In August, at the international aerospace salon MAKS-2013, Tactical Missile Weapons Corporation presented its new development. At one of the stands of the corporation there was a mock-up of the rocket and a transport and launch container for it. On the rocket itself there was an RZV-MD index, on the container - 9М338К. The index indicated on the transport and launch container said that Tactical Missile Armament and Vympel GosMKB for the first time showed a new rocket for anti-aircraft missiles of the Tor family. At the exhibition booth was present information about the ammunition, confirming this assumption. However, there was no official information about the ownership of the RZV-MD missile complex “Thor”.
Only two and a half months later, official information appeared about the new anti-aircraft missile system, which will use the ammunition shown at the MAKS-2013 exhibition. A few days ago, S.Druzin, deputy general director of the Almaz-Antey Air Defense Concern on scientific and technical development, told RIA News about work on a new project. The Tor-М2 air defense system is a continuation of the well-known line of missile systems and is designed for air defense of troops on the march and in positions. A number of measures were taken as part of the new project, which made it possible to significantly increase the potential of the anti-aircraft complex. First of all, there is an increased range of destruction of targets, as well as twice as much ammunition compared to previous air defense systems of the “Th” family.
In late October, the Almaz-Antey Air Defense Concern conducted firing, which confirmed the characteristics of the new anti-aircraft missile system. According to S. Drugin, the results of these tests suggest the creation of a unique anti-aircraft complex for its class with tremendous characteristics. During the tests, the Tor-M2 complex showed a unique accuracy when firing at a range greater than the target. Thus, when shooting at five targets of the Saman type, three were destroyed by a direct hit by an anti-aircraft missile. The remaining conditional targets were hit by a stream of shrapnel.
In the near future, the possibility of changing the methods of combat work of the new air defense system may be considered. At present, the combat vehicle must make a short stop for a rocket launch, no more than 2-3 seconds. Recent tests have shown that in the future, the Tor-M2 complex is capable of launching an anti-aircraft missile on the move. Studies of such opportunities may begin soon.
Work on the Tor-M2 anti-aircraft missile system with the 9М338К rocket continued for several years. The annual report of the Almaz-Antey Air Defense Concern for 2008 a year indicated the completion of state tests of the Tor-M2 air defense system with the 9М331 rocket, as well as comprehensive preliminary tests of this complex with the 9М338К rocket. In 2009, the concern continued to test new products, and in 2012, state tests of the 9K331М anti-aircraft complex with the 9М338К rocket were conducted. Thus, the available information about the timing of the tests and the latest information about the Tor-M2 complex allows us to speculate about its early adoption, as well as about the start of mass production of combat vehicles and missiles of the new model.
Currently available information about the upgraded anti-aircraft missile system and the new rocket provide an opportunity to present their overall appearance. The development of the complex itself was carried out by the Moscow Scientific Research Electromechanical Institute (NIEMI), which is part of the Almaz-Antey State Design Bureau named after A.A. Raspletin. The 9М338К rocket was developed by the Vympel GosMKB. Serial production of combat vehicles of the Tor-M2 complex is expected to be deployed at the Kupol Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant, and the Avitek enterprise (Kirov) will be engaged in assembling the missiles.
In terms of its size and weight, the 9М338К rocket is almost the same as the previous ammunition of the Tor family. An anti-aircraft missile of the new model is supplied in a transport-launch container (TLC) with a length of 2,94 meter and diameter of 0,24 m. The weight of the TPC with a rocket is 163 kilogram. The solid propellant provides the rocket with a flight speed of up to 1000 m / s. The maximum target destruction range is declared at the level of 16 km, the maximum height is 10 km. The 9М338К rocket uses a radio command guidance system.
Back in August, after the first display of the layout of the new rocket, there were suggestions about a serious change in its layout. The fact is that the demonstrated RZV-MD rocket, in contrast to previous ammunition for the Tor system, does not have any rudders or wings in the forward part of the hull. However, in the tail section there are four fixed wings and four turning steering wheels. There are also engines of declination, used at launch to rotate the rocket in the right direction. Thus, the 9М338К rocket is, at a minimum, a deep upgrade of existing products, if not a completely new development.
As follows from the available information, during the creation of a new anti-aircraft missile complex, a self-propelled launcher has undergone major changes. According to official data, the ammunition load of the Tor-M2 vehicle is doubled, i.e. combat vehicle simultaneously transports 16 missiles. Given the fact that the dimensions of the TPC missiles of the new model correspond to the size of the old containers, we can talk about changing the layout of the internal volumes of the combat vehicle. For ease of operation, the anti-aircraft missile complexes of the “Thor” family of TPK are assembled into packages, each of which contains four containers. Thus, the "Top-M2" is equipped with four packages, rather than two, as it was in the previous complexes of the family.
Available information on the project to create a new air defense missile system with a promising rocket 9М338К suggests that mass production of combat vehicles and ammunition may begin in the very near future. Nevertheless, there is no official information about the planned dates for the start of production and supply to the troops of new complexes and missiles.
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