Harpoon is an American competitor and an analogue of the Russian tactical missile X-35 "Uranus". Subsonic, has a range of 315 km. It has options for sea and air basing. Harpoon Modifications for Onshore Complexes assigned RGM-84 Index
Despite all the upheavals that the Russian military industrial complex has experienced in recent years, promising missile systems continue to be created in our country. However, the problem of choosing one design or another or their optimal combination largely depends on how politicians and the military see the scope of these tools.
Coastal anti-ship missile systems (BNCRC) are only one particular case of using anti-ship cruise missiles, but using this “particular” as an example, it’s quite possible to see how design concepts and views on the use of this type of weapon in the littoral zone with participation of Russia.
Recently, in the press, you can find allegations that likely military conflicts off the coast of Russia will not be a more pressing task to combat large-scale surface targets, but, on the contrary, to oppose small ships at close range. In such a situation, the advantage could be given to low-speed, but easier light-duty, anti-ship tactical class Uranian anti-ship missiles.
Finally, it is worth noting the promising development of the Novator Design Bureau, a mobile bomber Kalibr, better known under the export name Club-M. The 3M-54E rocket used in the complex passes a marching segment at subsonic speed, and at the stage of approaching the target, the warhead carries a detachable supersonic stage.
At the same time, despite the fact that projects to create supersonic cruise missiles existed in different countries, today it is Russia that is practically a monopoly manufacturer and supplier of winged "supersonic" to the world arms market. America is quite costly with subsonic Tomahawk and Harpoon rockets, which, however, are constantly being improved.
The X-35 “Uranus” cruise anti-ship missile was developed at the Zvezda Design Bureau and is designed to destroy ships up to 5000 t. A launching shipboard, coastal and helicopter design uses a detachable solid fuel accelerator. After the required speed has been set, the turbojet engine begins to work. Shot range - 130 km. The flight is carried out at altitudes 10 – 15 m, and after the target is captured by a radar homing head, the device is reduced to 3 – 5 m. The coastal tactical missile system “Bal-E” was created to control the coastal zone based on the X-35 rocket. The photo below shows the active X-35E radar homing head in the section.
To tell about the advantages and disadvantages of supersonic and subsonic cruise missiles “PM” asked B.N.Natarov, the lead designer of the military-industrial complex “NPO Mashinostroeniya”
“I would not want to put this question in terms of opposition,” says Boris Natarov. “Both missiles have their advantages. But each option has its limitations, imposed on designers by the laws of physics.
The fact is that a subsonic object will always win in range and in weight efficiency, that is, with the same range on a cruise missile flying at subsonic speed, it will be possible to deliver a more massive warhead to the target. And the provision of a greater range for a supersonic cruise missile is achieved with great difficulty.
As you know, the flight range of the winged vehicle is directly proportional to both speed and aerodynamic quality (AK). Aerodynamic quality is the ratio of the lift coefficient to the drag coefficient. Modern subsonic passenger liners of the Boeing-747 or A 380 type have an aerodynamic quality of about 17–18, which allows them to make record non-stop flights over a distance of more than 20000 km. But as soon as we move on to supersonic (and this, of course, concerns how aviationand cruise missiles), a contradictory situation arises. With increasing speed, AK begins to fall. Specialists in aerodynamics know the so-called Kyukheman hyperbole, which shows that when the speed reaches 1M, the AK value rapidly decreases and stabilizes only in the region of 2-3M.
This is explained very simply. At supersonic energy there is a significant dissipation. At first it is just heating, energy consumption for gas dissociation starts after 3М - further fragmentation of air molecules. And all this without the slightest benefit to the winged apparatus. "
This graph looks somewhat different (AKs on supersonic and hypersound increases by 1 – 2 units) only for one class of aircraft — for wave flyers using the so-called compression lifting force. Projects of this type exist (for example, Boeing X-51A), but there is not a single truly flying vehicle, since the wave-gun is set to a strictly defined flight speed, and to others it loses to devices of all other types.
The mobile coastal SCRC "Bastion-P" is equipped with Onyx ("Yakhont") rockets, which retain a supersonic speed over the entire flight path. When firing at a combined (combining high-altitude stretch and shaving flight) trajectory, the range is more than 300 km. The complex provides the autonomy of combat use ("shot - forgot")
Our choice is supersonic
In the days when the Soviet military leadership decided what to oppose to the American "Tomahawk", V.N.Chelomey - the creator and then head of the Reutovsky Design Bureau - gave a report at a meeting in the presence of the highest ranks of the Navy. His performance was extremely impulsive, and the pathos was akin to the well-known statement of the leader of the world proletariat: “We will go the other way!” The ideas of the general designer were accepted, and in spite of the Tomahawks of the USSR began to develop supersonic cruise missiles, in particular, “Meteorite” ", Which, however, did not enter service.
It is interesting to compare the strategic subsonic Tomahawk with the operational-tactical supersonic "Onyx". With approximately the same length, the American rocket is 2,5 times lighter than the Russian, while the weight of the warhead of the first is more than two times that of the 453 kg versus Onyx 200 kg. Tomahawk is able to fly a distance of 2500 km, "Onyx" - about 300 km.
By the way, the decision made in 1970-s to counter domestic supersonic with American developments was not the first attempt of this kind. Back in the late 1940s — early 1950s, North American Aviation began developing the SM-64 Navaho, a strategic supersonic cruise missile.
In response, in 1954, the Lavochkin Design Bureau began to design an intercontinental winged projectile, which became known as the “Storm”. Even then, the rigid constraints associated with supersonic structures became apparent. The engineers of KB Lavochkin managed to achieve an amazing result for that time –– to create the lightest glider, but the weight of the fuel was 70% of the flight weight of the device. But even with such a huge fuel reserve it was possible to reach the range of the entire 6500 km. Approximately the same result was in the American Navaho. The project "Storm" slowed down the work on the creation of a suitable rocket engine, and at this time there was significant progress in the field of ballistic missiles. It became clear that it was ballistic missiles that would allow the USSR to get ahead in the strategic arms race, and the Storm project, along with Navaho, of course, became only pages stories engineering sense.
The Italian cruise missile with a range of more than 180 km is designed to combat surface ships, as well as to bombard the coast. Created by Oto Melara in collaboration with the company Matra (France). Developing a speed close to the speed of sound, the Otomat MKII rocket became the basis for the Otomach supersonic project, which, however, was not implemented. The missile was in service with coastal complexes, set in the Arab countries.
Who will hit first?
“Besides that, with comparable characteristics of the range and mass of the warhead, the supersonic device is more massive,” continues Boris Natarov, “it is much more difficult to ensure the inconspicuousness of the latter. Both for subsonic and supersonic, various types of absorbing coatings are used, but a supersonic rocket heats up more and strongly “radiates”. It is not so easy to 'pay off' some elements of the structure, especially the air intake. By the way, in the latest version of Tomahawk, the advanced technology of the non-protruding air intake is used, which really reduces the visibility of the device. On the other hand, the supersonic machine is less adapted for maneuver. For some reason, many believe that the higher the speed of the device - the better handling. In this case, I recommend these people to get behind the wheel of a car and test this hypothesis in practice. With rocket technology, the same story takes place - in supersonic, the bends radii grow tenfold. The overloads remain very serious.
However, the most serious disadvantage of subsonic structures is obvious - they get to the target too slowly. The cruising speed of the Tomahawk rocket is in the 0,65 M region, which is comparable to the speed of a medium-haul passenger aircraft. Thus, a supersonic rocket will have a significant advantage in the probability of achieving the goal, because the enemy will have much less time to attempt to intercept it and shoot it down.
It turns out that, having a supersonic rocket of the 'Onyx' type, we win at the expense of speed in the opposite conflict situation. If we and the enemy have 'long arms' and at the same time received a warning about the beginning of a conflict, then a supersonic rocket is a formidable and effective weapon. But the question always remains open - will the conflict scenario be exactly one that will allow us to take advantage of our weapons. ”
Penguin that flies
Tactical anti-ship missile Penguin Mk2 (AGM-119B) manufactured by the Norwegian company Kongsberg. It is used in coastal anti-ship missile systems (can be installed on a tracked and wheelbase), and also has options for sea (pictured) and airborne. Firing range - up to 30 km. The basic version of the Penguin rocket was created in the 1972 year, the Mk2 modification was done in the 1980.
Everything is under control
All the arguments about which coastal anti-ship complex will be more effective or how operational-tactical and tactical systems will be able to interact, abut against the military-political model of threats that we intend to confront. If we are talking about a conflict with an adversary with high-tech weapons, such as those at the disposal of NATO countries, then it is clear that coastal SCRCs themselves are not able to repel such a threat. According to the calculations of American military experts, in the event of a conflict in the coastal area, the US Army will be able from the minimum 750 km distance to begin the destruction of coastal defensive systems using cruise missiles, stealth aircraft and UAV drums. And before these systems are finally suppressed, not a single large ship will enter the enemy's coastal PKRC.
“The problem also lies in the fact,” explains Boris Natarov, “that the radar means assigned to the Bal-E, i'Bastion-P 'complexes do not provide complete information to targets that are within or nearing their range. Yes, we are working to create operational-tactical strike systems of ever-increasing range and crushing power, but it would be nice to pay attention to the American experience, which emphasizes the principle of the three 'C'– Command, Control, Communication (control – control – communication). It makes no sense to swing heavy fists, seeing nothing and not hearing around.
As you know, NATO countries have excellent intelligence support and a powerful, extensive combat command and control system - Aegis ('Aegis'). In our country, such a system has not been created, although attempts of this kind have been made.
Everything should be decided at that moment when we realize that there is no point in spending money on UAVs for the regimental or battalion level. It's cheap, you can buy it abroad, but no one will sell us the Global Hawk long-range altitude reconnaissance UAV or the shock Reaper. We will have to do the technique of this class ourselves.
We need an analogue of the sea intelligence officer - the Compass Cope UAV, in order to fly over the sea for hours and days and provide protection for the whole zone. In the alert and reconnaissance regimes we will have to go much further from the coast and, of course, attract the fleet. Only then the already created rocket systems will be able to show everything that they are capable of. ”
Exocet is a French cruise anti-ship missile. Developed by Aérospatiale. Solid fuel modification 2007 g. MM.40 blok 3 is equipped with a turbojet engine. The rocket is intended both for launches from surface ships and for coastal PKRC. Range to 80 km. During the Falkland War (1982), the Argentine destroyer, with the help of Exocet, sunk the British destroyer Sheffield.