 launcher, based on the BRDM-2 vehicle, and carried four ready-to-launch missiles.

    Taking to the Air

    In June 1961, the Mi-1MU, the first Soviet helicopter armed with anti-tank missiles (four 3M11 Falanga), started live-fire tests. The trials showed that a helicopter-launched missile was not easy to operate. Manual control from the helicopter was even more difficult than from a ground vehicle, due to vibrations and the different perspective. Accordingly, Soviet military forces were not interested in the project. There were operational objections as well. The helicopter-launched ATGM was conceived as a "quick-reaction" defensive weapon for front-line army-sized units. Critics pointed out that the defensive operations were not expected to be carried out at the army level, so an army-level anti-tank asset was not required over and above existing anti-tank regiments, which could more easily be attached to defending divisions than helicopters, then considered rather exotic.



    Small numbers of this attack variant of the Ka-29 helicopter were produced for the Russian Navy to support Marines. They have exactly the same Raduga-Sh fire-control system as the Mi-24V/P but with the added capability of firing Ataka as well as Shturm missiles. Miroslav Gyurosi


    Five years later, another attempt was undertaken to field an anti-tank helicopter. This time, four 9M17M Falanga M launchers were mounted on a Mi-4AV transport helicopter. The overall system was called the K-4V. Unlike the earlier Mi-1MU concept, the K-4V was conceived as an offensive weapon to support air-assault (airborne and heliborne) operations. Light airborne forces usually did not have too much heavy equipment and were very vulnerable to counter-attack by tanks. The K-4V met with approval and was officially accepted into service in 1967. In total, 185 Mi-4 helicopters were converted to carry Falanga M missiles. The helicopters remained in helicopter transport wings and were used to support air-assault operations.

    In 1973 a new armed transport helicopter, the Mi-8TV, was accepted to service as part of a general replacement of Mi-4s by Mi-8s throughout the service. As a weapons system, the Mi-8TV was designated the 9P153 and also carried four 9M17M Falanga M missiles. Simultaneously, another attempt was undertaken to build a dedicated anti-tank helicopter for the Red Army. This time it was based on a Mi-2 prototype and was called the V-2V. It also carried four 9M17M missiles. However, it met the same fate as the as Mi-1MU and for the same reason: It was too complex for a defensive weapon.



    Four 9M114 Shturm missiles on a Mi-8MTV helicopter conversion proposed by Russia, not yet in use.


    The Soviets eventually learned that a transport helicopter was not a good shooting platform for fighting enemy tanks. Moreover, airborne forces demanded some kind of helicopter that could be used in the first wave of the assault to clear the landing area and in follow-on waves to escort transport helicopters and support the airborne forces fighting on the ground. Also in the 1970s, the regular land forces decided that such helicopters were needed for other offensive tasks.

    This was the time when the operational maneuver group (OMG) concept appeared. The concept was that after the first operational echelon achieved a breakthrough of the enemy lines, the second echelon was to enter the gap and maneuver to destroy the enemy forces. The first echelon would remain engaged with NATO forces to prevent them from maneuvering, while the OMG, consisting of a reinforced armored division (two divisions under a single commander), was penetrating enemy territory as deeply and quickly as possible. The task of the OMG was to disrupt deep rear areas and capture bases (air and harbor), through which US reinforcements were to arrive. The OMG was to move forward, separated from own main forces, surprising the enemy by speed and deepness of penetration. Speed was the key factor; therefore, the OMG was to bypass all obstacles, such as resistance points and defensive positions. The OMG was to receive large reinforcements, including Spetsnaz (special-forces) troops, combat-engineering troops, and logistics transports carrying large stocks of fuel, ammunition, etc.



    Six Vikhr missiles on a Ka-50 helicopter. Miroslav Gyurosi


    Among the reinforcing elements was to be helicopter wing, tasked with medevac and carrying vital supplies to the moving OMG. There was also a need for armed helicopters, which were to conduct armed reconnaissance in front of the OMG and to engage tanks and other heavy weapons that might even temporarily stop movement of the advancing force. The armed helicopters were to also carry Spetznaz teams to capture some vital objectives (bridges, for example). In terms of armored warfare, the main task of the armed helicopters was not to fight enemy tanks but to destroy anti-tank weapons. Their guided missiles were to be used for destroying enemy bunkers and anti-tank weapons positions. Such a combat helicopter, armed with guided and unguided weapons, was also to carry a team of eight soldiers (Spetsnaz) – thus, the strange hybrid known as the Mi-24.


    Offensive Role

    The first series version, the Mi-24A Izdele or 'Product' 245 (weapons-system designation: 9P146M) traditionally carried four 9M17M Falanga M missiles. During the early 1970s, 250 such helicopters were produced. A newer version, designated the Mi-24D Izdele 246 (9P145) carried four 9M17P Falanga P (also called the Scorpion, as the Falanga P refers to the overall system) missiles, with a much more effective SACLOS-guidance technique in place of the earlier version's manual control. All together, 340 Mi-24D helicopters were produced through 1977, including a handful of Mi-24DU (Izdele 249) training variants.



    A prototype Mi-28N with a loadout of 16 Ataka missiles (outboard) and unguided rocket pods. Miroslav Gyurosi

    The Mi-24D's fire-control system was designated the SPSV-24 and centered on the Raduga F missile-control system. It consisted of an optical observation device under the right side of the nose with selectable magnification of 3.3x or 10x. The maximum field of view was +/-15 degrees in azimuth. The radio-command transmitter, mounted in separate pod under the left side of the nose, also had a range-measurement mode. A single missile could be fired and controlled at one time. The operator kept crosshairs on the target, which could be moving up to about 50 kmph. Altogether, the Mi-24D carried four missiles on 2P23M launchers under the wings. The system could be used only during the daytime with fair visibility.

    While the ground-launched Falanga system saw very limited export, the air-launched version of the Falanga was very widely exported. The Mi-24A was exported only to Algeria, but the Mi-24D was used by most of the Warsaw Pact countries, except for Romania, and numerous users around the whole world, including Cuba, Nicaragua, and Peru in the Americas. The system was quite effective. It was tested during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and saw extensive use during the Iran-Iraq War. In one of the sorties, eight Iraqi Mi-24Ds claimed 17 Iranian tanks destroyed.

    While the KBP design bureau (formerly OKB-14) in Tula developed a family of tube-launched anti-tank missiles (Fagot and Konkurs), the competing KBM Kolomna (at Kolomna near Moscow, formerly SKB) proposed another solution. Its missile was also tube launched but, like the Falanga, had a radio link to pass guidance commands. From the outset, the SACLOS technique was employed, thus making the engagement process easier for the operator. Above all, it was decided that the missile was to have supersonic speed to shorten the engagement time, leaving less time for the enemy to react. A speed of 560 m/sec. was finally reached, but the missile weight had grown to 46 kg, twice that of a Konkurs missile. The new system received the name 9K113 Shturm, while the missile was designated 9M114 Kokon. It was developed in two versions: Shurm-S, a land forces version launched from tracked vehicles, and Shturm-V, a helicopter-launched version for the Air Force.

    The helicopter version entered service first. In September 1973, a prototype Mi-24V armed with 9K113 Shturm-V missiles system was first flown. The helicopter had the Raduga-Sh fire-control system with an optical sight with increased magnification to accommodate the 5-km range of the missile (as opposed to the Falanga's 4 km). The field of view was reduced to +/-9 degrees in search mode and +/-2 degrees in track/engagement mode. The helicopter also received an improved datalink transmitter, which was also used as a radio rangefinder. The Mi-24V could carry either four 9M114 missiles, leaving four free pylons for other weapons, or it could take eight 9M114 missiles and have two free pylons for other weapons.

    The 9M114 missile rotated while in flight and had single-channel guidance with just two control surfaces in the front. The guidance commands were executed when the missile was positioned appropriately for the direction of the desired maneuver. It had a tracer that was tracked by the Raduga system. For the first time, the Soviets employed a tandem warhead to deal with contemporary reactive armor. Its launch tube and control system were developed, in part, based on experience – and some components – of development of the Strela-2 man-portable anti-aircraft missile.

    The 9K113 system with the Mi-24V helicopter was accepted to service in March 1976. The land-launched Shturm-S was accepted to service three years later. Soon afterward, a modernized 9M114M missile with increased penetration capability was available and fielded with 9P149 launchers.

    The late acceptance of Shturm-S was due to resistance to the system by the land forces. The Soviet Army was satisfied with the Fagot/Konkurs family. However, the Shturm-S, mounted on the MTLB chassis (designated 9P149), had certain advantages. The vehicle carried 12 missiles, with one ready to launch. But it had an automatic-reload capability with a revolver-type magazine that enabled a new missile to be loaded while a launched missile was still on its way to the target. So immediately after one engagement was completed, another shot could be executed. The missile took just 15 seconds to fly to its maximum range of 5 km, and 11 seconds to reach 4 km. Thus, up to three to four missiles could be fired every minute until all 12 were expended. In the case of the 9P148 Konkurs, the rate of fire was two missiles per minute, and after expending its six missiles, the vehicle had to withdraw for manual reload.

    The 9P149 optical system was able to track missiles +/-85 degrees in azimuth and +15/-5 degrees vertically. The optical system had similar magnification as the one on Mi-24V helicopters. The radio-command transmitter was also very similar. Likewise, the system could operate only in daytime and fair weather.

    The 9P149 started to replace the 9P148 Konkurs in anti-tank regiments of the numbered army level. At this time, in the 1980s, such regiments were purely missile armed, with three battalions of three batteries with three launchers each (27 launchers per regiment). The system was very rarely used at lower echelons. The anti-tank regiment at the front level usually had 36-48 launchers (four batteries in a battalion and three or four battalions in a regiment).

    The Shturm-S was not exported, while the Mi-24V/Shturm-V was very widely exported. Most of the exported helicopters remain in service today. Also, the Shturm-V is available on the next version of Mi-24: the Mi-24P, armed with a 30mm twin-barrel fixed gun in place of a movable, Gatling-type four-barrel 12.7mm heavy machinegun.

    When the Soviets decided to develop a new combat helicopter – what has become the Mi-28 – a new missile system was developed for it. The new missile was generally similar to Shturm-V. At the same time, the helicopter's Raduga-28 fire-control system was similar to Raduga-Sh, but it had an combined optical and low-light-level-TV device in place of a purely optical device for observation and tracking. This was mounted below the helicopter's nose, while the antenna for the radio-command transmitter was mounted directly in the nose. The optical system had 3x magnification in search mode and 13x magnification in track/engagement mode. The TV system had up to 20x magnification and could be used day and night. The observation/tracking device, instead of being fixed (as on the Mi-24), can rotate +/-110 degrees in azimuth and +13/-40 degrees in elevation. It can work day and night, and the picture quality on the TV channel was much better than on the Mi-24.

    The first technology demonstrator of the Mi-28 flew in November 1982. Initially, the helicopter was armed with the Shturm-V system. But soon a derivative missile was developed and designated the 9M120 Ataka. This missile system was used on the first serial-production Mi-28 helicopter, which flew for the first time in 1994. Only a small batch of these helicopters was built. There were prolonged tests and discussions about which system should be accepted to service: the traditional Mi-28 or the advanced but risky Ka-50 helicopter. Finally, in 2003, the Mi-28 was selected (although mass production has not yet started). Together with this decision, the Ataka missile system with the 9M120 Ataka missile was officially accepted to service. The Ataka is to be used on the Mi-28, which can carry up to 16 missiles, and is also an option for a modernization program for Mi-24P called Mi-24PN, begun in the summer of 2003 by the Russian Armed Forces.

    In November 1996, the new Mi-28N night-attack version was first flown. However, most of the intended equipment, including a mast-mounted millimeter-wave radar, had not yet been developed and were in mock-up shape. The Mi-28N still is not ready, and it is not even certain whether the helicopter will ever be produced. A basic Mi-28A was accepted to service, and it is possible that the Mi-28N may evolve from this, perhaps as a retrofit.

    The 9M120 Ataka missile weighs more than its Shturm predescessor, but its tandem warhead was also enlarged and has the ability to penetrate 800 mm of armor. The missile's range was increased to 6 km. Except for these features, the 9M120 missile is similar to 9M114 Kokon missile. In addition to the anti-tank version, a 9M120F high-explosive/incendiary version was developed to deal with soft targets. The Ataka missile can be also used with the Shturm-S ground launcher, with its range reduced to 5.5 km.

    In the 1980s, KBP Tula started work on a long-range anti-tank missile intended to deal with various types of targets that might be under the protection of short-range air-defense systems, like the Rapier and the Roland. It was decided that the system has to have a 10-km range, to be fired from the outside engagement envelope of the Rapier and the Roland. The missile system would equip Ka-50 helicopters and Su-25T (Su-39) attack aircraft. However, neither version was accepted into service, because they were generally too complicated and cumbersome. But the missile itself is worth describing.

    The new missile was designated the 9A4172 Vikhr. The missile has a high supersonic speed and reaches 4 km after 11 seconds and 8 km after 21 seconds, making it slightly faster than the Shturm missile. The Vikhr has a semi-active laser guidance and demands that the target be continuously illuminated by a specially coded laser signal. The missile successfully passed factory trials in the '90s. The system has not been accepted to service, however, and the fate of the "Russian Hellfire" is unknown. A land-launched version called Germes, with a range of 8 km, was proposed but never built.

    Soviet Tactics

    Russian combat-helicopter tactics have evolved considerably from the Cold War era. For more than two decades, Soviet and then Russian combat helicopters have been used extensively in low-intensity conflicts: Afghanistan (1979-1989) and Chechnya (1994-1996 and 2001-present). What is most interesting is that, for almost three decades, the same Mi-24D/V/P combat helicopters have been used without any major modernization.

    During the Cold War, a typical land forces' numbered army had an aviation element called Vozdushne Voiska Armiy (VVA). In a "textbook" example, a VVA was formed by a single helicopter combat wing with two Mi-24 and a single Mi-8 squadron; two helicopter support wings with a single Mi-24 and two Mi-8 squadrons; and a transport wing with two Mi-8 and a single Mi-6 squadron; plus various support units. The main task of the VVA was to assist OMGs and tactical maneuver groups (TMGs) in penetrating the enemy's rear areas. The task of an OMG (described above) and a TMG (usually a reinforced armored or motorized regiment) was to move as quickly as possible to vital objects in enemy rear areas, 200-700 km ahead of the main forces, in an attempt to surround or divide NATO's tactical army units for their gradual destruction. A secondary task was to support air-assault operations, conducted to achieve a breakthrough in the enemy's front line or to capture vital objectives along the axis of the main land assault. In these tasks, the Mi-24s were to execute the following main missions type: fire support, general reconnaissance, NBC recce, special-forces or assault-squad transport, transport-helicopter escort, combat medevac, and others. The third task of the VVA was to provide air support for the first echelon of the main forces in offensive and defensive (repulsing NATO counterattacks) actions.

    Attack helicopters were to operate in daytime, except for special-force transport/support). The main effort was to be concentrated along the axes of assaults where air superiority was expected. Therefore, the Mi-24s were to frequently penetrate enemy airspace, accompanying friendly land units moving deep into NATO's rear area or conducting air assault operations. The Mi-24's principal target was not a NATO tank but NATO's anti-tank means or other resistance points that might hinder the attack's progress.

    The helicopters were to operate in flights of four, often accompanied by two to eight or more Mi-8s, depending on the mission. Bunkers and other reinforced points, as well as tanks and armored vehicles in defense positions, were to be engaged by anti-tank guided missiles. Other tactical targets, such as air-defense positions, soft-skin vehicles, artillery, heavy weapons positions, groups of soldiers, etc., were to be engaged with unguided rockets and sometimes with the 12.7mm heavy machinegun.

    Typical anti-tank missions were to form a lesser part of the overall fire-support effort and mainly were to be conducted while countering the enemy's counterattack. In this, land forces relied primarily on their organic units, but when a situation became critical, Mi-24s could form a kind of "rapid anti-tank response group." In this, they would attack in groups of four-to-eight helicopters, often in close cooperation with Su-25 aircraft. In general, one could note that US commanders treated attack helicopters as "flying artillery," while Soviet commanders regarded them as "flying infantry combat vehicles."

    Afghanistan

    The Soviets' Afghanistan War totally changed requirements. Guerilla-type war without a continuous front line was something new for the Soviet Army and to army aviation. High mountains and hot temperatures made helicopter operations extremely difficult, but both the Mi-8 and Mi-24 were powerful enough to see extensive use. Initially, the Mi-8 often flew alone on missions such as re-supply, medevac, liaison, etc. But when the Mujahideen deployed large numbers of heavy anti-aircraft machineguns (12.7mm and 14.5mm) and man-portable air-defense system missiles, Mi-24s were used to escort them.

    In addition to usual weapons combinations, Mi-24s often carried gun-pods or pods with a 40mm grenade launcher combined with a 7.62mm machineguns, as well as high-explosive bombs or even cluster bombs. In many cases, such "bombers" could strike more precisely than tactical jets, which had difficulties in finding and engaging targets in valleys, on mountain slopes, or positioned at the entrances to caves.

    According to the Soviet anti-guerilla concept, an airborne patrol was used for a search-and-hit mission to engage small enemy units until the arrival of main forces (either armored/mechanized troops or airborne helicopter assault troops). Such armed recce patrols, which soon became routine, usually consisted of four to six Mi-24s and one or two Mi-8s. The latter were armed with rockets and carried a squad of four to six soldiers. Some of the soldiers used machineguns and grenade launchers to conduct fire through their helicopter's open rear or side doors. Such a formation was called an Avyatsonnaya Takticheskaya Grupa (ATG, or tactical aviation group). In the case of a clash with a Mujahideen unit, the task was to destroy it, or at least pin it in place until the arrival of main forces. In some cases, jet aircraft (e.g., Su-25, MiG-21, and Su-17) were called in for additional support.

    Various tactics was used for reducing losses. When a Mi-24 crew noticed an anti-aircraft machinegun position firing at them from the front hemisphere, the position was usually quickly spotted, engaged, and destroyed. Soon the Mujahideen learned to fire at the helicopters from the rear to achieve surprise. This tactic forced the Soviets to use one of the Mi-8 helicopters in a flight as a "rear spotter" with the back door removed to enable a wide, unobscured field of view for one or two observers. These observers provided warning and directed the Mi-24 helicopters to the detected anti-aircraft machinegun position. With the introduction of the SA-7 in 1984 and Stingers in 1985, helicopters became exposed to those missiles, and soon all of them were equipped with flare dispensers, exhaust dampers to reduce their infrared (IR) signatures, and active IR jammers. At first, only Mi-24s were so equipped, but eventually Mi-8s received countermeasures as well. The newly produced Mi-8MT had received active and passive IR-jamming means, as well as exhaust dampers, as standard equipment.

    After the introduction of anti-aircraft machineguns, Mi-8s started to fly at night or at higher altitudes. With the introduction of MANPADS, the helicopters were ordered to fly as high as possible, but this was not an obstacle for the Stinger. So from 1986, the helicopters were ordered to fly at very low altitudes in order to use terrain-masking tactics. Despite these countermeasures and tactics, 333 Mi-24 helicopters of various versions were lost in Afghanistan – from enemy action, accidents, and ground attacks on Soviet bases. At the same time, the helicopters were almost constantly in use. Soviet regulations allowed a crew to perform a maximum of four or five sorties per day, while in the mid-1980s crews of 335th Independent Helicopter Wing, deployed at Djelalabad, Afghanistan, performed an average of eight sorties a day!

    The most dangerous missions flown by armed helicopters were combat search and rescue (CSAR). These were generally performed by the same ATG teams as the armed recce missions. However, the group had to get to the well-defended location, where they were expected. At the critical moment, at least one helicopter had to be exposed by landing or hovering to take the rescued man or crew on board.

    The Chechen Wars

    Chechnya was similar to Afghanistan in the nature of the warfare and in the terrain. However, the enemy tended to be smarter and better trained – usually through service as a Soviet Army conscript in the past. It is also important to remember that Chechen fighters had the experience of the Afghanistan War from which to learn.

    In terms of anti-helicopter tactics, anti-aircraft machineguns were also widely used against helicopters. Typically, Chechen gunners did not open fire until the whole helicopter group was very close, when hits were almost guaranteed. Also, MANPADS were not used singly but usually in groups organized as anti-helicopter traps. Four or more missiles might be fired at helicopters at the same time from different locations, which greatly increased the kill probability. The other innovations were masterfully skilled snipers who often managed to hit the pilot – the crew commander – of a close-flying helicopter. Chechens also successfully used rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) against helicopters and even ATGMs.

    On February 6, 1995, when Russian troops advanced toward Grozny, they were to destroy two well defended "hubs" that were strongly defended by light 23mm anti-aircraft artillery (AAA). Mi-24s were used experimentally for firing S-24 heavy unguided 240mm rockets, while diving (!) at distance of 6-7 km to avoid gunfire, and they achieved great success. Eventually, however, well-defended strongholds were being attacked by combined groups of Mi-24 helicopters and Su-25 aircraft armed with more conventional weapons. This tactic had been developed during the Cold War era and mirrored US joint tactical air groups of AH-64 attack helicopters and A-10 ground-attack aircraft. It was one of the very few US ideas picked up in Soviet/Russian attack-helicopter tactics. One such attack was conducted on February 10, 1995, by a group of 11 Mi-24s and 6 Su-25s.

    In Chechnya, ATG teams cooperated much more closely with ground troops than they had in Afghanistan. The ATGs moved along main roads and were deployed around important cities to control vital areas. Usually, an ATG was attached to a particular battalion, and these acted together. An army officer would usually be flying as passenger on the leading Mi-24, while an aviation officer moved with the land battalion. Both liaison officers maintained close radio contact with each other and with their commanders. This arrangement also enabled a variety of cooperative tactics. For example, some Chechen AAA units were engaged by ground forces to clear the way for helicopters.

    The tactics, skill of the crews, and cooperation has improved in the latest Chechen War, but this has not saved army aviation from losses. About a dozen helicopters were lost during 2002 and another half-dozen or so since then. But the loss rate is much lower than in Afghanistan, as is the number of sorties flown.

    In the early 1980s, the Soviets started working on new combat helicopters based on the "attack only" concept (no embarked troops), and as of the early 1990s the Russians required that such helicopters be night-attack capable. Such helicopters have not yet materialized in production form. But currently, Mi-24Ps are being modernized to give them essential night-attack capability. It is believed that the enemy should be suppressed around-the-clock to disable any night maneuver or recovery, that helicopters could be more safe at night (although widespread night-vision goggle technology may counter this), and finally because guerilla warfare is often more intense at night than in daytime. The future, it seems, is upon us.





    Falanga

    Complex 2K8
    Missile 9M11

    Dimensions: Missile Length 1,150 mm
    Missile Caliber 140 mm
    Wingspan 680 mm
    Missile Weight 29.5 kg

    Effective Range:
    Maximum 2.5 km
    Minimum 0.6 km

    Average Speed 500-600 m/s

    Warhead:
    Total Weight 7.0 kg
    Explosive Weight 3.6 kg
    Penetration 270 mm at 60 degrees; 560 mm at 90 degrees

    Guidance manual LOS, radio

    Launcher:
    Self-Propelled 9P32 on BRDM-1 chassis
    Aircraft Mi-4AV, MI-8TV, MI-24A

    Complex 9K8
    Missile 9M17P Skorpion

    Dimensions:
    Missile Length 1,160 mm
    Missile Caliber 140 mm
    Wingspan 680 mm
    Missile Weight 31 kg

    Effective Range: Maximum 4 km
    Minimum 0.4 km

    Average Speed 170 m/s

    Warhead: Total Weight 7.0 kg
    Explosive Weight 3.6 kg
    Penetration 270 mm at 60 degrees; 560 mm at 90 degrees

    Guidance SACLOS, radio

    Launcher:
    Self-Propelled 9P137 on BRDM-2 chassis
    Aircraft Mi-24D

    Users: Algeria, Angola, Cuba, Bulgaria, Czech Rep., Hungary, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kirgistan, Libya, North Korea, Peru, Poland, Slovakia, Syria, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen





    Shturm

    Complex 9K113
    Missile 9M114 Kokon

    Dimensions: Missile Length 1,832 mm
    Missile Caliber 130 mm
    Wingspan 300 mm
    Missile Weight 33.5 kg (49.5 kg in container)

    Effective Range:
    Maximum 5 km
    Minimum 0.4 km
    Average Speed 350-400 m/s

    Warhead: Total Weight 5.3 kg

    Explosive Weight n/a

    280 mm at 60 degrees; 560 mm at 90 degrees

    Guidance SACLOS, radio

    Launcher:
    Self-Propelled 9P149 on MTLB chassis
    Aircraft Mi-24V

    Users:Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Libya, Macedonia, Nigeria, Poland, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan




    Vikhr

    Complex 2K121

    Missile 9A4172

    Dimensions:
    Missile Length 2,750 mm
    Missile Caliber 130 mm
    Wingspan 380 mm
    Missile Weight 45 kg (59 kg in container)

    Effective Range:
    Maximum 10 km
    Minimum 0.5 km

    Average Speed 500-600 m/s

    Warhead:
    Total Weight 8.0 kg
    Explosive Weight 4.0 kg
    Penetration 550 mm at 60 degrees; 1,000 mm at 90 degrees

    Guidance semi-active laser seeker
    Launcher:
    Self-Propelled proposed Germes

    Aircraft Ka-50 (and modification), Su-39 (Su-25T/TM)

    Users: Algeria, Angola, Cuba, Bulgaria, Czech Rep., Hungary, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kirgistan, Libya, North Korea, Peru, Poland, Slovakia, Syria, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen

    *** FAIR USE NOTICE. This message contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information in their efforts to advance their understanding of arms trade activities, for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
    For more information go to:
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
    Last edited by Austin; 24th December 2005 at 04:03.
    "A map does you no good if you don't know where you are"

  4. #34
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    This second post also has a few errors in it...

    There were prolonged tests and discussions about which system should be accepted to service: the traditional Mi-28 or the advanced but risky Ka-50 helicopter. Finally, in 2003, the Mi-28 was selected (although mass production has not yet started).
    Actually the competition between the Ka-50 and the Mi-28A was won by the Ka-50 in the early 90s. Less that two dozen Ka-50s were built due to lack of funds however. Changing requirements however led to a renewed emphasis on night capability and so there was another competition which the Mi-28N won over the Ka-52/Ka-50SH combination.

    Mi-28N still is not ready, and it is not even certain whether the helicopter will ever be produced.
    Production standard Mi-28Ns have flown and it will replace the Mi-24 hind in Russian Army service. The slow production rate means that newer Mi-24s will receive an upgrade to improve performance of the fleet as well as introduce various componments of the Mi-28N into service earlier.

    The new missile was designated the 9A4172 Vikhr. The missile has a high supersonic speed and reaches 4 km after 11 seconds and 8 km after 21 seconds, making it slightly faster than the Shturm missile.
    Reported speed is 610m/s.

    The missile successfully passed factory trials in the '90s. The system has not been accepted to service, however, and the fate of the "Russian Hellfire" is unknown. A land-launched version called Germes, with a range of 8 km, was proposed but never built.
    It technically entered service with the few Ka-50s that were built. There is a range of new weapons based on the Vikhr being developed with ranges from 15km to over 100km, so I guess they will either be made compatible with the Su-25TM or the Mi-28N.

    In addition to usual weapons combinations, Mi-24s often carried gun-pods or pods with a 40mm grenade launcher combined with a 7.62mm machineguns, as well as high-explosive bombs or even cluster bombs.
    Hinds never carried 40mm grenade launchers. They were 30mm calibre.
    The Hind can carry the GUV universal pod. It can carry either two 4 barrel 7.62mm gatling guns plus a single 12.7mm four barrel gatling gun with 1,000 rounds for each 30 cal weapon and over 500 rounds for the 50 cal weapon or it can carry a single 30mm automatic grenade launcher with about 600 grenades.

    This tactic had been developed during the Cold War era and mirrored US joint tactical air groups of AH-64 attack helicopters and A-10 ground-attack aircraft. It was one of the very few US ideas picked up in Soviet/Russian attack-helicopter tactics.
    Interesting that it doesn't mention the fact that the Soviets/Russians have always preferred to fire weapons in forward flight... hense the use of radio command guidance for their ATGMs instead of wire guided weapons, whereas the west has emphasised firing from the hover behind cover in an ambush type attack. American forces are now adopting the Soviet/Russian method in Iraq as to hover on the battlefield is a rather dangerous manouver due to the widespread availability of RPGs and ATGMs which are very efective against hovering helos.

  5. #35
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    Nice posts BTW Austen.

    Look forward to pt 3.

  6. #36
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    Hi Garry , Whats the exact status of KA-50/52 and Mi-28N in Russian Armed service , as you have mentioned that the Mi-28N was selected over KA-50 due to it better night fighting capability , But then what happens to the KA-50 or the 52 variant .

    Are the Russians preferring the Ka-52 over Ka-50 ???

    Will they be manufactured at all for Special Ops and others or its the End Of Life for the Kamov chopper .

    Unfortunately there is no Part-3 , But will post upgrade to Mi-24 and on Mi-28N some time later.

    The 52 is definately the most stealthier of all Russian Chopper

    Some Nice Pics of the Ka-52 from Kenns website http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/...ages/ka-52.htm
    Last edited by Austin; 24th December 2005 at 05:25.
    "A map does you no good if you don't know where you are"

  7. #37
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    Unfortunately there is no Part-3
    So it ignores all the Russian gun tube launched missiles? Even ignoring the tank launched systems there are the artillery missiles like Krasnopol (152mm and 155mm) Krasnopol-M1(155mm) Santimetr (122mm) Smelchak (240mm mortar), Klitov-2M (122mm) Gran(120mm mortar) not to mention the new Ugroza kits for unguided aerial rockets of 57mm, 80mm, 122mm, 240mm, and the 266mm S-25 rocket systems. And that is of course ignoring the unguided rockets of the RPG, and the RPO series and the land mines, the cluster munitions from aerial bombs and from artillery rockets and gun artillery... and of course the anti tank guns themselves, either fitted to tanks or towed models.

    Hi Garry , Whats the exact status of KA-50/52 and Mi-28N in Russian Armed service , as you have mentioned that the Mi-28N was selected over KA-50 due to it better night fighting capability , But then what happens to the KA-50 or the 52 variant .
    As far as I know the current status is that the Mi-28N is the replacement for the Hind. This was largely due to lower cost and potential for using Mi-28N components to upgrade the newer model Hinds to extend the life of the Hind and reduce the required production rate of the replacement helo to further reduce costs.

    The Ka-50 and Ka-52s situation is a little less clear. There are a dozen or so Ka-50s in service but they are no in service in operationally useful numbers and will likely now be withdrawn or perhaps kept as test helos. There are reports that the Ka-52 will enter service for special operations due to its capability, which suggests that its performance makes it useful to have even if in small numbers. This should help its exportability.

    Are the Russians preferring the Ka-52 over Ka-50 ???
    The Ka-52 has night and all weather performance, whereas the Ka-50 might have night and all weather sensors (as in the Ka-50Sh or Ka-50N versions) but that does not make it easy to fly and hunt at night. The Ka-50 does have a few systems that make it very interesting... including ball turrets near the undercarriage that hold what have been described as anti missile lasers or DIRCMs.
    Very interesting, and something I would certainly like to know more about...

  8. #38
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    Pit, and others, sorry for the late reply.

    Glonass is by no means reliable as :
    - There are only 13 satellites really operational at the moment, this gives quite a problem with your DOP (Dillution of Position), this means that if you have an accuracy of 5m with a DOP of 3, then your accuracy is only 15m. The DOP depends on where your satellites are. You'd want the bearing lines to be straight on top of eachother, meaning you want one satellite in your zenith, one on te E and one in the W (or N-S or the other 14 combinations), with only 13 satellites, this is very unlikely, even with GPS this is unlikely.

    -They haven't given the basis of their system. GPS uses WGS 84, which means World Geodetic System 84, based on a bunch of Geoides chosen by countries. This WGS (preceded by WGS72) will soon be adapted again and is also used as the bases of Charts/maps in the world. Now comes the problem, Russia doesn't use WGS 84 for Glonass. They don't use any of our WGSs nor have they released their own Chart/Mapping system. This means that if you use a Glonass and use one of the GPS Software packadges (including the WGS charts), you will have a different situation. As they haven't released their system, you can only take their charts. And of course we don't know how accurate these charts are themselves...

    Garry I am not comparing this to GPS (US) or other systems, that happens too much over here.

    Basically all systems have problems like the ones you mentioned about GPS.

    If we are to compare these systems than we come to this:
    -GPS has a smaller inclination than Glonass, which means that above its inclination, it is impossible to have a DOP of 1 (which means one satellite in your Zenith, and others in best position), due to this, Glonass has a better DOP, is more accurate near the Poles (which is logical as they used the North Pole much more as their area of operation.
    -GPS is less accurate due to its limited number of frequencies (only 2, while Glonass uses a whole bunch of them, although they will have to limit that due to complaints of too much frequency use by international groups).

    Now, as you can see, there is a bunch of advantages in Glonass, but, due to the deficiencies, the system is not fully working as it should. And of course due to Russian inflexibility by not providing their Chart works, it is hard to use it.

    With GPS, it should also be said that there are two frequencies and a bunch of codes and correstion systems. SBAS for example. Basically there are GPS receivers with an accuracy of 3cm, used in laboratories.
    The problem with that accuracy, again, is that even WGS 84 is not as accurate as that... So that if you plot some position or building on these charts, there is some trouble! Strangely but for now the charts and basic system is the lacking part of the system and not the technology.
    This doesn't take away that for now the Glonass is much less reliable than GPS (although the latter has shown some errors of sometimes 8nm).

  9. #39
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    The Point of Precision
    Russian guided-artillery systems make the breakthrough
    by Michal Fiszer& Jerzy Gruszczynski [www.edefenseonline.com]
    Jul. 1, 2003


    Since David took sling in hand, war has been a combination of maneuver and fire. Greek peltasts, Roman pilum-armed legionnaires, Parthian horse archers, Welsh longbows at Agincourt and Crecy. The moment weapons could range longer than a man's reach with sword or spear, the challenge arose as to how to integrate fire for maximum effect on the battlefield.

    During WWII Germany and the USSR developed workable and contrasting concepts for wars of maneuver. The German "blitzkrieg" theory foresaw only the operations deep into enemy territory. Blitzkrieg worked only if the attacking forces had the element of surprise, but when the defense was consolidated and well prepared, the theory was useless (examples: Moscow 1941, Stalingrad 1942, Kursk 1943). In the Soviet theory of "deep operations," the offensive consisted of two major phases: the breakthrough and deep maneuver operations. The first phase – which was largely ignored by the Germans (who seemed to presuppose a successful breakthrough just by showing up) – was essential and critical from the Soviet point of view.

    Surprisingly, little has changed through the present day, so it's useful to consider it. The tool for deep operations was the tank, while the tool for breakthrough was the howitzer, field gun, or firepower in general. For example, General Norman Schwarzkopf used mainly air-delivered firepower to achieve a breakthrough in Operation Desert Storm in 1991. The breakthrough phase lasted six weeks, while the deep-maneuver (the "blitzkrieg") phase lasted just three days. In WWII Soviet theory, enormous concentration of artillery and tactical air-force firepower was the solution.

    There are two ways to achieve concentrations of fire: mass the tubes or coordinate tubes from different parts of the battlefield. The Soviet Red Army was not well supplied with radios reaching down to the small-unit level, so breakthrough fires had to be conducted by massed cannon or rocket artillery formations that fired according to strict timetables. Americans led the way in being able to mass indirect fire in support of the infantry from artillery pieces widely distributed on the battlefield. The big secret to the power of artillery was the forward observer who could call in fire from everybody. "All of a sudden, you had a 2nd lieutenant who could organize the fires of an entire front and a system that allowed him to do that," said Colonel Robert Killebrew, US Army (ret.), who was deputy director of the Army After Next program. "It was artillery fire that made the Germans fear Americans like no other army. The minute we saw him we could bring crushing fires down on him from both artillery and, depending on the relationship of airpower to the battlefield, we began to integrate airpower into that."



    The 9K58 Smersh MLRS in the travel position. The Smersh brigades are intended to reinforce the armies and even divisions fighting on the main axes of battle.


    Red Rocket's Glare

    By coordinating fires from dispersed batteries in range, it was possible to time the fires so that the rounds from different guns landed more or less simultaneously. This was desirable for instilling the shock required to achieve a breakthrough at a desired point on the battlefield. Not possessing such coordination, the Soviets found a solution in the multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS), where many tubes fired in a short period of time. The famous "Katyusha" and "Stalin's Organ" 82mm through 300mm rocket systems were produced in huge numbers and could drop thousands of rounds on the point of decision at a dizzying rate. It should be noted that Germany produced a number of "Nebelwerfer" rocket systems as well, although significantly fewer than the Red Army employed. The US Army experimented with 4.5-in. rockets, but much preferred cannon artillery.

    Conventional artillery and unguided MLRS batteries showered the breakthrough area, leaving many holes in the ground, but only a small portion of the tens of thousands of shells fired found any targets. This was sufficient if an enormous mass of firepower was employed, as it was during WWII, but after the war, it was understood that alternatives needed be found. During the Cold War, nuclear strikes were the solution. But the return to conventional warfare doctrine in the 1970s brought the question of conventional firepower back to the front. The answer was found in precision engagement. The result was the extremely effective 9K58 Smerch MLRS system, as well as laser-guided munitions for field guns and howitzers.

    Soviet technological progress during the 1970s enabled the development of a longer-range multi-barrel rocket launcher. The 9K57 Uragan system had twice the range of the then-standard BM-21 Grad, although it still used unguided rockets that were cousins to the weapons of the Great Patriotic War. In the 1980s, the 9K58 Smerch MLRS system employed a simplified inertial-navigation system (INS) for missile stabilization that resulted in increased accuracy.



    The 9K58 Smersh MLRS in firing position. Smersh brigades are intended to reinforce ground forces by engaging armored and mechanized units, command posts, helicopter airfields, air-defense sites, and other high-value area targets.


    The 9K58 Smerch was developed by the Splav State Research and Production Association (Tula, Russia), which also manufactured the Uragan, Grad, and Prima rocket launchers. The system was introduced to service in 1987 and equipped front-level MLRS brigades. A brigade was organized into three MLRS battalions, each with three batteries of two MLRSs and one reload vehicle. In total, a battalion has six launchers, and a brigade had 27. In 1989 a modernized 9K58-2 system was introduced to service and gradually replaced the older ones through modernization of existing systems. All subsequent production was conducted in this version.

    Equipping the frontal brigades with Smersh MLRSs gives them tremendous precision, conventional firepower that could be projected into a zone between 20 km and 70 km. The Smersh brigades are intended to reinforce the armies and even divisions fighting on the main axes of battle. They are to engage armored and mechanized units, command posts, helicopter airfields, air-defense sites, and other high-value area targets.

    Presently, the Smerch system is in service with the Russian Army. It is also in service with Belarus and the Ukraine and has been exported to Kuwait (27 systems) and the United Arab Emirates (six systems). In 2002 the Indian Army carried out a series of firing trials of the modernized Smerch-M system, which features an automatic rocket-preparing and -launching system and an increased range of up to 90 km (more below).

    The ultimate 9K58-2 system consisted of a 12-barrel 300mm launcher (designated 9A52-2) that could fire various types of missiles, a reload vehicle (9T234-2), and a Vivari command-and-control (C2 ) system with E-715-1.1 computers. The Vivari was developed by the Kontur research-production facility (Tomsk, Russia). It has either one or two E-715 computers to calculate ballistic and targeting data for each launcher. The command vehicle has both satellite- and radio-communications systems to link to both subordinate units and headquarters.

    The 9A52-2 combat vehicle is comprised of a 12-tube launcher system mounted on an 8x8 chassis with a powerful diesel engine, providing excellent cross-country capability. A single Smerch unit is capable of firing a complete 12-round salvo within 38 seconds, engaging an area of 672,000 sq. meters. High accuracy (maximum error of 220 meters and stated circular-error probable [CEP] of 120-150 meters at maximum range) of fire is provided by INS/gyro stabilization on the active part of the flight and an in-flight quick rotation technique later in the trajectory. Fire can be controlled from the special cabin of the combat vehicle or remotely.

    The 9K58-2 system can use various types of guided missiles:

    * 9M55K cluster projectile with 72 fragmentation submunitions (1.81 kg), intended to engage troops and soft targets.

    * 9M55F with a separable HE warhead containing 95kg of explosive for use against lightly armored vehicles, fortifications, and personnel.

    * 9M55K1 with five MOTIV-3M top-attack anti-armor submunitions, each of which are which is fitted with a dual-band infrared seeker. The MOTIV-3M is the MLRS version of the SPBE-D sensor-fuzed weapon, used in aerial cluster bombs. Each bomblet measures 284x255x186mm and weighs 15 kg. It is ejected and descends by parachute. The seeker detects a target, specifically armor, guides the submunitions to its vulnerable upper surfaces, and activates the warhead. The seeker's field of view is 30 degrees. The sensor triggers the warhead about 150 meters above its target. The 173mm copper plate forms a 1kg penetrator with a velocity of 2,000 m/s, able to penetrate 70mm of armor at an angle of 30 degrees.

    * 9M55S 300mm rocket projectile with a thermobaric warhead is designed to defeat unsheltered troops, as well as personnel in light field fortifications and in soft-skinned/lightly armored vehicles. The warhead weight is 243 kg with 100 kg of explosives. The diameter of the thermobaric field (with the temperature in excess of 1,000° C) is 25 meters.

    * 9M55K4 300mm rocket projectile is designed for remote laying of antitank minefields. Each rocket carries 25 mines. The mine weighs 4.85 kg, the weight of explosive is 1.85 kg. Time of mine self-destruction is 16-24 hours.

    Splav has also developed a new 9M528 projectile for modernized Smerch-M systems that uses a high–energy composite propellant that will enable an increased range of 90 km. In addition, two new guidance systems were developed for the 9M528. One is a "true" INS, working all the way to impact, thereby reducing the maximum error from about 220 m at a range of 90 km to about 90 meters (CEP is unknown). The other method developed corrects the missile in flight via radio while the missile is observed by a radar system. Both systems have been tested but neither has been fielded.

    It has been reported that a miniature aerial vehicle containing a stabilized camera, the R-90, is being developed that could be fired from the Smerch launcher, enabling real-time battlefield surveillance data to be relayed to the Smerch commander. The aerial vehicle, which uses Glonass or GPS, has the same 70-km range as the 9M55K rocket and can transmit data for up to 30 minutes. It is also disposable.


    Pinpoint Precision

    Similar requirements that led to the development of the Smerch MLRS system set the course for the design and fielding of the Krasnopol laser-guided artillery projectile. Such a weapon was deemed as a useful tool during critical phases of a breakthrough for engaging especially important targets that might hamper the movements of advancing troops and to isolate the battlefield area from reinforcements. The projectile was to be fired against small, battlefield targets such as bunkers, dug-in tanks, and reinforced fire positions. As a part of battlefield interdiction, the targets would be tanks and vehicle columns (the first and last vehicles in the column), bridges, etc.

    Since it was to be used in a battlefield area, the depth of its field was to be between 10 km and 20 km. The target would have been designated by Special Forces or reconnaissance units penetrating enemy lines, or in the case of direct fire support (at distances between a few hundred meters to 5 km) directly by the first echelon units. As most of the Soviet and then Russian firepower was preplanned according to the front's chief artillery fire-support plan (including the use of air forces), the Krasnopol was to be mainly used on call from the battlefield to enable the quick removal of obstacles in the way of attacking forces. The weapon was to be at the disposal of divisional commanders, so the 152mm howitzer, a common division asset, was chosen as the primary launcher. Moreover, the 152mm round was large enough to accommodate a guidance system.

    Work on the Krasnopol system started in the late 1970s by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau (now the KBP State Unitary Enterprise) (Tula, Russia), but enormous technical problems were experienced along the way, and development stretched over a decade. The biggest challenge was the development of a guidance system able to withstand the shock when a projectile is fired. It was decided that a laser-guidance system would be used, one with as few moving parts as possible. The system was finally fielded about 1987, but the scale of production remains unknown, since serious financial constraints had already started to hamper the Soviet defense industry.

    The 2K25 Krasnopol system consists of 1.3-meter-long ZOF39 laser-guided projectiles (about 50 rounds per battery), two types of charges (normal and reduced load), a 1A35 shot-synchronization system, a 1A35K command computer, a 1A35I observation device, and a 1D15 laser target designator. All of the observation, designation, and command equipment are portable. The ZOF39 missile has folding control surfaces, semi-active laser-guidance system protected by a detachable cover for firing, and an electric-control mechanism. It includes 6.3 kg of explosives. The missile can be fired from D20 or 2A65 towed 152mm howitzers or from 2S3M/2S3M1 Akatsya or 2S19 Msta-S SP howitzers. The main shortcoming of the missile is that it does not fit into the automatic reloader of the 2S19 and has to be manually loaded, which reduces the firing rate. However, the whole process of data preparation takes about a minute and a half, which is less than the comparable US Copperhead 155mm laser-guided projectile.




    The Krasnopol-M (right) and Kitolov-2 (left) laser-guided artillery projectiles. The projectiles are to be fired against small, battlefield targets such as bunkers, dug-in tanks, and reinforced fire positions. As a part of battlefield interdiction, the targets would be tanks and vehicle columns (the first and last vehicles in the column), bridges, etc.


    The fire sequence starts from spotting and tracking the target with the 1A35I (fixed or moving target up to 10 m/s can be engaged), then data preparation by the 1A35K. The process ends with the sending of a fire command to the launching battery by radio. As the gun fires, a return command is sent, which triggers the 1D15 via a 1A35 synchronization system. This is done to ensure that the laser starts to illuminate the target about ten seconds before expected impact. If the laser is turned on too early, the missile tends to cut short the ballistic curve and can fall short of the target due to the lack of kinetic energy. If the laser is engaged too late, there is no adequate time for correction of the flight path. The missile is guided in flight prior to laser acquisition by a miniature INS toward a fixed point calculated by the 1A35K system. The target has to be within 1,000 meters from the calculated point, otherwise the missile will be unable to reach it. Since ten seconds is a long time in the world of laser countermeasures, the operator usually offsets the laser by a few meters, then, about five seconds before impact, he turns the beam exactly on the target. The kill probability is about 90% in cloudless or high-cloud conditions. The kill probability falls down to 70% if the cloud layer is lower than 1000 meters and to 40% at 500 meters. The projectile range is from 5 km to 22 km. Another limitation is that the illumination has to be generally parallel to the line of shot, with no more than 20 degrees of deviation.

    In the 1990s, a new version of the Krasnopol was developed, called Krasnopol-M, which reduced the missile length to the 0.95 meters, similar to the standard lengths of 152/155mm projectiles. This simplified the handling of the munitions. The shorter projectile also fit into the Msta-S automatic reloader. The Krasnopol-M is offered in two versions: the M1 (155mm export version) and the M2 (152mm domestic, as well as export version). The range of the missile was reduced to 18 km (155mm) and to 17 km (152mm). Otherwise, performance is similar to the earlier versions.

    The 155mm version of the Krasnopol-M has been exported to India (1,000 projectiles and 10 designators/C2 equipment) and to the UAE. The 152mm Krasnopol-M version has been exported to the People's Republic of China. During the Indian trials, the Krasnopol-M initially showed poor performance. In six test fires, only one was successful. However, it was discovered that since the trials were conducted in the mountains, the significant height differences between the firing position and target area – as well as low air density at high altitudes in general – caused problems. The missile was redesigned and upgraded accordingly, and satisfactory results have been achieved during subsequent trials.

    Aside from the Krasnopol, Russia has developed a large family of other laser-guided projectiles. Many have been tested and are offered for export. They have not been fielded with Russian forces, except on a very limited scale. Tula KBP developed its 122mm derivative, the Kitolov-2, based on Krasnopol, for the 2S1 Gvozdika and D-30 howitzer, as well as the Kitolov-2M 120mm version for the Nona family of universal mortars. The ZOF28 Santimetr is a 152mm competitor to Krasnopol produced by the Ametekh Research and Engineering Complex (Moscow, Russia), while Ametekh's 240mm Smelchak was developed for the 2S4 Tulpan 240mm heavy SP mortar. The main features of all of these systems are similar to the Krasnopol.


    *** FAIR USE NOTICE. This message contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information in their efforts to advance their understanding of arms trade activities, for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
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  10. #40
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    Austin:

    Cheers!!!!

    Really a nice work!

    Happy X-mas

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    They haven't given the basis of their system. GPS uses WGS 84
    The geodetic coordinate system used by Glonass system is called Earth Parameters 90 (PE-90) and the Galileo uses the Galileo Terrestrial Reference Frame (GTRF) and GPS uses the GPS uses WGS84 as a coordinate reference frame.

    The coordinate and time reference frames of GPS , GLONASS and GALILEO are based on geodetic reference stations and clocks different from those used by the other This ensures independence and vulnerability of both systems, allowing one system to act as a backup solution for the other. All these system are as such set by the standards body the Central Bureau of the International Earth Rotation Service (IERS).

    But Interoperability between system is not a problem there are many combined GPS/GLONASS receivers used in civilian and military worlds.

    In the future one might see a combined GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO receivers so that accuracy of the system increases and no body is held hostage to a single system.

    GPS + GLONASS Receivers
    Last edited by Austin; 24th December 2005 at 16:15.
    "A map does you no good if you don't know where you are"

  12. #42
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    do the russian ever field equivalent to Javalin/Spike fire and forget ATGM?
    some claim that russian has difficulty fabricate IR imaging seeker small and compact enought to be fitted inside small ATGM missile.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by challenge
    do the russian ever field equivalent to Javalin/Spike fire and forget ATGM?
    some claim that russian has difficulty fabricate IR imaging seeker small and compact enought to be fitted inside small ATGM missile.
    Its seems rather as cost and usabilty issue (for example, its impossbile to fire Javalin against low-contrast target... a dug-in infantry or bunker for example).Also decoys and smoke-screens works much better against fire-and-forget missiles.

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    This doesn't take away that for now the Glonass is much less reliable than GPS (although the latter has shown some errors of sometimes 8nm).
    Not sure what you mean about reliable. The fact that the Russians, with help from the Indians have committed to completing the system and they do not degrade or switch off parts of the system like the US does it is reliable enough. Regarding accuracy, where its accuracy is not good enough then other sensors can be added like IIR or Radar to improve terminal accuracy to a level needed. For civilian use 3cm accuracy is just not needed. It is not accurate enough for construction but too accurate for most other uses like navigation in cities or the middle of nowhere.

    Austin…
    congrats... another interesting post... but again a few comments. First wonder why there is no mentionof the Uragan 220mm system. Second the list of rocket types for the Smerch is a little inaccurate.

    First of all:

    Splav has also developed a new 9M528 projectile for modernized Smerch-M systems that uses a high–energy composite propellant that will enable an increased range of 90 km.
    They didn't develop a new projectile with a longer range... they developed a new rocket motor that can be used with the existing projectiles to the longer range. The new rocket motor model has a total weight of 815kg as opposed to the normal rocket weight of 800kgs.

    The 9K58-2 system can use various types of guided missiles:

    * 9M55K cluster projectile with 72 fragmentation submunitions (1.81 kg), intended to engage troops and soft targets.

    * 9M55F with a separable HE warhead containing 95kg of explosive for use against lightly armored vehicles, fortifications, and personnel.

    * 9M55K1 with five MOTIV-3M top-attack anti-armor submunitions, each of which are which is fitted with a dual-band infrared seeker. The MOTIV-3M is the MLRS version of the SPBE-D sensor-fuzed weapon, used in aerial cluster bombs. Each bomblet measures 284x255x186mm and weighs 15 kg. It is ejected and descends by parachute. The seeker detects a target, specifically armor, guides the submunitions to its vulnerable upper surfaces, and activates the warhead. The seeker's field of view is 30 degrees. The sensor triggers the warhead about 150 meters above its target. The 173mm copper plate forms a 1kg penetrator with a velocity of 2,000 m/s, able to penetrate 70mm of armor at an angle of 30 degrees.

    * 9M55S 300mm rocket projectile with a thermobaric warhead is designed to defeat unsheltered troops, as well as personnel in light field fortifications and in soft-skinned/lightly armored vehicles. The warhead weight is 243 kg with 100 kg of explosives. The diameter of the thermobaric field (with the temperature in excess of 1,000° C) is 25 meters.

    * 9M55K4 300mm rocket projectile is designed for remote laying of antitank minefields. Each rocket carries 25 mines. The mine weighs 4.85 kg, the weight of explosive is 1.85 kg. Time of mine self-destruction is 16-24 hours.
    Not sure where those designations came from, but these are the designations for the export models:

    9N150 has a single 95 kg HE fragmentation warhead.

    9N139 has a cluster warhead with 72 fragmentation cluster munitions

    9N152 has a cluster warhead with 5 sensor fused top attack smart munitions using IR seekers to attack tanks and armoured vehicles.

    9N539 has carries 25 AT cluster minelets.

    9N176 has unguided top attack HEAT minelets with a secondary fragmentation function. Each rocket warhead has 646 munitions.

    and the 9N174 which has a single 100kg Thermobaric warhead (ie FAE).

    All warhead variants come in either 70km or 90km range variants based on which rocket motor is fitted. (There are of course other models not included for export like the jammer model produced jointly with a Bulgarian firm and of course the UAV model).

    The main shortcoming of the missile is that it does not fit into the automatic reloader of the 2S19 and has to be manually loaded, which reduces the firing rate. However, the whole process of data preparation takes about a minute and a half, which is less than the comparable US Copperhead 155mm laser-guided projectile.
    The Krasnopol has a cap cover that protects the optics during deployment and storage. The cap is not removed manually and seperates in flight, whereas the the Copperhead has several handling procedures that include checks to ensure no damage to the optical window. The Krasnopol is seperated in two parts to make the weapon compatible with ammo handling and storage systems used for standard 152mm rounds, unlike the copperhead that needs special treatment and must be stored seperately and carefully handled.
    The laser homing weapons used in Russia differ from western systems in that the target is not continuously illuminated during the engagement. Direct fire weapons are illuminated for 1 second or less, while indirect weapons are illuminated for 3 seconds or less. The target marker points his laser at the target and a computer calculates the position of the target and the launcher, and works out the flight time to determine when the laser needs to be turned on. When the round is fired a signal is sent to the target marker and a countdown is conducted by the computer and the target is marked with the laser at the appropriate time (3 secs before impact for indirect rounds and 1 sec for direct fire weapons).

    do the russian ever field equivalent to Javalin/Spike fire and forget ATGM?
    some claim that russian has difficulty fabricate IR imaging seeker small and compact enought to be fitted inside small ATGM missile.
    They already have operationally deployed several fire and forget antitank systems that use IR or MMW radar guidance in the form of cluster munitions. They also have the Groza unguided rocket upgrade kits and the new Sokol-M tank gun launched EO guided missiles that combine laser homing as an option but can also engage contrasting targets autonomously (ie moving targets or tanks out in the open).
    The main problem has been cost.
    Just look at the RPG-7 series and how much trouble it has been causing everyone who comes up against it. Even in the old models with warheads with 280-300mm penetrations it is a problem. Its low cost and ability to perform many roles makes it rather more useful than any super weapon like Javelin or FOG. Of course while RPG-7 is a fire and forget weapon it is not guided and nowhere near as sophisticated or capable as Javelin, but it is cheap enough to be very widely deployed and very widely used against all sorts of targets. The cost of Javelin would make it the sort of thing you would issue to special units unless you were very rich. Though New Zealand has bought Javelin I could see a lot of paperwork for anyone who used it on anything other than a multi million dollar armoured vehicle.

    For short range an RPG, whether it is an RPG-7 or RPG-29 makes more sense, while medium to long range, well fire and forget would be nice, but the ability to hit any sort of target and also deploying lots of missile systems makes more sense to me. I think instead of spending $60,000 dollars on each missile spending half that and fitting Metis-M and Kornet and Konkurs and Faggot with Thermal sights would be more cost effective.

    (Beware gold plating and following the crowd just for the sake of it.)

    Considering the performance of the Abrams the US forces would probably be better off introducing an RPG-7 type weapon. For smaller forces like NZ, that doesn't have attack helos or MBT then Javelin is an excellent weapon. For the US... it is perhaps more a case of "because we can".

    Interesting in that if the Russians do develop a similar system (ie top attack fire and forget) it would be the US that suffers the most as the top armour of the Abrams is particularly weak and as a terrorist weapon a Russian Javelin would be a very effective weapon against western super tanks with their heavy frontal armour.
    The US forces don't need a javelin till something like the Black eagle or the T-95 are available for export... which wont be any time soon.

  15. #45
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    Austin…congrats... another interesting post.
    Garry , Pit The real credit goes to Michal Fiszer,Jerzy Gruszczynski for coming with all the nice article which i have posted ,I merely posted it . My main intention of posting it was to advance our knowledge on Russian system and understand it better , I just hope I have not voilated any copyrights and hence the Fair Use Notice .

    Also I am glad you have pointed out certain errors and discrepencies and thats what I mean learning and understanding from each other , But to be fair enough to the author , Its not humanly possible to add all the Russian system in just one or two article , They might have missed out something may be crucial ,But Then I think they too have their limitation just as we all do , probably they did their best they could.The range of weapons that Russians employ even as anti-tank system just learning,understanding and documenting it may lead to a Phd.

    Garry I have seen reference of 9K58-2 system else where too ,

    Is there any plans to increase the range of Smerch from the 90 Km to 120 Km by using newer propellents ??

    Thanks for the Krasnopol info ,Really goes to show how rugged Russian systems are.

    Also I doubt that Fire & Forgot system are vulnerable to fog weather etc , It depends on the Guidance one employs , Ideally you would employ a MMW for all weather operation and IIR for passive guidance , A dual MMW/IIR guidance would be ideal but I would think it would make it expensive , India's own NAG fire & forget Anti-tank missile employs such guidance , although we still have some problem mastering the MMW , But the IIR seems through.

    Enjoy the Mi-28N on a X'mas Day
    Last edited by Austin; 25th December 2005 at 06:34.
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  16. #46
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    Russia's Mi-28N Attack Helo Ready for Production
    by Michal Fiszer [www.edefenseonline.com]
    Oct. 8, 2004



    Russia announced in mid-September that the Mi-28N attack helicopter was ready for series production and that first metal would be cut at the Rostov-on-Don plant very soon. The first production-model helicopter will be flown in mid-2005, and in the second half of that year, it will be delivered to the Russian Air Force. By 2008 (2010 by some estimates), 50 Mi-28N helicopters are expected to be in service. Ultimately, the Russian Air Force wants 300 Mi-28Ns by 2012, at which point the current force of modernized Mi-24PN helicopters will gradually be withdrawn from service.

    The Mi-28 attack helicopter program is one of the longest-running programs in Russian history. In May 1968, during the same Soviet Ministers Council session that launched the Mi-24 program, it was ordered that a dedicated two-seat attack helicopter was to be developed once the Mi-24 was ready. Actual work on this follow-on program started in 1972, so the first example of the helicopter is being handed over to the armed forces after a 33-year development effort.



    Russia's Mi-28N attack helicopter is ready for series production after a 33-year development effort, one of the longest in history. The Mi-28N was originally designed for the "night leader" role, where it would lead groups of other helicopters, but this has been changed to a more conventional attack role. Pictured here is a prototype armed with Ataka anti-tank missiles and unguided rocket pods on the stores stations, along with a 30mm gun in the chin turret. The Mi-28N has a milileter-wave radar on the mast, an array of electro-optical sensors, and an advanced self-protection suite.


    The M-28 program advanced under the leadership of Marat Tishchenko, general designer of OKB Mil. The first concept was approved on Dec. 16, 1976. In August 1980, two prototypes were ordered. The first Mi-28 prototype (No. 012) was built in Moscow and flown for the first time in late 1982. In September 1983, the second prototype (No. 022) was flown. This example had a core of the helicopter's combat system, which was basically the same as the Mi-24V and consisted of the Raduga-28 optical observation and fire-control system and a Shturm-V radio-guided missile system with a guidance-command transmitter in the nose cone.

    The Mi-28 had the same self-protection system as the Mi-24V as well: the SPO-15 Beroza radar-warning receiver, the L006 Ispanka infrared jammer, and UV-26 chaff/flare dispensers (similar to the earlier ASO-2V dispensers). New additions were the side "bulbs" for forward-looking infrared (FLIR) navigation cameras, which were never actually installed. Trials were completed in late 1983, and in February 1984, it was decided that series production of the Mi-28 would start at the Mil Plant in Arseniev, where Mi-24 helicopters were produced.

    However, in October 1984, the Soviets changed their minds and announced that a rival design, the Kamov Ka-50, would become the next Soviet attack helicopter. The concept of operations (CONOPS) for the Ka-50 was similar to the US Army's OH-58D/AH-64A teams, with Ka-60 scout helicopters filling the reconnaissance/target-acquisition role on the team. As it happened, the Ka-60s were never built in their intended configuration, and the program was eventually canceled.

    In December 1987, it was decided that low-rate production of Mi-28 helicopters would start at Mil's Rostov-on-Don plant for comparison tests with the Ka-50, which was still recognized as the future attack helicopter for the Soviet Air Force. To prepare for small-scale production, the Moscow Mil plant built two pre-series Mi-28As (product 286), which differed slightly from the original prototypes. They had some structural changes and more powerful engines, with new types of exhaust coolers. Additionally, on the second example, the side covers for the never-developed FLIR cameras were removed. Also, the Raduga-28 optical sight received a TV channel for daytime observation of targets. The rest of the fire-control and self-protection systems remained intact. The first Mi-28A (No. 032) was flown in January 1988, and the second (No. 042) in January 1989.

    In the autumn of 1990, Iraq ordered Mi-28A helicopters, which were to be produced in the country under license and carry the designation Mi-28L. However, the Gulf War in 1991 put an end to this plan. Meanwhile, the Mi-28A underwent a less-than-rigorous testing regime in Russia through 1993 while the Russians reevaluated attack-helicopter CONOPS. Both the Mil and Kamov OKBs had been ordered to prepare night-attack versions of their helicopters, which were to perform a role of lead aircraft for flights of Mi-28As and Ka-50s. Kamov responded with a two-seat version of the Ka-50, called the Ka-52; while Mil began work on the Mi-28N (product 294).

    The first prototype of the Mi-28N (No. 014) was ready in late 1995 and was first flown on Nov. 14, 1996. Interestingly, to build this machine, the No. 032 example was partially cannibalized. Trials of the new helicopter were conducted through late 2002, and in 2003 the Rostov-on-Don factory started building the first series example. It was first flown on March 25, 2004. At the same time, Gen. Vladimir Mikhailov, commander of the Russian Air and Air Defense Forces, decided that the Ka-50/52 program would be terminated and that the Mi-28N would be the future attack helicopter for Russia. Also, the "day-only" Mi-28A version was canceled.

    Gen. Mikhailov said that current requirements for helicopter support for land forces have changed significantly since the end of the Cold War. Low-intensity conflicts, such as the wars in Chechnya and other Caucasus conflicts, are the most possible conditions in which Russian attack helicopters will be employed. Such environments demand that the helicopters transit semi-hostile territory with no conventional front lines to search for targets in any conditions, especially at night, when guerilla forces are more active. Patrol, armed reconnaissance, escort of transports, and combat search and rescue (CSAR), as well as fire support of ground forces, are the main missions of Russian attack helicopters. Such missions demand a helicopter that can operate day and night under almost any weather conditions, often independently from other forces. Instead of teams of four to eight helicopters, the most probable formation will be a fighting pair.

    As with the US AH-64D Apache Longbow, the Mi-28N was equipped with a millimeter-wave targeting radar. The radar was designed by NPO Almaz (Moscow) and is called the N025 Almaz-280. It has a range of about 25 km for a large fixed target such as a bridge, 15 km for a large velicle such as a tactical-ballistic-missile launcher, 10-12 km for an armored fighting vehicle, and 6-8 km for a soft-skin vehicle. Unlike the Longbow radar, however, the Almaz-280 has both attack and navigation modes. Incidentally, some sources have erroneously identified the radar as being the NIIR Arbalet radar that had been selected for the Ka-52, or even the Lenninets (St. Petersburg, Russia) Kinzhal-V radar, which was not been accepted for service on helicopters.

    The primary fire-control system is the powerful Tor electro-optical (EO) system, developed by the Zenit factory in Krasnogorsk. The Tor has optical, TV, and thermal-imagery channels, with dual (wide and narrow) fields of view (FOVs). The optical channel has 3X or 13X magnification, while the TV has 20X magnification in narrow-FOV mode. The whole Tor turret can move +110 degrees to the left and right, +13 degrees, up and -40 degrees down. The Tor also has a laser rangefinder. For navigation purposes, the helicopter uses the GOES-520 EO turret, developed by the UOMZ company in Yekaterynburg. It combines TV and FLIR cameras of wide FOV, enabling low-level flight during nighttime. The crew can also use OVN-1 Oskok night-vision goggles, developed by the LZOS factory in Lytkarino. Navigation is also supported by an IKV inertial-navigation system, an A-737 Glonass/GPS receiver, and a DISS-32-28 Doppler speed and drift indicator.

    Combined, the Mi-28N's fire-control systems and major avionics equipment carry the designation IKBO-28 and were integrated by RPKB Ramenskoye (Moscow). The IKBO-28 system has two Baget digital processors and a data bus similar to NATO's MilStd 1553B. The system integrates attack and navigation functions and also integrates the picture from the TV and thermal-imagery cameras. In the front (pilot) cockpit, there are two MFI-10 multifunction displays and a SOI-28 head-up display (HUD). The rear (gunner) cockpit has two MFI-10 displays and a PS-7 control panel. Pictures from the Tor system can be integrated on one of the MFI-10 screens.



    The Mi-28N can be armed with air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, rockets and podded guns.

    The armament of the helicopter consists of a single 2A42 30mm gun in a NPPU-28N gun turret with the same angular movement as the Tor sight, along with stores on four underwing pylons. The typical weapons load consists of 16 9M120 Ataka-V anti-tank missiles (range: 5-6 km) on two APU-8/4U launchers, combined with eight Igla-V air-to-air missiles or two R-60M air-to-air missiles. The Ataka system's guidance-command transmitter is mounted under the nose cone. Under development for the Mi-28N is the 9M120D Ataka-D version, with a larger rocket motor that increases the range to 8 km. A wide variety of unguided weapons can be carried on the stores stations instead of missiles, including unguided rockets, high-explosive and cluster bombs, and gun pods. A proposal exists to arm the helicopter with the Khrizantema radar-guided anti-tank missile (range: 8-12 km), but the attending fire-control radar would have to be attached in pod under one of wings pylons.

    The self-protection system is sophisticated and was integrated into the Vitebsk defensive-aids subsystem (DASS). It consists of the SPO-32 Pastel electronic-support-measures system, the L160 Mak IR missile-approach warner, the L140 Otklik laser-warning receiver, the Platan active radar jammer, and eight UV-26 countermeasures dispensers mounted four on each wing tip.


    *** FAIR USE NOTICE. This message contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information in their efforts to advance their understanding of arms trade activities, for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
    For more information go to:
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    Last edited by Austin; 25th December 2005 at 06:58.
    "A map does you no good if you don't know where you are"

  17. #47
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    Battle-Tested Helicopter EW

    Eggs in Baskets
    by Adam Geibel
    Apr. 1, 2002


    In September 1999, the Russians crossed the border of their Dagestan and Ingushtia Republics, engaging Islamic mujihadeen and Chechen rebels in the Second Chechen War. Given the mountainous terrain of the New Jersey-sized republic and the rebels' reliance on landmine warfare, helicopters quickly became a major factor in the Russian Federation's troop movements and supply missions. Russia has electronic countermeasures that could reduce the risk to their aircraft, but budget constraints have prevented their widespread fielding.

    Helicopters were lucrative targets for the rebels. Mi-8 Hip helicopters transported troops and supplies, while Mi-24 Hind gunships typically escorted convoys, flew aerial reconnaissance missions, or delivered missile and rocket strikes on mujihadeen groups. The Chechen mujihadeen, armed with relatively inexpensive man-portable air-defense-system (MANPADS) missiles, were occasionally able to inflict casualties on helicopters with near-strategic consequences.

    An Mi-8 Hip transport helicopter crashed in the vicinity of the Shelkovskaya village in January 2002. This accident was particularly devastating, since two generals and four colonels were among the 14 dead. The rebels claimed that one of their Special Groups had knocked out the helicopter with a MANPADS, while the Russians asserted that an internal explosion had actually caused the fatal crash. On September 17, 2001, a MANPADS brought down a Mi-8 helicopter near Grozny's Minutka Square. Two generals and eight colonels from the General Staff, as well as the helicopter crew, were killed.

    As of January 30, 2002, the Russian Forces engaged in the Second Chechen War had officially lost 10 Hind gunships and over 20 Mi-8s during two years and five months of fighting. Rebel claims are higher, of course.

    Defining the Threat Over Chechnya

    During the First Chechen War (1994-1996), the rebels had four fairly sophisticated ZSU-23-4 self-propelled anti-aircraft guns (Shilkas), but their primary air-defense asset were six ZU-23s [twin 23mm towed AA cannons], along with an unknown number of KPV 14.5mm single- or double-barreled machineguns and DShK 12.7mm heavy machineguns, as well as automatic grenade launchers and light machineguns mounted on truck beds or carried in passenger cars. Fire from these anti-aircraft weapons was controlled via radio from command posts, and the gunners changed positions constantly, which hampered Russian attempts to detect and destroy them. Still, four Hinds received heavy machinegun damage by December 12, 1994. RPG-7 antitank grenade launchers were also popular anti-helicopter weapons. During the December battles on the approaches to Grozny, one grenade burned through an Mi-24's hull near the main reduction gear. The pilot managed to fly this severely damaged aircraft 40 minutes to its airfield. At the beginning of the 1994-96 conflict, the Chechens had an estimated 100 portable heat-seeking MANPADS. Russian ground troops captured several depots with large stockpiles of these missiles during the course of the fighting. Despite several observed launches though, there were no recorded hits, thanks to IR decoys and the guerrillas' lack of training on such complex weapons. There are four Soviet-era MANPADS that the Chechens inherited or acquired: the SA-7, SA-14, SA-18, and SA-16. During the First Chechen War, these "smart" weapons recognized Russian friend-or-foe systems as friendly and would not activate, but by the beginning of the Second Chechen War, the Chechens had learned how to rewire some of the Igla missiles to override those systems. One of the early Russian helicopter losses was an Mi-8 Hip on an artillery-fire-correction mission, shot down on September 11, 1999, by an SA-18 Igla portable SAM. The mujahideen claimed to have brought down another two Russian helicopters on February 23, 2000, with Igla and Strela missiles, along with fire from large-caliber machineguns.

    In the Afghanistan War (1979-1989), thousands of US-made Stinger MANPADS were supplied to the mujihadeen, along with British Blowpipes, older US Redeyes, and even Egyptian copies of the Soviet Strelas. From experience gained in that war and in peacetime exercises prior to 1994, the Russians found that the best way for a group of gunships to survive their own attack run was to fly at extremely low altitudes towards the target and then split up, approaching it from different directions. After making their attacks, the helicopters would make a break-off turn and depart at extremely low altitudes, their wingmen providing mutual covering fire and all of them making full use of their EW equipment (decoy flares and IR jammers).

    As Russia entered the Second Chechen War in September 1999, the $30,000 Iglas remained a potent threat and highly-pilferable item in the impoverished ranks of the Russian military, commanding anywhere from $25,000 to $70,000 to $200,000 on the black market. As a theater of operations, Chechnya was small enough that an Mi-24V group took, on average, 13-24 minutes to respond to a request for assistance, so the gunships were frequently called upon to engage targets right down on the deck. Russian pilots soon defined the MANPADS threat to be more likely to arise from an ambush of a reconnaissance aircraft or lone helicopter at lower altitudes than normal by a "revenge" attack on the aircraft's rear hemisphere. Their best advice was to maintain enough maneuvering power, liberally use chaff and flares, and to cover each other in flight.

    Russian Helicopter Self-Defense Systems

    Countermeasures dispensers were the most common and most used defensive device in both Chechen Wars. Fitted to both the Mi-24 and Mi-8 series were the ASO-2/-2bis and ASO-3 flare/chaff launchers. For instance, the Mi-8MTV/-17V Hip H can be fitted with ASO-2V flare dispensers under tailboom forward of the tailskid assembly initially, later triple racks (total of 192 flares) on sides of center fuselage. These were associated with the SPO-15 Beryoza (Birch) radar-warning receiver (RWR), which provided the helicopter with 360-degree protection. The Mi-24D's countermeasures suite typically included an infrared jammer, radar warner, and flare dispensers that are familiar leftovers from the days of the Soviet Army. The LIP microwave Doppler active missile-approach warner is fitted to the Mi-24 Hind and Ka-29 Helix, as well as the Su-25 Frogfoot fixed-wing close-support aircraft. In Afghanistan, the single set covering the Hind's rear and underbelly was found to be inadequate, since it provided no warning of missiles approaching from the forward arc or fired from high ground down onto the helicopter. Those installed on the Ka-29 marine assault helicopter (circa 1998) had a second antenna covering the forward arcs.

    The L-166B1A airborne fixed-source infrared countermeasures (IRCM) systems (later, L-166V-11E Jspanka microwave pulse lamp) was designed for installation on the Mi-8MT/-17 Hip, Mi-24 Hind, and Mi-25 Havoc. It can be fitted in a "flower pot" container above forward end of the tail boom. The L-166B1A has an IR transmitter/radiator unit that weighs approximately 20 kg (weight and size of the lamp depends on the aircraft), a mechanical modulator, and a cockpit control box. The system is rated at 2.8 kW with a system life of 1,200 hours, a mean time between failure of 250 hours, and an infrared-source life of 50 hours. The L-166B1A IR jammer is reported to offer protection against the Sidewinder, IR Falcon, Mica, Strela 2M, Redeye, and Chaparral. As long as the Russians stay ahead of potential enemies hacking their MANPADS friend-or-foe systems, the most-likely threat to the Army's helicopters remains the Western weapons systems, such as the Stinger-RMP [Reprogrammable MicroProcessor] Block II and the French Mistral. To counter this threat and still get the most from their budget dollars, the Russians plan to upgrade their existing helicopter fleet as much as possible.



    The Mi-28N Night Havoc represents a new generation of Russian combat helicopters, armed and protected with experience gained from Afghanistan and, to a lesser extent, Chechnya. The helicopter's Vitebsk self-defense system includes the Pastel radar-warning unit, Mak IR missile-approach warners, laser warners, a Platan electronic jamming system, and wingtip-mounted countermeasures pods with UV-26 flare dispensers. The dome atop the mast is for millimeter-wave radar. Photo by Michael Puttré

    The Mil Design Bureau has a three-stage, five-block MLU configuration for the estimated 200 surviving Mi-24V/P in Russian Federation service that will extend their retirement date to 2010. While the vast majority of the improvements are to operating systems, Stage III deletes the L-166V-1E IRCM System and replaces it with the Mak-UFM IR missile-approach warner and the L-140 Otklik laser-warning system that detects and identifies hostile laser designators and rangefinders. When lasers and radars illuminate the helicopter, the warning system issues a message to the crew, indicating the type and direction of the threat. The Beryoza radar- warning receiver is replaced by the L-150 "Pastel" radar-warning receiver. The UV-26 chaff/flare dispensers are retained. Russia's two newest attack helicopters are the Mi-28 Havoc and the Ka-50 Black Shark. Only the "Black Shark" has seen combat in Chechnya, spurring new tactics even though the mujihadeen reportedly have yet to engage the two or three aircraft in theater. The Mi-28N Havoc's Vitebsk self-defense system includes the Pastel radar- warning unit, Mak IR missile-approach warners, laser warners, a Platan electronic jamming system, and wingtip-mounted countermeasures pods with UV-26 flare dispensers. An export version of this aircraft was offered to South Korea in 2000. The Ka-50 is fitted with a radar- warning receiver, an EW system and UV-26 chaff/flare dispenser. The L150 "Pastel" RWR in the tailcone, at rear of each wingtip EW pod and under, nose covers the 1.2- to 18-GHz frequencies and is able to intercept pulse, pulse-Doppler, and continuous-wave signals. It can operate in a stand-alone mode or be integrated with the electronic-countermeasures system. There are also four UV-26 chaff/flare dispensers, with a total of 512 chaff/flare cartridges in each wingtip pod with a predefined release sequence, and a L-136 Mak IR warner, as well as a L-140 Otklik laser warner.

    One way for Russia to do an "end run" around budget shortfalls is to allow their technology to be purchased by other countries. With someone else footing the bill, Russian forces can reap the rewards of development experiences and overcome potential customers' reluctance to buy Russian equipment based on quality of after-sales support and avionics concerns.

    Israel Aircraft Industries Lahav division has developed the "Peak-17" upgrade package for the thousands of Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters that Russia has exported. Based on the Mi-35 and Ka-50-2 cockpit design, the package includes an EW suite directly from the Ka-50-2. The Elta Division was responsible for the aircraft's EW suite, which includes laser- and radar- warning systems, a missile-warning system, and chaff/flare dispensers.

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  18. #48
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    Launch Of GLONASS Navigation Satellite

    On December 25, 2005 Russia successfully launched Proton-K rocket from the Baykonur launch site. The launch was performed at 08:07 MSK (05:07 UTC) from the launch pad No. 23 of the launch complex No. 81. The rocket, equipped with DM-2 upper stage, delivered three navigation satellites into orbit – Cosmos-2417, Cosmos-2418, and Cosmos-2419. The satellites will join the Glonass constellation, bringing the number of satellites in the constellation to 17..........
    "A map does you no good if you don't know where you are"

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarryB
    The US forces don't need a javelin till something like the Black eagle or the T-95 are available for export... which wont be any time soon.
    Thats not very true... As even with current t-80 and t-90 with ERA its very hard to penetrate they armour frontally - espeally, with a HEAT weapon type. TOW-2 and other portable ATGM's will have problems to penetrate its armour.

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    Thats not very true... As even with current t-80 and t-90 with ERA its very hard to penetrate they armour frontally - espeally, with a HEAT weapon type. TOW-2 and other portable ATGM's will have problems to penetrate its armour.
    You are right but unless the US army is going up against Pakistan or India or South Korea any time soon that is not really an issue. ATGM traps are usually set up to attack the vulnerable flanks or sides of tanks though. I still see it as technology for technologies sake and a bad move. The Russians have already developed a unified "Rocket Launcher" system where you clip an existing Soviet or Russian disposable AT rocket onto a sighting system... the mating clip tells the launcher what type of rocket it is and enters its ballistic information into the computer inside the sight. A laser rangefinder is used to determine range to the target and a ballistic computer generates an aiming point based on range to the target and weapon type clipped to the sight to greatly improve performance. How much extra R & D would be needed for a simple EO seeker with Fibre Optic trailling wire for guided top attack?

    (The Soviet/Russian equivelent of the future warrior program the americans are building already include fibre optic connections to rifle sights to work effectively like the helmet mounted TV displays of the Rifle sight picture... but without the requirement for more batteries.)

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    Another try, last time I wanted to reply it just didn't work...

    As for "less reliable", I mean that for GPS, with an accuracy of 10m and a very high possibility of DOP1 it means that you are nearly sure of your position/accuracy. For Glonass, with a theoretical accuracy of 5m, but a DOP of mostly 2 or 3, this means that it is only equal or even worse than GPS accuracy as it gives you 10m and 15 respectively. As for GPS you are relatively certain of that error, for Glonass you are not. If you don't take in account that DOP, you might as well be up to 30m out of your real position.

    Austin, will join the constellation, they are not ready yet. And they will replace some of the older satellites as these are getting quite outdated too.
    Another disadvantage of GPS, they can't update fast enough. Galileo will change that. Galileo also has an integrity check, automatically kicking out a "false" satellite, while in GPS that one is still used for positioning.
    As for GPS, the Precision code is gone for the moment. The normal GPS positions are equally accuraty as the military ones for now. They had to do this as the DGPS stations were rising a lot and hence they wanted to get rid of that. To counter Galileo they are also developing GPS2, but as it takes them a long while to replace all of their satellites it will be a hard battle for the customers.

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    As for GPS you are relatively certain of that error, for Glonass you are not. If you don't take in account that DOP, you might as well be up to 30m out of your real position.
    Now for civilian use isnt 30m that good enough , But as it stands today the GLONASS bare minimum is not complete its still at 17 and 18 is the bare minimum for world wide overage , The accuracy will increase once it reaches the 24 figure mark.

    Austin, will join the constellation, they are not ready yet. And they will replace some of the older satellites as these are getting quite outdated too.
    Well out of the 3 launched yesterday one will replace the old one and the other two will add to the existing constellation making it 17 , also it wont take much long to get these satellites ready for operational purpose max 1 week to 10 days.

    But from what I have read the Galileo will be much more accurate than the Glonass or GPS for civilian use.
    "A map does you no good if you don't know where you are"

  23. #53
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    Galileo will only have 8m accuracy in civil use iirc... But due to her higher number of frequencies, including a seperate military one, it is probably that it will be more accurate for such use.
    They want to moor ships with GPS, sail them into locks with GPS etc. Then 30m is way too much, same counts for the moment on which they want to sail into port in dense fog. Now they just don't do it, but in the future there will be more and more pressure to do so and then 30m may cause a disaster.

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    How many Iskanders do the russians plan to get at the end ?And will the technological "reserve" of these systems last long enough to be really effective if need be ?It seems a pretty powerful system indeed! thanks

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    GLONASS System By 2008 : Putin

    India will have access to civilian and military applications

    MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin has ordered that the Russian-built global navigation system GLONASS become operational before 2008.

    "I'd like to bring it to the Government's notice that the GLONASS system should be deployed ahead of the initial plan, before the year 2008," Mr. Putin said at a meeting with Ministers on Monday. "We have such possibilities, let us see what can be done in 2006-2007."

    Russia has invited India to join the GLONASS project to speed up its completion. During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Russia earlier this month the two countries signed an agreement on technology safeguards related the satellite communication system. The accord opened the way to joint design and construction of a new-generation communication satellite, GLONASS-K, and to the launching of navigation satellites by Indian rockets.

    India will have access to both civilian and military applications of the Russian space-based navigation system, which will end India's dependence on the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS.

    Russia launched three navigation satellites on Sunday, bringing the number of GLONASS satellites in orbit to 17. To become fully operational, GLONASS must consist of 24 satellites.
    "A map does you no good if you don't know where you are"

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    There is no civil or military limitation in Glonass... Only GPS has such things. And Galileo on the future. The report also indicates that the system is by no means really operational, as he still hopes to get it finished by 2008.

    The first Galileo satellite, Giove A, has been launched too now. (they had too, as with the new year their licence for the frequencies would have expired, they were obliged to use some during 2005 and US would most probably steal it if they had the opportunity to do so). She's launched by a Russian missile. The intended accuracy would be 4m now, with the precision applications in less than a meter. Among these applications are the Military, SAR and others.

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    Austin:

    Do you have any information if Kh-35 was bought along Su-30MKI Mk3 or other batch?..in the Tactical Missile Corporation webpage (the manufacturer of the missiles along Kh-31 series and Kh-25) they reported that the Kh-35 was tested and finnally integrated along an export aircraft in foreign soil...they also reported the same thing along test fire in polygon for the Kh-31A in October, but this is now known that was connected to the UYAF (Yemenite AF) MiG-29SMT, that tested the Kh-31A in their territory with great success (4 test = 100% hits)...I don't think they bought two missiles for the same requeriment (Kh-31A and Kh-35 both AShM), and maybe the Kh-35 is connected to somebody else...

    PiBU states (I think he was) in JDW that Kh-35 will be exported along the Il-38SD that INAS will receive soon...and there is "non confirmed information" that Kh-35 or Uranium (improved Kh-35) would come with INAS MiG-29K...

    Any thoughts?

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    China has Kh-31 too and with their own ASM it's unlikely that they would buy Kh-35 as an extra. Malaysia bought some Sukhois, no? What about Vietnam? They were about to buy this missile too with the new ships, aren't they buying new planes too? Or maybe integrated the missile on their aircraft?

  29. #59
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    Su-30MKM aren't ready yet.
    Su-30MK2V for Vietnam...could be!.
    Su-30MK2 for PLANAF could be, but didn't they used Kh-31A for this?, waiting Kh-59MK?

    I think it could be Algeria's Su-24Bis or /maybe/ IAF's MKI mk3...but who knows

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    How many Iskanders do the russians plan to get at the end ?And will the technological "reserve" of these systems last long enough to be really effective if need be ?It seems a pretty powerful system indeed! thanks
    Iskander basically replaces the Scud operationally, with the Tochka replacing the late model FROGs. From the top of my head I think they are designated SS-26 and SS-21 respectively. Both use a unified guidance and warhead package, though the longer range SS-26 may have a modified INS and other bits for the longer range. Have seen Tochkas on parade since the very late 80s. Have no idea of numbers, but knowing them they probably still have stocks of FROGs and SCUDs to be used up first.

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