At the beginning of his article, Sina Military recalls that American aviation is good, and missiles are even better for it. Russia is also trying to create modern weapons, but in war conditions its products usually do not show their best. All this affects Russian military exports.
In investments in the defense sector, Russia does not lag behind the United States. The tabular characteristics of its missiles are not lower or even higher than that of American products. Despite this, it is not the first year that Russian aviation missiles are inferior to competitors in terms of sales.
Sina Military suggests considering in this context the main anti-tank weapons of the helicopters of the two countries. The USA represents the AGM-114 Hellfire rocket for the AH-64 Apache helicopter, and Russia - the AT-16 product (9K121 Whirlwind) for the Mi-28 helicopter.
The publication recalls that the AGM-114 was the world's first semi-active laser-guided helicopter missile. It was adopted in the mid-eighties and entered the range of ammunition of the Apache helicopter. Subsequently, the missile was included in the ammunition of the AH-1 and UH-60 helicopters. Over time, Hellfire became the most massive air-to-surface guided missile of its generation.
The maximum firing range of the AGM-114 reaches 8 km. Hellfire is divided into two generations. The first missiles have a semi-active laser seeker, and the second uses radar and infrared heads. First generation weapons are still being used more widely.
The Russian AT-16 / Whirlwind rocket also exists in two versions. The first version of this weapon in the type of guidance is only remotely similar to the American AGM-114. The carrier directs a laser beam at the target, and the rocket automatically flies along it. Not so long ago, tests of a new millimeter-wave radar head for the second generation of the Whirlwind were completed.
Rocket complex "Whirlwind" and its TPK
The Russian Ministry of Defense claims that the AT-16 missile range reaches 10 km. In addition, the Whirlwind is faster than Hellfire. In flight, a Russian rocket accelerates to 610 m / s versus 392 m / s from a competitor. The flight of the "Whirlwind" to the maximum range takes only 28 seconds. At 8 km, the rocket flies in 23 seconds, at 6 km - in 14 seconds!
Sina Military recalls that Russia has repeatedly demonstrated its missiles to customers, but this did not help. There are few orders for such weapons. The two helicopter missiles in question use similar laser guidance systems. Why do they show different commercial results?
The Chinese edition considers the reason for insufficient sales to be an outdated guidance technology used in the AT-16 complex. The missile is automatically held on by a laser beam illuminating the target. Because of this, the carrier helicopter must direct the laser at the target until it hits the rocket.
This type of guidance reduces the cost of equipment on the rocket. At the same time, it forces the carrier or helicopter to remain in the line of sight of the target for some time. Moreover, he is exposed to air defense or other enemy equipment.
American AGM-114 missiles with a semi-active laser seeker also require target illumination from a carrier or from the ground. However, at the same time, a more complex and expensive solution is used. The missile has an inertial navigation system that ensures its flight to a given point. Due to this, the carrier or ground gunner can turn on the target’s illumination only at the last moment before a missile hits, when the enemy does not have time to react to the attack.
Rocket AGM-114 Hellfire
A missile with such equipment is noticeably more complicated and more expensive, but due to this, risks for the carrier are reduced. At the same time, American industry continues to improve the Hellfire missiles. The new versions use infrared and radar seekers that do not need to be illuminated. In addition, a silent and almost imperceptible launch from the media is provided. All this makes the rocket even more deadly.
Reason for criticism
Comparison of two missiles from Sina Military is quite interesting, but not without weaknesses. The most noticeable is a mistake with Russian helicopters and their weapons. The 9K121 Whirlwind missile system is not used on Mi-28 helicopters. The latter solve the problems of defeating armored vehicles with the help of the Sturm and Attack missiles. However, the Whirlwind is indeed in service with the Air Force. Such weapons are used by Ka-52 attack helicopters.
Comparison of several versions of the AGM-114 rocket with just one Russian-made rocket, which results in the Whirlwind being an insufficiently universal complex, raises questions. Other Russian air-to-surface guided missiles, including newer and better, not mentioned and not considered.
Comparison of tabular data and characteristics looks quite objective, but misses important questions. Indicators of hit accuracy were ignored. Also, the parameters of combat units, the effectiveness of defeating armored targets, etc. are not considered.
Also, the Chinese edition was limited only to technical issues. For a detailed study of the commercial achievements and prospects of weapons, a number of other factors should be considered. Helicopter missile sales are affected not only by technical features, but also by the supply of aircraft, economic indicators, policies, etc.
Difference in concepts
It is worth recalling the important features of the two missiles, also missed by the Sina Military. Hellfire and Whirlwind products differ from each other not only in technical parameters, but also at the level of concepts underlying the projects. At the time of their creation, in the seventies and eighties, in the USA and the USSR there were different views on anti-tank weapons for combat helicopters.
Helicopter AH-64 Apache
The aim of the AGM-114 project was to create a rocket operating on the basis of the “launched-forgot” principle. Due to this, it was planned to increase the safety of the carrier helicopter upon receipt of the desired combat effectiveness. The complexity and high cost of such a rocket faded into the background. In the future, this approach allowed the use of the AGM-114A missile as a platform to create more effective weapons that receive new components.
In our country, the creation of “launched-forgot” missiles at that time was considered inappropriate for reasons of complexity and cost. All expensive and complex control equipment was proposed to be placed on an aircraft carrier or on a ground platform. Due to this, the ratio of combat qualities and cost met the requirements of the military.
Similar principles were used both in the Whirlwind project and in the creation of the later Sturm and Attacks. However, the customer’s views are changing, and new models of domestic aviation missiles receive autonomous guidance.
The differences in basic concepts and the difference in the results obtained could indeed have an impact on the export prospects of weapons. AGM-114 missiles of all modifications are in service with almost three dozen countries. Russian "Whirlwinds" are so far delivered only to the Russian Air Force. At the same time, export Sturm missiles can compete with Hellfire - about 30 operators. "Attacks" have not yet received much distribution.
Russian and American helicopter missiles reviewed by Sina Military did indeed show different results on the market. However, this situation is unlikely to be reduced to the principle of guidance alone. There are other important factors, and it is simply impossible to determine the exact effect of each. However, it is difficult to dispute the fact that AGM-114 sells well abroad, and only Russia has “Whirlwinds” so far.
Article 美俄 武装 直升机 导弹 竞赛 俄 导弹 速度 更快 为何 不 畅销: