Anti-ship missile systems. Part one. On the ground
Finally, work on the creation of new anti-ship missile systems (SCRC) "Ball" and "Bastion" was completed. New developments have entered mass production, automatically transferring Russia to world leaders on these systems. At the same time, only operational-tactical Bastion SCRC, which are designed to defeat large targets, are purchased for the Russian army, but tactical SCRC “Ball”, which are less powerful, are not purchased. Such a policy causes considerable doubts, since in modern conditions large-scale hostilities are unlikely, rather local conflicts in coastal waters, for which SCRK Bal are more suitable.
To date, the SCRC is a powerful system, which is on the shoulder and the task of the defense of the coast, and the destruction of sea targets in hundreds of kilometers. Own means of targeting, high autonomy and mobility make modern SCRC difficult to attack for serious opponents. That is why interest in modern coastal SCRC gradually increases. In addition, these systems can be used as a means of using high-precision rocket weapons to destroy ground targets.
The most popular foreign SCRCs
The global market can offer a variety of coastal SCRC, using all modern types of CRP.
Harpoon (Boeing, USA) has a fairly large distribution, but is used in small quantities only in Spain, Denmark, Egypt and South Korea. SCRC Exocet (MBDA, France) use the first generation RCC Exocet MM38 and has already been decommissioned in the UK. Such weapons are used only in Greece and Chile; more modern Exocet MM40 missiles besides them are used by Cyprus, Qatar, Thailand and Saudi Arabia. Coastal Complexes Otomat (MBDA, Italy) still in 1980-ies were delivered to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Around the same time, Sweden and Finland began to use RBS-15 (Saab, Sweden), its coastal version RBS-15K. Croatia uses this SCRC in conjunction with its own, created in 1990-s of the SCRC MOL. Saab company is currently offering a coastal SCRC based on the new version of the RBS-15 rocket Mk 3.
Sweden and Norway use RBS-17 missiles (Saab, Sweden), which are a modification of the American anti-tank missiles Hellfire. They are equipped with light coastal launchers (PU). CRP Penguin (Kongsberg, Norway) from 1970-ies used in stationary PU coastal defense of Norway. Gradually obsolete systems are being removed from service. Japanese RCC SSM-1A (Mitsubishi, Japan) used in the country of origin for arming mobile coastal SCRC type 88, not exported. From 1970's RCC family Hsiung feng (Taiwan) is in service with the coastal defense of Taiwan for both mobile and stationary SCRCs. The first version was developed on the basis of an improved analogue of the CRP Gabriel Mk 2created in Israel. After 2002, the mobile SCRC comes into service. Hsiung Feng II with a more long-range local rocket. Experts do not exclude that the coastal complex based on the Taiwanese supersonic anti-ship missile will be developed further. Hsiung Feng III. These systems have never been exported.
The end of 2008 was marked by a contract concluded by Poland and Norway for the supply of one coastal division in 2012. NSM (Kongsberg, Norway) in the amount of 145 million dollars.
HY-2 (PRC) or C-201 - this is an improved analogue of the Soviet P-15 rocket, created in 1960's. Coastal PKRC in those years were the basis of the coastal defense of the PRC, exported to Iraq, Iran, Albania and the DPRK. The rocket version, equipped with a turbojet, HY-4 (PRC) entered service with the state in the 1980's. After 1991, the SCRC based on this rocket was exported to the UAE. Analogs of this rocket were created in Iran and the DPRK. To date, the rocket is incredibly outdated, so the weapons in the PRC are received YJ-62 (PRC) or C-602 - modern cruise missiles.
Light modern CRP from modification C-701 to C-705 combined into a family YJ-7 (PRC) Iran releases C-701 and C-704 missiles under license. YJ-8 (PRC) is a family of modern Chinese missiles C-801, C-802 and C-803. The SCRCs with C-802 are now in service with the People's Republic of China, in 1990-2000s they were delivered to Iran and the DPRK. Now they are seriously interested in Thailand. C-802 licensed in Iran, shipped to Syria and the Lebanese Hezbollah, the SCRC with these missiles managed to participate in the Lebanese 2006 conflict of the year.
History SCRC in Russia in Soviet times
The USSR considered the SCRC as the most important means of coastal defense with the military superiority of the West at sea. At that time, the Soviet Union was engaged in the development and production of SCRCs both tactical and operational-tactical, the firing range of the second SCRC was over 200 km.
In 1955, work began on the creation of a mobile complex "Sopka". An earlier development, the Strela complex, used the same C-2 missiles, therefore it was often called the Sopka stationary complex. The mobile complex was put into service in 1958 year. The Sopka complex was equipped with a marching aircraft turbojet engine, in order for the rocket to launch, a solid propellant accelerator was attached to the rear part of its hull. The complex was equipped with a “Mys” detection radar station, a central bridge combined with C-1M radar and a Burun tracking radar.
In 1959, C-2 missiles were equipped with Spontnik-2 thermal homing heads. If the missile was launched in the RKL C-1М beam, and at a distance of 15 km, the homing mechanism began to operate, the firing range reached 105 km. In the second mode, the rocket was driven to the homing zone by autopilot. The Sopka complex at one time was the basis of the USSR coastal defense, in the 1960 years it was actively exported to the allied states. The complex was finally removed from service in 1980's.
At the post of coastal defense complex "Sopka" replaced the mobile coastal SCRC 4К40 "Rubezh" and SCRC "Redut", put into service in 1978 year.
The Rubezh complex is equipped with the Harpoon radar. The composition of the battery includes four launchers and the same transport-charging machines, the total number of missiles is equal to X-NUMX P-16M naval missiles with a firing range of up to 15 km. Self-propelled launchers (SPU) are completely autonomous combat vehicles, they are able to independently detect surface targets and conduct firing.
Two types of homing heads (GOS) - ARL and IR, the presence of a powerful warhead increase the probability of hitting a target with a volley of two missiles with one SPU or a multi-rocket volley with several SPU even if there are interference, both active and passive. The main drawback of the complex is the use of obsolete rockets, which have a large mass and low flight speed. In addition, the operation complicates the presence of liquid rocket engines.
In 1980, the Rubezh SCRC was upgraded, making it still the basis of the coastal defense of the Russian Federation, although it is still considered obsolete. Poland, GDR, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Algeria and many other countries received an export version of the complex in 1980. Ukraine received part of the complexes after the collapse of the USSR.
Coastal SCRC "Redoubt" refers to the operational-tactical missile systems of the second generation. It was developed in the 1960-s, the purpose of use was to destroy any surface ships using the anti-ship missiles P-35B, the firing range is 270 km. The complex was put into service in the 1966 year, as well as "Boundary", the Redut SCRC was used to date. The SCRC is able to receive target indications from Tu-16D, TU-95D aircraft, as well as Ka-25 C helicopters equipped with a Success radar. At the end of 1970, a new Progress missile, the ZM44, began to be used. The powerful warhead and high speed of a sustained missile flight increases the likelihood of a target breaking through an air defense system with a single missile or a volley from several PUs.
In the presence of external target designation, the SCRC Redut is capable of covering several hundred kilometers of the coast. A powerful nuclear or high-explosive warhead disables any ship with a single missile. The drawbacks of the complex are related to the outdated model of the rocket, which has large dimensions and mass, therefore the SPU carries only one rocket, and the long range of its flight leads to problems with target designation. The SPU is not autonomous, like that of the Redut SCRC, therefore, it cannot independently detect targets and fire on them. Great deployment time SCRC.
In the 1980-s, the export version of the complex was supplied to countries such as Bulgaria, Syria and Vietnam. In all these countries, as in the Russian Federation, the Redut SCRC is not removed from service.
What we have today
In 1980, work began on creating new SCRCs based on promising RCCs at that time to replace the outdated Redut and Boundary complexes. Because of the collapse of the USSR, work ended only in recent years. New SCRC "Ball" and "Bastion" immediately brought Russia to the leading position in the global market of serial production of the SCRC. It is likely that the title of leader Russia will hold on over the coming decade due to the fact that the latest Bal-U and Club-M systems are being developed.
SCRC "Bastion" is designed to destroy various types of ships and ground-based radar targets with intensive fire and electronic countermeasures. One complex is able to provide protection over 600 km of the coast from enemy landing. The new complex was originally created as a universal, which can be placed on surface ships and submarines, on airplanes, boats and coastal launchers. The system was created in two versions - mobile ("Bastion-P") and stationary ("Bastion-S"). SCRC "Bastion" uses PKR "Yakhont". The advantages of this type of anti-ship missiles include over-the-horizon firing range, full autonomy of use in combat conditions, a set of flexible trajectories, supersonic speed during the entire flight, low visibility for modern radars, as well as complete unification for a number of carriers. The missile guidance system is combined - inertial at the march and active radar at the final stage of flight. The radar radar system captures the above-class cruiser target at a distance of 75 km. Maximum full capabilities of the complex allows you to see a volley. The missiles themselves are able to distribute and classify the target according to the degree of importance, choose the tactics of attack and the plan for its conduct. The autonomous system allows missiles to dodge the fire of enemy air defense. The complete ammunition of the coastal SCRC "Bastion" includes the 36 RCC (12 SPU for the 3 RCC). The deployment time of the complex is less than 5 minutes, and the frequency of shots is 2-5 seconds.
In 2006, Vietnam signed a contract for the supply of an entire division of the SCRC Bastion-P, the amount of the contract was approximately 150 million dollars, two such divisions were requested by Syria. The Vietnamese contract paid for the final stage of the development of the SCRC. Deliveries of the complexes along with the missiles were carried out in 2010 year.
In 2008, the RF Ministry of Defense signed a contract for the supply of three Bastion-P SCRCs with Yakhont for 2009-2011 to equip the 11 rifle missile artillery brigade of the Black Sea Fleet, which is deployed in the area of Anapa.
The replacement of the tactical complex "Rubezh" was due to the SCRC "Ball" using the small-sized subsonic anti-ship missiles "Uran". The firing range of the complex is 120 km. The complex consists of four SPU for 8 RCC each, two self-propelled command and control and communications centers using the Garpun-Ball target designation radar, and four transport-charging vehicles. The total ammunition SCRC "Ball" consists of 64 PKR. Modern navigation equipment and night vision equipment allow deploying the complex at any time of the day or night during 10 minutes. A one-time volley of the complex is up to 32 missiles, the interval between launches is 15 seconds.
The power supply of the machines is provided by autonomous sources of alternating and direct current with a gas-turbine drive, a backup power source is located on each machine and operates from the power take-off shaft of the automobile chassis. This feature speaks not only about the high survivability of the complex, but also about the possibility of autonomous use of all machines.
The only ballistic SCRC, made for training, was transferred to the same brigade of the Black Sea Fleet, where it is now, without having an ammunition rocket. Formally, the complex was put into service in the 2008 year, but it never entered mass production. The export version - "Bal-E" with the 3М24Е export rockets - is of interest to a number of states, but there have not yet been orders for it.
The latest developments in the field of SCRC are the Club-M mobile complex with a range of up to 290 km and the Mosquito-E complex.
Club-M uses cruise missiles of the Club family of types 3М54Е, 3М14Е and 3М54Э1, for export options are available on different chassis with 3-6 missiles on PU. Orders for its manufacture has not yet been. The export version of the ship Moskit-E SCRK based on supersonic 3М80E missiles has a firing range of up to 130 km. Perhaps the lack of demand for this complex is due to the large size of the new missiles and the small firing range.
The most promising for the Russian Navy is the Bal-U coastal SCRC. Presumably, the new complex will use the Yakhont and Caliber missiles, and is also equipped with new targeting tools. It is possible that the Ministry of Defense is awaiting the completion of developments and therefore does not order more Ball and Bastion SCRC with 3М24 missiles.
If the coastal defense system is fully equipped with “Ball-U” complexes, it turns out that all the weapons are represented by operational-tactical systems. Only expensive, high-power supersonic Yakhont anti-ship missiles and anti-ship missiles with a caliber supersonic stage, which are designed to defeat large targets, will be used. But tactical complexes will be absent as a class. Such a choice can hardly be called optimal both from a military point of view and from an economic one.
Even during large-scale hostilities, large enemy ships will not appear in coastal waters, being substituted for a missile strike. The probability of this behavior is close to zero. The near sea blockade is a thing of the past. And it is possible to strike sea-based cruise missiles from a distance exceeding the firing range of the SCRC. Thus, it becomes clear that the invasion of large ships, aimed at defeating which are targeted by the Bal-U SCRC, will be carried out only after the destruction of the coastal defense by aviation precision weapons and cruise missiles.
A considerable firing range will be reduced due to the difficulty of targeting at a long distance, and besides from the enemy you can expect all kinds of interference to determine targets. In the worst case, the SCRC will have to rely only on its own radar stations, whose range is limited by a radio horizon. So all the benefits of long-range missiles will be reduced to almost zero.
As a result, it turns out that in the conditions of real military operations, the declared advantages of using SCRC with powerful tactical missiles will be nullified by significant limitations. Therefore, the Ball-U will not be able to fully realize its combat potential. The use of powerful expensive missiles in local conflicts is not rational.
If you observe the modern development of the maritime forces of neighboring countries, it is easy to see that the emphasis is placed on small combat units, such as small combat boats, in the future - without crew combat equipment. Therefore, we can expect the appearance in the coastal waters of Russia not a small number of large ships, but a large number of small ones. So the RF VM needs to create modern effective means of dealing with small and medium surface targets at a short distance, especially in the waters of the internal seas.
As a solution to these issues, inexpensive subsonic and small-sized RCCs can be considered. "Uranus" with 3М24 series of missiles and its coastal variant - the SCRC "Ball" - successful, already developed modern systems, suitable in all respects for solving such problems. The lack of orders for these complexes seems very short-sighted.
Orientation of naval forces to combat light and cutter forces (at least in the Black, Baltic, and Japanese seas) will affect the construction of all the branches and forces of the Navy — the construction of ships, naval aviation, coastal missile and artillery units. The best option for the purchase of the SCRC will be the combination of the Ball-U and Bastion-P complex with powerful and high-speed missiles and Ball complexes with the Uran missiles.
It is also worth noting that the cost of one Onyx / Yakhont missile is three to four times higher than the cost of a Uran class missile. The cost of the "Bastion-P" complex with 16 rockets is comparable with the cost of the battery of the SCRC "Ball" with 64 rockets. At the same time, a volley of 32 subsonic missiles is often more effective than 8 supersonic salvoes.
Most likely, the practice will show that the sufficiently high cost of the Ball-U and the Bastion SCRC will either limit their purchase or stretch it over time. Therefore, the fleet risks remaining armed for the most part with the obsolete coastal Redut and Rubezh complexes, the combat significance of which will soon become insignificant. In addition, the 3М24 missiles are easier to modernize, and relatively small costs can significantly increase the flexibility and efficiency of using CPRC based on them.
To be continued.
- Valery Boval
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