Cruise missiles of the Caliber family were developed by the Novator Design Bureau, now part of the Almaz-Antey Air Defense Concern. A characteristic feature of the Caliber project (export designation of the Club) is the possibility of using missiles on various platforms, from ships and submarines to ground-based launchers or even special systems based on standard containers. All of these features have been used in several projects developed to date. Among other things, new missiles were proposed to be used as weapons for the Kalibr-M coastal mobile missile system or the Club-M.
The purpose of the project “Caliber-M” was the creation of a promising coastal mobile missile system with the ability to attack various surface or ground targets. It was necessary to ensure the possibility of the advancement of the complex’s assets to the specified launch area, as well as an independent search for the target and its further defeat. The development of the project was carried out by several organizations. OKB Novator, being the creator of the Caliber missiles, was responsible for armament, and other means were designed by the Morinformsystem-Agat concern. In addition, some other related developers and suppliers of the necessary components were involved in the project.
The prototype of the Caliber-M launcher at the MAKS-2007 exhibition. Photo by Said-pvo.livejournal.com
The development of the Caliber-M project started in the late nineties or at the beginning of the two thousandth, which enabled 2005 to begin promoting this system on the international market. At several international exhibitions and showrooms of 2005, the development organizations for the first time revealed information about the existence of a new coastal missile system, and also announced some of its capabilities. The main characteristics of the complex and missiles were identified, as well as some features of export deliveries were indicated. In particular, the possibility of using several types of missiles was already announced. In addition, it was then claimed that the facilities of the Club-M complex could be based on different types of chassis, including MAZ, Ural or even Tatra, depending on the customer’s wishes. When using one or another chassis, however, some modifications of the complex were required.
After the “premiere” of the project, work continued, resulting in the emergence of experimental equipment. At the MAKS-2007 showroom, Novator and Morinformsystem-Agat design bureau presented for the first time a prototype of a self-propelled launcher of a new missile system. It was a four-wheel wheeled vehicle based on the Belarusian-made MZKT-7930 chassis, similar to that used as the basis for Iskander complexes. Moreover, according to some data, the Calibra-M prototype was rebuilt from the Iskander machine that was available, with which some features of its design were associated. The presented combat vehicle received a lifting launcher with mounts for several transport and launch containers of missiles. The prototype shown received four containers with missiles.
During the MAKS-2007 exhibition, only a self-propelled launcher was shown as a full-size model. Other means of the Kalibr-M / Club-M complex at that time were demonstrated only in the form of large-scale mock-ups, as well as in the form of drawings in promotional materials. From the published data, it followed that, in addition to the launcher, the missile complex should include a communications and control vehicle equipped with a radar station for searching targets.
The full composition of the Kalibr-M mobile coastal missile system is as follows: a self-propelled launcher, a transport-loading machine, a communication and control machine, a technical support machine, three types of cruise missiles, and equipment for servicing and storing missiles. All fixed assets of the complex should be mounted on self-propelled chassis, which will provide them with the required mobility and allow them to arrive in the launch area in a timely manner, and then change their position and leave the retaliatory strike.
The number of those or other means in the complex depends on the characteristics of the area of work, tactical situation and other factors. In its simplest configuration, the Caliber-M complex can consist of two launchers and one communication and control machine, as well as additional equipment for solving auxiliary tasks. If necessary, the number of launchers working in conjunction with one communication and control machine can be increased. It was planned to include three launchers and one control vehicle, as well as auxiliary equipment in the typical composition of the missile battalion.
A self-propelled communications and control machine responsible for finding targets and target designation is a suitable type of chassis (for example, MZKT-7930), on which a wagon body is mounted with a set of special equipment, including a radar lifting antenna. At various exhibitions, it was argued that the monitoring of the situation can be carried out using active and passive means of observation: the equipment is capable of both “inspecting” the surrounding space on its own and studying the situation without emitting its own signals. The detection range in the active mode was set at the level of 250 km, in the passive - up to 450 km.
Communication equipment proposed for installation on the control machine, allows you to transfer data on targets to self-propelled launchers. In addition, it provides combat work on third-party target designation with the reception of information from the command post or from other reconnaissance means and the subsequent transfer of data to missile launchers. Fire control is centralized, which allows you to optimize the attack process of the targets by choosing a launcher at the most convenient position, controlling missile consumption, etc.
Self-propelled launcher worthy of separate consideration. This combat vehicle can be based on various types of chassis, on which, however, some characteristics of the complex depend. Thus, the use of the MZKT-7930 or BAZ-6909 chassis allows to bring ready-to-use ammunition to six missiles. In the case of the development of other versions of the complex on the basis of less heavy chassis, ammunition can be reduced in accordance with the capabilities of the existing equipment.
The prototype of a self-propelled launcher presented at the MAKS-2007 was a four-wheel-drive all-wheel drive vehicle with a special box body that contained elements of the launcher. A characteristic feature that distinguishes the "Caliber-M" / Club-M from the Iskander system on a similar chassis is a van of greater height and increased volume, containing a relatively large ammunition load. Because of this, in particular, on the roof of the cab of the base machine appeared characteristic housing.
The body of the launcher should protect the internal systems and TPC with missiles during movement and in the parking lot, and also not interfere with their launch. For this, the roof and rear wall of the van are made opening. On the sides are mounted double folding devices that can diverge to the sides and open the way for rockets. In the stowed position, they are folded and provide the required protection for the internal units.
The Calibra-M prototype, shown in 2007, received two independent launchers with their own hydraulic drives, which is probably related to its “origin”, namely, a remake of the Iskander complex. Attachments for TLC missiles were provided on two separate lifting devices. Each device could carry two containers. In the stowed position, the containers were lowered into a horizontal position and laid down along the hull. A vertical partition was provided in the center of the body of the van.
It should be noted that in the promotional materials of that time appeared ammunition set ready for use in the form of six missiles. According to some reports, full-fledged serial self-propelled launchers should have received three lifting devices with mounts for two missiles each. It was planned to provide both joint and separate raising of pairs of rockets. Nevertheless, images of the launcher, made in the form of a single package with a single lifting cylinder, appeared in the promotional materials. Regardless of the design of the lifting devices, it can be assumed that to implement the project of a “three-row” launcher, it would be necessary to redesign the machine body, increasing its width.
The promotional materials for the Club-M project claimed that a self-propelled launcher based on the MZKT-7930 chassis with six missiles would be able to travel along the highway at speeds up to 70 km / h and overcome at one refueling station to 1000 km. The combat weight of the vehicle was determined at the level of 48 t, the crew - 3 person. After arriving at the position of the deployment procedure should take about 3 minutes. Within 2 minutes after start-up, the car could move to the stowed position and leave the position.
The nomenclature of armaments of the mobile coastal complex “Caliber-M” proposed to include three types of missiles with different characteristics and a different range of tasks to be solved. To destroy the enemy ships, it was planned to use 3М-54КЭ and 3М-54КЭХNUMX missiles (in the export version of the complex). In addition, the complex could destroy stationary ground targets with known coordinates, for which it was proposed to use the 1М-3КE missiles. Such a nomenclature of missile weapons allowed expanding the range of tasks to be accomplished, ensuring protection of the coast not only from attacks from the sea, but also from other threats.
Anti-ship missiles proposed for use in the Club-M complex allow you to attack surface targets at ranges up to 200-300 km, depending on the modification. The missiles are equipped with penetrating high-explosive warheads of different weights, from 200 to 400 kg and, as a result, differ in starting mass. The 3М-14К cruise missile (or export 3М-14КE), in turn, must carry a high-explosive warhead weighing 450 kg and deliver it to a distance of up to 300 km.
The stated detection radii and missile range allowed the Caliber-M / Club-M complex to cover a fairly large portion of the coast. According to calculations, it is possible to protect a section up to 600 km in width along the front and about 300 km in depth, both towards the sea and towards land. Starting positions launchers, according to the developer, should be located no more than 100 km from the coastline. By properly placing combat positions, the Club-M complex can become a reliable barrier to the enemy’s way and disrupt the implementation of his plans.
It should be noted that these figures refer only to the export version of the complex and missiles. The events of the autumn and winter of last year clearly showed that the range of 300 km is solely a consequence of international agreements that impose restrictions on the characteristics of the exported missiles. In the case of the production of Caliber-M complexes for the Russian armed forces, the range can reach 1000-1500 km with the corresponding tactical consequences. At the same time, to achieve such characteristics, appropriate means of detection and targeting are required.
Both the Russian and the export versions of the mobile coastal missile complex should have a common characteristic advantage regarding the power of the missiles. It is easy to calculate that a general volley of six missiles of one launcher will allow delivery of combat units with a total weight of 1200 kg to the enemy ship. For ground targets, this parameter reaches 2700 kg. In terms of such characteristics, the Caliber-M / Club-M complex turns out to be one of the most advanced systems in the world.
Launcher on launch pad. Figure Concern-agat.ru
As you can see, a promising coastal mobile missile system "Caliber-M" is able to effectively solve the tasks of defense of the coast from enemy ships, as well as to strike at stationary objects at a distance of up to several hundred kilometers. The use of self-propelled chassis as the basis for all means of the complex ensures a quick transfer to a predetermined area, and also allows you to leave the starting position in order to avoid the enemy's retaliatory strike. At the same time, the high-throughput chassis significantly expands the size of areas where missile systems can be located.
The proposed detection systems and target designation provide a search for targets at distances up to 250-450 km, followed by firing control. To a certain extent, this simplifies and accelerates the conduct of an attack by enemy ships, and can also have a positive effect on the survivability of the complex.
Perhaps the most important and interesting feature of the Club-M complex is the possibility of using three types of cruise missiles. Two of them provide effective defeat of enemy ships, both single and in a group, and the third is intended for attacking ground targets with predetermined coordinates. Thus, depending on the task, the Caliber-M can be a complex of coastal defense, and an analogue of tactical systems with ballistic missiles. This greatly expands the range of tasks.
At the exhibitions of past years, the coastal complex appeared under the name Club-M, and the letters “E” were present in the designations of the proposed missiles. All this testified to the desire of development organizations to present their new project to potential foreign customers, as well as to interest them and further sign contracts for the supply of new equipment. According to reports, the countries of South-East Asia were considered as potential customers. In addition, the Persian Gulf countries showed some interest in promotional materials. All these Asian and Middle Eastern countries need modern systems to protect maritime frontiers, which is why the Club-M project could be of great interest to them.
Nevertheless, despite the presence of materials, layouts and prototypes at various exhibitions, the project “Caliber-M” / Club-M has not yet reached the construction and testing of prototypes. In addition, while there are no contracts for the supply of such military equipment. The new Russian project attracted the attention of foreign military, but in this case it did not go beyond simple interest and discussion. Domestic armed forces also did not show much interest to Caliber-M, focusing on the development of similar weapons for ships and submarines.
Despite a number of positive features, high performance and remarkable potential, the coastal mobile complex of missile weapons “Caliber-M” / Club-M has not yet left the design and construction stage of the prototype layout. Perhaps the situation will change in the future and the new missile system will be able to go into the series in the interests of the Russian or foreign armed forces. However, while the future of the project is the subject of controversy.
An additional factor that may affect the future coastal complex, can be the results of the combat use of ship-borne and submarine-based Caliber missiles. Last year, the navy carried out several strikes against a real enemy using such weapons. The results of combat use demonstrated all the advantages of such missiles, as well as impressed professionals and the general public. It cannot be ruled out that the results of the actual use of “sea” missiles of the Caliber family will in one way or another influence the further fate of the coastal Caliber-M complex.
On the materials of the sites:
Photo review of the prototype of the Caliber-M launcher shown at the MAKS-2007 exhibition: