Cruise missiles - present and future

Cruise missiles - present and future

Arisen (or rather, revived) in the late 1970s. in the USSR and the USA as an independent class of strategic offensive weapons, aviation and long-range marine cruise missiles (CD) from the second half of the 1980s are also considered as high-precision weapons (WTO), designed to destroy particularly important small targets with conventional (non-nuclear) warheads. Equipped with high-power (mass - about 450 kg) non-nuclear military units (CU) cruise missiles AGM-86C (CALCM) and AGM-109C "Tomahawk" demonstrated high efficiency in combat operations against Iraq (conducted permanently since 1991), and in the Balkans (1999) and in other parts of the world. At the same time, tactical (non-nuclear) first-generation missiles had relatively low combat flexibility: the flight mission was entered into the missile guidance system on the ground, before the bomber departed or the ship left the base, and took more than a day (later on it was reduced to several hours ).

In addition, CDs had a relatively high cost (more than 1 million dollars), low accuracy of hit (circular deviation - KVO - from tens to hundreds of meters) and several times smaller than their strategic prototypes, the range of combat use (respectively , 900-1100 and 2400-3000 km), which was due to the use of a heavier non-nuclear warhead, which "displaced" some of the fuel from the rocket body. The carriers of the AGM-86C KR (launch weight 1460 kg, warhead weight 450 kg, range 900-1100 km) are currently only B-52H missile carrier bombers, and the AGM-109C are equipped with “destroyer-destroyer" "submarine destroyer" class "surface-laying aircraft" and "AGMH", and AGMC are equipped with surface destroyer-class "destroyer destroyer" and "AGNH-class bombers". "equipped with universal vertical container launchers, as well as multi-purpose nuclear submarines (APL), using missiles from a submerged position.

Based on the experience of hostilities in Iraq (1991), the American CRA of both types were modernized in the direction of increasing the flexibility of their combat use (now the flight mission can be entered remotely, directly on board an aircraft or carrier ship, in the process of solving a combat task) . Due to the introduction of the optical correlation end-homing system, as well as the equipment with a satellite navigation unit (GPS), the accuracy characteristics of the weapon (CCE -8-10 m) significantly increased, which ensured the possibility of hitting not just a specific target, but its specific area.

The 1970-1990-e produced up to 3400 AGM-109 type rockets and more than 1700 AGM-86. At present, the CRM AGM-109 of early modifications (both “strategic” and anti-ship) are being extensively developed into a tactical version of the AGM-109C Block 111С, equipped with an improved guidance system and having an increased range from 1100 to 1800 km of combat use, as well as reduced QUO (8-10 m). At the same time, the mass (1450 kg) of the missile and its speed characteristics (M = 0,7) remained almost unchanged.

Since the end of the 1990-s, work has also been done in parallel to create a simplified, cheaper version of the Kyrgyz Republic "Tektikal Tomahawk", designed exclusively for use on board surface ships. This reduced the requirements for the strength of the airframe, abandon a number of other elements that ensure the launch of the missile submerged from the submarine torpedo tubes, and thereby improve the weight output of the aircraft and increase its performance characteristics (first of all, the range, which should increase to 2000 km ).

In the longer term, by reducing the mass of avionics and using more economical engines, the maximum range of modernized AGM-86C and AGM-109C engines will increase to 2000-3000 km (while maintaining the same effectiveness of a non-nuclear warhead).

cruise missile AGM-86B

However, the process of transforming the aviation AGM-86 KR into a non-nuclear variant at the beginning of the 2000-s was significantly slowed down due to the absence of "extra" missiles of this type in the US Air Force (unlike the Tomahawk CD in the nuclear version, which, in accordance with Russian-American agreements, withdrawn from ammunition ships and transferred to shore storage, AGM-86 still continue to enter the nuclear test, being the basis of strategic armament of US Air Force bombers B-52). For the same reason, the transformation into the non-nuclear variant of the strategic low-profile AGM-129A, which also exclusively equipped B-52H aircraft, did not begin. In this regard, the issue of resuming the mass production of an improved version of the AGM-86 CD was repeatedly raised, but no decision was made on this.

For the foreseeable future, the main tactical CD of the United States Air Force is considered to be a Lockheed Martin AGM-0,7 JASSM subsonic (M = 158) rocket, the flight tests of which began in 1999. The rocket, having dimensions and weight (1100 kg), approximately corresponding to AGM-86, able to hit targets with high accuracy (KVO - a few meters) at a distance of 350 km. Unlike the AGM-86, it is equipped with a more powerful warhead and has less radar visibility.

Another important advantage of AGM-158 is the versatility of carriers: it can be equipped with almost all types of combat aircraft of the Air Force, Navy and US Marine Corps (B-52H, B-1B, B-2А, F-15E, F-16C, F / A-18, F-35).

JASSM CD is equipped with a combined autonomous guidance system - inertial-satellite at the cruise flight and thermal imaging (with the target self-recognition mode) - at the final one. It can be assumed that the rocket will find application and a number of improvements being implemented (or scheduled for implementation) at the AGM-86C and AGM-109C CRs, in particular, the transfer of the "receipt" of target destruction to the ground command gear and the retargeting mode in flight.

The first low-volume batch of JASSM KR includes 95 missiles (its production began in the middle of 2000), the next two batches will make 100 products each (the start of deliveries is 2002). The maximum rate of release will reach 360 missiles per year. Serial production of the Kyrgyz Republic is expected to continue at least until 2010. For seven years, it is planned to manufacture at least 2400 cruise missiles with a unit cost of each product of at least 0,3 million dollars.

The Lockheed Martin company and the Air Force are considering the possibility of creating a variant of the JASSM rocket with an elongated body and a more economical engine, which will increase the range to 2800 km.

At the same time, the US Navy, in parallel with the rather “formal” participation in the JASSM program, continued to further improve the tactical aviation AGM-1990E SLAM, which, in turn, was a modification of the Boeing Garpun anti-ship missile AGM in 84-s. -84, created in 1970-s. In 1999, the Boeing AGM-84H SLAM-ER tactical cruise missile with a range of the order of 280 km, the first American weapon system with automatic target recognition capability (ATR -Automatic Target Recognition mode), entered service with the US Navy deck aviation. Making the SLAM-ER guidance system capable of autonomously identifying targets is a major step in improving the WTO. Compared to the automatic target acquisition mode (ATA - Automatic Target Acquisition), already implemented in a number of aviation weapons, in ATR mode, the “target” picture obtained by onboard sensors is compared with its digital image embedded in the memory of the on-board computer, which allows Autonomous search for the object of impact, its identification and targeting of the rocket in the presence of only approximate data on the location of the target.

The SLAM-ER missile is equipped with F / A-18B / C, F / A-18E / F, and, in the future, the F-35A. SLAM-ER - “intra-American” competitor of the Kyrgyz Republic JASSM (procurement of the latter fleet The United States so far seems problematic).

Thus, before the start of the 2010-s, in the arsenal of the United States Air Force and Navy in the class of non-nuclear cruise missiles with a range of 300-3000 km there will be only low-altitude subsonic (M = 0,7-0,8) CR with marching turbofan engines with low and ultra-low radar visibility ( EPR = 0,1-0,01 sq. M) and high accuracy (KVO - less than 10 m).

In the longer term (2010-2030-s) in the United States, it is planned to create a long-range cruise ship of the new generation, designed for flying with large supersonic and hypersonic (M = 4 and more) speeds, which should significantly reduce the reaction time of the weapon, as well as , in combination with low radar visibility, the degree of its vulnerability to existing and prospective enemy missile defenses.

The US Navy is considering the development of a high-speed all-inclusive JSCM (Joint Supersonic Cruise Missile) cruise missile designed to combat advanced air defense systems. CR must have a range of the order of 900 km and the maximum speed corresponding to M = 4,5-5,0. It is assumed that it will carry a unitary armor-piercing part or a cluster warhead equipped with several submunitions. The deployment of KPJSMC, according to the most optimistic forecasts, can be launched in 2012. The cost of the missile development program is estimated at 1 billion dollars.

It is assumed that the JSMC CD will be able to launch from surface ships equipped with universal vertical launchers of the 41 Mk. In addition, its carriers can be multi-purpose carrier-based fighters of the F / A-18E / F and F-35A / B type (in the aviation version, the missile is considered as a replacement for the subsonic SLAM-ER). It is planned that the first decisions on the JSCM program will be made in 2003, and in the 2006-2007 fiscal year full-scale funding for the work may begin.

According to the director of the naval programs of the company Lockheed Martin E. Carney (AI Carney), although the state funding of the JSCM program is not yet implemented, 2002 is supposed to finance work on the research program ACTD (Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator). In case the groundwork for the ACTD program will be the basis for the JSMC rocket concept, Lockheed Martin will probably become the main contractor for the creation of a new CD.

The development of the experimental rocket ACTD is carried out jointly by the company Orbital Sainz and the US Naval Arms Center (Chine Lake Air Force, California). The rocket is supposed to be supplied with a liquid air-ramjet engine, research on which has been conducted at Chine Lake for the last 10 years.

The main "sponsor" of the JSMC program is the US Pacific Fleet, primarily interested in effective means of dealing with the rapidly improving Chinese air defense systems.

In the 1990-ies, the US Navy launched a program to create advanced ALAM missile weapons, intended for use by surface ships against coastal targets. Further development of this program in 2002 was the FLAM (Future Land Attack Missile) project, which should fill a "niche range "between the adjustable active-reactive artillery 155-mm guided projectile ERGM (capable with high accuracy to hit targets at a distance more than 100 km) and the Tomahawk. The missile must have increased accuracy. Financing of work on its creation will begin in 2004. It is planned that FLAM missiles will be equipped with squadron destroyers of the new generation of type DD (X), which will be put into operation with 2010.

The final appearance of the FLAM rocket has not yet been determined. In one of the options it is possible to create a hypersonic aircraft with a liquid ramjet engine based on the JSCM rocket.

The company Lockheed Martin together with the French ONR center is working to create a solid propellant jet engine SERJ (Solid-Fuelled RamJet), which can be used on the ALAM / FLAM rocket (although it is more likely to install such an engine on later-developed missiles, which may appear after 2012 of the year, or on the ALAM / FLAM CR in the course of its modernization), since the ramjet engine is less economical than the turbofan engine, a supersonic (hypersonic) rocket with a SERJ engine is estimated to have a shorter (about 500 km) range, than d sonic KR of similar weight and dimensions.

The Boeing firm, together with the US Air Force, is considering the concept of a hypersonic grid-wing CD designed to deliver two to four subminiature autonomous subsonic CDs of the LOCAADS type to the target area. The main objective of the system should be the defeat of modern mobile ballistic missiles, which have a pre-launch preparation time (the beginning of which can be fixed by means of intelligence after the missile is raised to a vertical position) of the order of 10 minutes. On this basis, the hypersonic cruise missile must reach the target area within 6-7 minutes. after receiving target designation. The search and destruction of the target submunitions (mini-CR LOCAADS or planning ammunition such as BAT) can be allocated no more than 3 min.

In the framework of this program, the possibility of creating a demo hypersonic missile ARRMD (Advanced Rapid Response Missile Demonstrator) is being investigated. UR must perform a cruise flight at a speed corresponding to M = 6. When M = 4, submunition should be ejected. The ARRMD hypersonic rocket with a launch mass of 1045 kg and a maximum range of 1200 km will carry a payload of 114 kg.

In 1990's work on the creation of operational-tactical class missiles (with a range of about 250-350 km) also began in Western Europe. France and the United Kingdom based on the French tactical Apache Apache with a range of 140 km designed to destroy railway rolling stock (this missile was used by the French Air Force in 2001) created a family of cruise missiles with a range of order 250-300 km SCALP-EG / "" CTOpM Shadow "designed to equip the Mirage 20000, Mirage 2000-5, Harrier GR.7 and Tornado GR.4 attack aircraft (and in the future, Rafale and EF2000 Lancer) . The features of missiles equipped with turbofan engines and retractable aerodynamic surfaces include subsonic (M = 0,8) speed, low-altitude flight profile and low radar visibility (achieved, in particular, by finning of airframe surfaces).

The rocket flies along a pre-selected "corridor" in the mode of following the terrain. It has a high maneuverability, which allows for a number of programmed maneuvers of air defense evasion. There is a GPS receiver (American NAVSTAR system). A combined (thermal / microwave) homing system with a target self-recognition mode should be used at the final segment. Before approaching the target, the rocket performs a slide, followed by a dive at the target. In this case, the dive angle can be set depending on the characteristics of the target. The BROACH tandem warhead on approach “shoots” the target submunition, which punches a hole in the protective structure, into which the main ammunition, exploding inside the object with some deceleration, flies (the degree of deceleration is set depending on the specific features of the target assigned to the defeat).

It is assumed that the Storm Shadow and SCALP-EG missiles will go into service with the aircraft of Great Britain, France, Italy and the United Arab Emirates. It is estimated that the cost of one serial CD (with a total volume of orders in 2000 missiles) will be approximately 1,4 million dollars. (However, the order quantity in 2000 KR seems to be very optimistic, so one can expect that the real cost of one rocket will be much higher).

In the future, on the basis of the Storm Shadow rocket, it is planned to create a reduced export version of the Black Sahin, which can be equipped with Mirage 2000-5 / 9 aircraft.

The international French-English concern MBD (Matra / BAE Dynamics) is studying new modifications of the Storm Shadow / SCALP-EG rocket. One of the promising options is an all-weather and all-day shipborne vessel of the Kyrgyz Republic, designed to defeat coastal targets. According to the developers, the new European rocket with a range of more than 400 km can be considered as an alternative to the US Navy Tomahawk, equipped with a non-nuclear warhead, in comparison with which it will have higher accuracy.

CR should be equipped with an inertial-satellite guidance system with an extreme correlation correction system for the earth's surface (TERPROM). At the final stage of flight it is supposed to use a thermal imaging homing system for a contrast target. For guidance, the European satellite navigation system GNSS will be used, which is under development and is close in its characteristics to the American NAVSTAR system and the Russian GLONASS.

The EADS concern is working on creating another KEPD 350 Taurus aviation subsonic with a launch weight of 1400 kg very close to SC SCALP-EG / Storm Shadow. The rocket with a maximum range of combat use of 300-350 km is designed for low-level flight with a speed corresponding to M = 0,8. It should come into service with the German Tornado fighter-bombers after 2002. In the future, it is also expected to arm the Typhoon EF2000 aircraft. In addition, it is expected to supply the new Kyrgyz Republic for export, where it will seriously compete with the French-English tactical cruise missile Matra / BAE Dynamix “Storm Shadow” and, probably, the American AGM-158.

On the basis of the KEPD 350 rocket, a draft anti-ship KEPD 150SL KR with a range of 270 km, designed to replace the Harpoon rocket, is being developed. RCC of this type is expected to equip promising German frigates and destroyers of the destroyers. The rocket should be placed in deck containers of rectangular section, grouped in four-container blocks.

The KEPD 150 airborne variant (having a launch weight of 1060 kg and a range of 150 km) was chosen by the Swedish Air Force to equip the Gripen JAS39 multi-role fighter. In addition, this SD is offered to the Air Forces of Australia, Spain and Italy.

Thus, the European cruise missiles in terms of speed characteristics (M = 0,8) approximately correspond to the American counterparts, also fly along the low-altitude profile and have a range that is much smaller than the range of tactical variants of the CG AGM-86 and AGM-109 and is approximately equal to the range of the AGM-158 (JASSM). Just like the American KR, they have low (EPR order 0,1 sq. M) radar visibility and high accuracy.

The scale of production of European KR is significantly less than the US (the volume of their purchases is estimated at several hundred units). At the same time, the cost characteristics of the American and European subsonic CDs are approximately comparable.

It can be expected that before the start of the 2010-ies, the Western European aviation-rocket industry in the tactical (non-nuclear) class of the Kyrgyz Republic will produce only products of the SCALP / Storm Shadow type and KEPD 350, as well as their modifications. With a view to a more distant future (2010-s and later) in Western Europe (primarily in France), as well as in the United States, research is being conducted in the field of hypersonic long-range shock strikes. During 2002-2003, flight tests of a new hypersonic experimental cruise missile with a Vastra ramjet engine, being developed by EADS and the French arms agency DGA, should begin.

The implementation of the Vestra program was launched by the DGA agency in September of 1996. The goal was to "assist in determining the appearance of a multi-purpose long-range (combat) missile." The program made it possible to work out the aerodynamics, power plant and elements of the control system of the promising CD. Studies carried out by DGA specialists made it possible to conclude that a promising high-speed rocket should perform the final stage of a flight at low altitude (initially it was assumed that the entire flight would take place only at high altitude).

On the basis of the CD "Vestra", an FASMP-A air-launched hypersonic missile with an air launch should be created to replace KPASMP. Its entry into service is expected at the end of 2006. The carriers of a FASMP-A rocket equipped with a thermonuclear warhead must be Dassault Mirage N fighters and bomber and Rafale multirole fighters. In addition to the strategic version of the CD, it is possible to create an anti-ship variant with a conventional warhead and a finite homing system.

France is currently the only foreign country that has a long-range cruise missile with a nuclear warhead in service. Back in the 1970s, work began on the development of aviation nuclear weapons of a new generation - the ASMP supersonic cruise missile. 17 July 1974 was tested nuclear warhead TN-80 300 CT power, designed to recruit this missile. The tests ended in 1980 year and the first ASMP missiles with TN-80 entered service with the French Air Force in September 1985.

The ASMP rocket (part of the Mirage 2000M fighter-bomber armament and Super Etandar deck attack aircraft) is equipped with a direct-flow jet engine (kerosene is used as a fuel) and a starting solid-fuel accelerator. Maximum speed at high altitude corresponds to M = 3, on the ground - M = 2. The range of launch ranges is 90-350 km. Starting mass of the KR - 840 kg. Total manufactured 90 ASMP missiles and 80 nuclear warheads for them.

In China, with 1977, national programs are being developed to create their own long-range cruise missiles. The first Chinese KR, known as X-600 or "Hong Nyao-1" (XH-1), was adopted by the ground forces in 1992 g. It has a maximum range of 600 km and carries a nuclear 90 combat unit with kT. A small-sized turbofan engine has been developed for the KR, the flight tests of which began in 1985. The X-600 is equipped with an inertial-correlation guidance system, probably supplemented by a satellite correction unit. The final homing system is assumed to use a television camera. According to one source, the X-600 missile QUO is 5 m. However, this information seems to be too optimistic. The radio altimeter, installed onboard the KR, provides a flight at a height of about 20 m (obviously, above the sea surface).

In 1992, a new, more economical engine was tested for the Chinese KR. This made it possible to increase the maximum launch range to 1500-2000 km. The upgraded version of the cruise missile under the designation XH-2 was adopted for use in 1996. The developed HN-3 modification should have a range of order 2500 m.

The XH-1, XH-2 and HN-3 missiles belong to land-based weapons. They are placed on the "soil mobile" wheel launchers. However, variants of the Kyrgyz Republic are also being developed for placement on board surface ships, submarines or on airplanes.

In particular, the new Chinese multi-purpose nuclear submarines of the 093 project are considered as potential carriers of the Kyrgyz Republic. Missiles must be launched from a submerged position through 533-mm torpedo tubes. The carriers of the aviation variant of the KR may be the new tactical bombers JH-7A, as well as the multi-purpose fighters J-8-IIM and J-11 (Su-27SK).

In 1995, it was reported that China began flight tests of a supersonic unmanned aircraft, which can be considered as a prototype of a promising cruise missile.

Initial work on the creation of cruise missiles was carried out in China by the Hainsky Electromechanical Academy and led to the creation of the Hain-1 tactical anti-ship missiles (a variant of the Soviet anti-ship missile system P-15) and "Hain-2". Later, the Hain-Z supersonic RCC was developed with a ramjet engine and the Hain-4 with a turbojet engine.

In the middle of 1980, the research institutes 8359 and the Chinese Institute of Cruise Missiles were formed for work in the field of cruise missiles in the People's Republic of China (however, the latter is probably the renamed Hain Electromechanical Academy).

It is necessary to dwell on the work on the improvement of warhead cruise missiles. In addition to the traditional combat units, the American KR began to be equipped with fundamentally new types of warheads. During the operation "Desert Storm" in 1991, for the first time, CDs were used, carrying thin copper wire fibers scattered over the target. Such weapons, later received the unofficial name "I-bomb", served to disable power lines, power stations , substations and other energy facilities: hanging on wires, the wire caused a short circuit, depriving the electricity of the enemy's military, industrial and communication centers.

During the fighting against Yugoslavia, a new generation of these weapons was used, where thinner carbon fibers were used instead of copper wire. At the same time, for the delivery of new "anti-energy" warheads to the targets, not only KR, but also free-fall aerial bombs are used.

Another promising type of warheads of the US KR is the explosive magnetic warhead, which, when triggered, generates a powerful electromagnetic pulse (EMP), “burning out” the enemy’s electronic equipment. In this case, the radius of the damaging effects of electromagnetic radiation generated by an explosive magnetic warhead is several times greater than the radius of damage of a conventional high-explosive fragmentation warhead of the same mass. According to several media reports, explosive magnetic warheads have already been used by the United States in real combat conditions.

Of course, the role and importance of long-range cruise missiles in non-nuclear equipment will increase in the foreseeable future. However, the effective use of these weapons is possible only if there is a global space navigation system (currently the United States and Russia have similar systems, and United Europe will soon join them), a highly accurate geo-information system of combat areas, and a multi-level aviation and space system intelligence, issuing data on the position of targets with their exact (on the order of a few meters) geographic reference. Therefore, the creation of modern high-precision long-range weapons is the lot of only relatively technically advanced countries capable of developing and maintaining the entire information and intelligence infrastructure that provides the use of such weapons.
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  1. Professor 22 August 2011 12: 11 New
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    Great article !!! Unfortunately, domestic missiles are not described.
  2. NickitaDembelnulsa
    NickitaDembelnulsa 31 December 2011 16: 31 New
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    The main problem of the Russian Armed Forces is the lack of high-precision weapons, if they are then in small quantities and concentrated in the European part of the country, to cover important objects