In the new 2013 year, the Russian Air Force entered with a new missile, which can be considered a very good gift from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The X-38 air-to-surface missile was put into service at the end of December 2012. Rocket tests were conducted throughout the 2012 year in the strictest secrecy mode. Currently, serial deliveries of the first samples of the new missile to the combat units begin. First of all, the Su-34 front-line bombers and the MiG-29CMT fighters will have to receive a new short-range high-precision missile. In the future, the X-38 rocket will replenish the arsenal of weapons of the newest fighter generation 4 ++ Su-35С, as well as the upgraded Su-30.
X-38 is a development of Tactical Missiles Corporation, the head office of this company is located in the Moscow region in the city of Korolev. This is a purely Russian development, work on the creation of this rocket began in the 1990-ies. The new rocket has a number of distinctive features that give reason to call it weaponsrelated to the new generation. Firstly, this rocket is universal, it can be equipped with a variety of warheads and homing heads (GOS). Secondly, the rocket has folding wings, thanks to this fact it can be placed in the internal compartments (which is one of the important conditions for 5-generation airplanes).
According to the officer from the Air Force Main Board, modern tactical missiles, to which the American Maverick or the Russian X-29 can be attributed, thrusters cannot be folded, therefore they can only be used from the suspension units located under the wings or aircraft fuselage. Currently, only strategic cruise missiles, such as the Russian X-101 or the American AGM-129, have folding planes. Such cruise missiles are used by heavy bombers.
When performing flights at long range, fuel consumption is one of the most important tactical and technical characteristics of any aircraft, and rockets and bombs that are mounted on external hangers increase air resistance. It is for this reason that strategic bombers carry their main weapon in the internal compartments. The creators of the X-38 rocket took the path of strategic aviation complexes, as the Russian T-50 advanced aircraft is being developed using stealth technology. This aircraft needs to have as few reflective surfaces as possible, so placing the missiles on the external sling is not the best option. At the same time, the new rocket has only the 4 of the largest wings, while the remaining 8s do not interfere with the installation of the X-38 in the bomb bay.
It is reported that one of the modifications of the new rocket will be able to navigate in flight using the GLONASS satellite system. According to the officer of the Air Forces Commander-in-Chief, during the recent conflicts in the Caucasus, the hostilities in the Middle East and Afghanistan, it is very difficult to detect the target from the air, even when pointing from the ground. The means and methods of disguise today have become very sophisticated. In a forest area or dense urban development, target detection becomes even more difficult.
X-38 with folded tail
Traditionally, ground guidance was carried out using smoke signals, but this is an unreliable method that depends on wind and weather. Due to the wide distribution of GLONASS, there is no longer a need for smoke marking or the use of infrared markers; it is enough to enter the coordinates of the target from the satellite. At present, both the KAB-E and the American JDAM type bombs are being corrected by GPS / GLONASS. With the adoption of the X-38, Russian military aviation will also have a satellite-guided missile.
High-precision weapons for quite a long time remains one of the main problems of the Russian Air Force. There are practically no modern samples in parts, although Russia is engaged in the supply of some of them for export. At the same time, for the needs of Russian aviation, for the most part, Soviet models are still used, many of which have already expired, especially for fuel fueled with missiles. In this regard, the adoption of the X-38 high-precision missile can be considered a landmark step. This missile is capable of hitting enemy stationary shelters and maneuvering armored vehicles at a distance from 3 to 40 km., And the mass of its warhead can reach 250 kg.
X-38 technical features
X-38МЕ short-range aircraft guided missiles are designed to destroy a wide range of ground (armored and fortified), group and single targets, as well as enemy surface ships operating in the coastal strip. The peculiarity of these missiles is to recognize their modular construction principle, which provides them with an increase in combat effectiveness due to the use of different types of combat equipment and targeting, as well as the ability to respond quickly to changing tactical situations in the combat zone.
Fighters 5-th generation T-50
The rocket has been developed since the beginning of the 90s of the last century and is designed to arm not only promising Russian aviation complexes belonging to the 5 generation, but also airplanes of the 4 generation, as well as modern attack helicopters. For the first time the rocket was demonstrated to the general public at the MAKS-2007 air show. Rocket X-38 can be used with aviation launchers such as APU or AKU. In the case of the use of this rocket from a helicopter, special rocket boosters are installed in its rear part, which provide the missile with the necessary initial flight speed.
It is planned that these missiles over time should replace the previously adopted various modifications of the X-25М and X-29 missiles in the complex of weapons of domestic combat aircraft. At the same time, the size of the new rocket is intermediate between X-25М and X-29. Compared to these rockets, the new high-precision X-38 rocket has significantly increased reliability, operational resources and service life.
Currently, this missile is available in the following modifications: X-38MLE, X-38MAE, X-38МТЭ, X-38МКЭ, which use different types of targeting systems:
X-38MAE - inertial + active radar;
X-38MLE - inertial + semi-active laser;
X-38MTE - inertial + thermal;
X-38MKE - inertial + satellite navigation (GLONASS).
The X-38МЭ short-range missiles are modular, which, depending on the intended type of target, allows you to change various homing heads and combat units. In this case, the guidance of all the missiles is combined - on the march portion of the flight, the missiles are controlled using an inertial control system, and in the final segment the missile switches to homing. In order to reduce the restrictions on the movement of the rocket carrier, the X-38 control system provides a fairly wide angle around the target bearing in the horizontal plane at the time of launching ± 80 °. A warhead of missiles can be equipped with a penetrating warhead (PRBCH), high-explosive fragmentation warhead (OFBCH) or a cluster warhead (EBC).
The delivery package of the X-38 rocket includes:
- directly combat missile;
- educational rocket;
- flight rocket;
- educational split rocket;
- rocket layout overall mass;
- a set of operational documentation of the rocket;
-komplete group spares for 10 years;
- the ZIP set is single.
Ground operation of this type of missiles is provided by the Oka-E-1 aircraft preparation system for weapons of destruction.
Flight performance X-38:
Body length / diameter / wingspan: 4,2x0,31x1,14 m.
Missile launch mass: 520 kg.
Starting range: 3-40 km.
Rocket flight speed, not more: 2,2М
The angle of the bearing target at the time of launch in the horizontal plane: ± 80 °
The probability of hitting the target: 0,8 / 0,6 (without opposition / with opposition of the enemy)
Resource rocket takeoffs landings: 15 / 30 (aircraft / helicopter); on the fly under the carrier: 75 / 75 h .; on equipment operating time: 90 / 90 h.
Service life: 10 years
Warhead weight: up to 250 kg.
Explosive device: contact.
Starting range: 200-12000 m.
Starting speed range: 15-450 m / s.