Military Review

Coastal missile complex "Sopka"

In 1954, the development of the Strela coastal missile system was launched with the C-2 anti-ship cruise missile. The result of this project was the construction of four complexes in the Crimea and on. Kildin, the full operation of which began by the year 1958. Having a number of characteristic advantages, the stationary complex "Strela" could not change its position, because of which it risked becoming the target of the first strike. Thus, the coastal missile forces and artillery required a mobile system, less susceptible to retaliatory or preventive strikes. The solution to this problem was the project "Sopka".

The decision to create a mobile missile system based on existing developments was taken at the end of 1955, and secured by a decree of the Council of Ministers on December 1. The branch of OKB-155, headed by A.Ya. Bereznyak was instructed to create a new version of the missile system with extensive use of existing developments and products. The project received the symbol "Sopka". Interestingly, it was planned to use the C-2 rocket, which was created for the Strela complex. This feature of the two projects often leads to confusion, which is why the stationary complex is often called the early modification of the Sopka. Nevertheless, despite the high degree of unification, these were two different projects created in parallel.

The creation of the Sopka complex started almost two years after the start of work on the Strela, which led to some specific results. First of all, this allowed us to speed up work on the new project through the use of already developed components and assemblies. In addition, a newer complex was to receive a number of means of later models and different from those used in Strela. It also provided for the use of some systems that should have been developed from scratch. First of all, these were the means of ensuring the mobility of the complex.

Launcher B-163 with C-2 rocket. Photo of Wikimedia Commons

The main element of the complex "Sopka" was supposed to be a guided cruise missile S-2, the development of which was nearing completion. It was a slightly modified modification aviation missiles KS-1 "Comet" and was intended to destroy surface targets. When developing the KS-1, the developments on the first domestic jet fighters were widely used, which led to the formation of a characteristic appearance of the product. The Comet and the missiles at its base looked like a smaller copy of the MiG-15 or MiG-17 fighter without a cockpit and weapons. Outward similarity was accompanied by unification across some systems.

The C-2 rocket with a total length of less than 8,5 m had a streamlined cylindrical fuselage with a frontal air intake, on the upper surface of which the casing of the homing head was located. The rocket received a swept wing with a span of 4,7 m with hinges for folding and a keel with a midrange horizontal tail. The main external difference between the C-2 product and the base CS-1 was in the starting powder engine, which was proposed to be hung under the tail of the rocket.

For the launch, derailment from the launch guide and the initial acceleration, the C-2 rocket was supposed to use the SPRD-15 solid-fuel accelerator up to 41 t. The RD-500K turbojet engine up to 1500 kg was proposed as a propulsion system. The latter worked on kerosene and allowed a rocket with a starting weight of up to 3,46 t (less than 2950 kg after accelerator reset) to reach a speed of up to 1000-1050 km / h and cover the distance to 95 km.

The missile received a semi-active radar homing head of the C-3 type with the ability to work in two modes, responsible for aiming at the target at different stages of the flight. Inside the fuselage of the rocket, they placed a high-explosive warhead with a charge weighing 860 kg. Also, the rocket received a barometric altimeter for flight to the target, autopilot and a set of other equipment, borrowed from the base COP-1.

Coastal missile complex "Sopka"
The rocket on the launch guide. Photo by

Especially for the Sopka missile system, a mobile launcher B-163 was developed at the Bolshevik plant. This product was a wheeled towed chassis with outriggers and a turntable on which the swing start guide was installed with a length of 10 m. The guide consisted of two rails on a U-shaped base, along which the rocket mounts had to move. The starting engine at the same time passed between the rails. The guide had two positions: horizontal transport and combat with a fixed angle of elevation 10 °. Horizontal guidance was carried out within 174 ° to the right and to the left of the longitudinal axis. For reloading the rocket from the conveyor to the rail, an electric windlass was provided.

Installation B-163 had a total length of 12,235 m, width 3,1 and height 2,95 m. When deployed by outriggers and lifting the guide, the width B-163 increased to 5,4 m, height - to 3,76 m (excluding the rocket). It was proposed to transport the launcher using an AT-C tractor. Towing was allowed at a speed of no more than 35 km / h. After arriving at the position, the launcher was to be deployed, which required 30 minutes.

For the transportation of missiles proposed product PR-15. It was a semi-trailer for the ZIL-157В tractor with attachments for the C-2 rocket and devices for transferring the product to the launcher. To transfer the rocket from the conveyor to the rail, it was required to move the conveyor to the installation and join them. After that with the help of a winch weapon transferred to the guide. Then it was required to perform some other procedures, including suspension of the starting engine, connecting cables, etc.

The composition of the search and detection of the target remained the same and corresponded to the basic complex. The complex "Sopka", as in the case of the "Arrow", had to include several radar stations for various purposes. In order to ensure the rapid transfer of the complex to the specified positions, all the radars had to be made in the form of towed trailers with their own power supply systems and all necessary equipment.

To observe the hidden water area and search for targets, the Sopka complex had to use the radar station Mys. This system allowed to conduct a circular review or to monitor the selected sector at distances up to 200 km. The mission of the Mys station was to search for targets and then issue data about them to other means of the missile complex, which are responsible for performing other tasks.

Tractor, PR-15 transporter and C-2 rocket. Figure

Information about the found target was transmitted on the radar tracking "Burun". The task of this system was to support surface targets with the definition of their coordinates for the subsequent attack. Opportunities "Burun" allowed to monitor objects at distances comparable to the maximum detection limit of the Cape, at target speeds up to 60 nodes. The data from Burun station was used during the operation of the next element of the complex.

Directly for the attack of the target, the radar of the C-1 or C-1M in towed version had to respond. Before launching and until the end of the rocket’s flight, this station had to follow the target, directing its own beam to it. At all stages of the flight, the missile’s homing system had to receive a direct or reflected C-1 signal and produce orientation in space or guidance to an illuminated target.

The C-3 homing head, used on the C-2 rocket, was a further development of devices used in previous projects based on Komets. The semi-active seeker was supposed to work in two modes and thereby ensure the flight to the target area and then pointing at it. Immediately after launch, the rocket had to enter the beam of the C-1 station and be held there until a certain moment of flight — this mode of operation of the GOS was designated by the letter “A”. Mode “B” was activated at a distance of no more than 15-20 km from the target in accordance with a predetermined flight program. In this mode, the rocket had to search for the signal of the illumination station reflected by the target. The final targeting to the enemy object was made precisely by the reflected signal.

The used set of radar detection and control tools allowed the Sopka complex to detect potentially dangerous surface objects within a radius of up to 200 km. Due to the limitations imposed by the design of the cruise missile, the target range did not exceed 95 km. Taking into account the speeds of potential targets, as well as the differences in the range of detection and destruction, the calculation of the coastal complex had enough time to perform all the necessary work before launching the rocket.

The main combat unit of the complex "Sopka" was to be the rocket division. The structure of this unit included four launchers, one set of radar stations and one command post. In addition, the division received a set of tractors, transporters for missiles, ammunition (most often 8 missiles) and various auxiliary means for maintenance, preparation for work, etc.

Rocket, rear view. The powder starting engine is visible. Photo

The coastal complex consisting of the C-2 rocket and the Mys, Burun and C-1 radar stations were first tested in early June of the 1957 year. Then, as part of testing the Strela stationary complex, a search for a training target was performed, followed by the launch of a cruise missile. Due to the high unification of the two complexes during the creation of the Sopka, it was possible to significantly reduce and speed up the test program. Most of the systems of this complex have already been tested in the course of the previous project, which had corresponding positive consequences.

Nevertheless, the complex "Sopka" still passed the necessary checks. Factory tests of this system started on November 27 1957 of the year. Before 21 December, four missile launches were made for the training target. In this case, the first two launches were single, and the last two missiles at the end of December were launched in one gulp. All four missiles successfully aimed at the target in the form of a ship standing on barrels, but only three were able to hit it. The rocket of the second launch did not hit the ship, but into one of the barrels that held it in place. Nevertheless, the tests were considered successful, which allowed to continue the work.

State tests of the Sopka complex began in the middle of August 1958, and continued over the next two months. During these checks, 11 missiles were used. One launch was recognized as completely successful, another seven were partially successful, and the other three did not lead to the defeat of the training goals. Such indicators of the complex, as well as the possibility of a quick change of position, became the reason for the emergence of recommendations for adoption.

December 19, 1958, the newest coastal missile system Sopka with the S-2 cruise missile was adopted by the Navy fleet. Soon after, the plan for the serial construction of new systems was finally adopted, followed by the transfer of the fleet to the coastal forces and deployment on various sections of the coast.

The formation of compounds that were to operate the new equipment began a few months before the official adoption of the Sopka into service. Back in June, a separate division was formed as part of the Baltic Fleet, which was armed with the Sopka complex. At the beginning of 1958, this division was reorganized into the 1960 th separate coastal missile regiment (OBRP). In May, the 27 th 60 th separate mobile coastal artillery regiment of the Baltic Fleet became a separate coastal missile regiment.

Preparing for launch. Photo

In 1959, the Sopka complexes, after they were officially put into service, began to be delivered to the Northern and Pacific Fleets. As a result, in the Northern Fleet by the 60 year, the 735 coastal artillery regiment had become missile. Later he received a new number, becoming the 501 OBRP. In the 59-m in Primorye, the service began 528-th separate coastal missile regiment, and a year later in Kamchatka began service 21-th regiment. At the beginning of July, 1960, a new 51 th OBRP appeared in the Black Sea Fleet, which immediately received Sopka complexes. Thus, by the end of 1960, there was at least one regiment of all Soviet fleets, armed with mobile coastal missile systems, consisting of four divisions each. Two special regiments were deployed in the most critical areas, in the Pacific and in the Baltic.

After the formation of new and re-existing parts of the Soviet Union began the delivery of Sopka complexes to friendly states. One of the first foreign customers were the GDR and Poland. For example, in 1964, the 27 OBRP helped Polish and German colleagues to master and use new weapons. So, the first firing of C-2 missiles by Germany and Poland was carried out under the control of the Soviet military. In addition, the Sopka systems were supplied to Bulgaria, Egypt, the DPRK, Cuba and Syria.

Of particular interest is the delivery of missile systems to Cuba, which actually became the first foreign operator of Sopki. In August, four battalions from the 1962-th separate coastal missile regiment of the Black Sea Fleet were brought to the “Island of Freedom”. The divisions had at their disposal up to 51-35 C-40 missiles, as well as eight launchers (two in the division) and radar stations of all the necessary types. After the famous events of the autumn of 2, the military personnel of the 1962 OBRP went home. The material part of the regiment left the coastal forces of a friendly state. After returning home, the regiment received new missile system assets and continued service, defending the Black Sea coast.

In 1959, the C-2 missile modernization project was developed using a new homing system. The updated rocket differed from the basic version by the presence of the “Sputnik-2” equipment instead of the GOS C-3. The flight mode in the radar beam of the illumination was saved, and at the final stage it was proposed to direct the rocket at the thermal radiation of the target. The use of an infrared homing head made it possible to attack surface targets when the enemy delivered electromagnetic interference, and also to protect the Sopka radar from the enemy’s anti-radar missiles. It was also planned to implement the principle of "launched-forgotten", in which the rocket had to go to the target area using an autopilot and then turn on the GOS. For a number of reasons, the C-2 rocket with the Sputnik-2 system did not go into series, and the troops continued to operate weapons with semi-active radar seekers.

The Sopka missile system was in service with the coastal forces of the Soviet Navy until the early eighties. By this time, newer and more sophisticated systems of a similar purpose were created in our country, but the operation of obsolete complexes continued until the full development of their resources. Six missile regiments regularly participated in shooting training with the defeat of targets. From the beginning of the sixties to the beginning of the seventies, more than 210 missiles were used, of which just over a hundred hit their targets. So, the 51 of the Black Sea Fleet OBRP in 1962-71 used 93 missiles for 39 successful hits on the target. Two regiments of the Baltic Fleet during the same time spent only 34 rockets and completed 23 successful launch.

Products B-163 and C-2. Photo by

Until the very end of the operation of the Sopka complexes with C-2 missiles, Soviet coastal troops fired only at training targets. Nevertheless, the complex still managed to take part in a real armed conflict. During the Yom Kippur War, October 9 1973, Egyptian rocket launchers stationed in the Alexandria area fired on Israeli combat boats. According to Egypt, the use of five missiles led to the sinking of one enemy boat. Israel, however, did not confirm these losses.

The Soviet Union retired an outdated complex in the early eighties. Replacement for the "Sopki" were newer developments with guided weapons, characterized by increased characteristics. In the future, the majority of foreign operators refused C-2 missiles. According to some sources, at present the Sopka complex is in service only in North Korea. At the same time, there is reason to believe that the North Korean industry has modernized an obsolete model of Soviet development.

The coastal missile system "Sopka" became the second and last similar system created on the basis of the Kometa KS-1 aircraft missile. It was put into service later than all its predecessors, and also operated much longer than them - until the early eighties. For its time, all the Kometa-based missile systems were highly efficient weapons with great potential, but the development of missiles and defenses did not stand still. Because of this, over time, the KS-1 and its derivatives lost all their advantages and became outdated in every sense, after which they were removed from service. The outdated systems were replaced by new weapons with higher characteristics, which ensured the preservation and increase of the striking power of the fleet and its coastal forces.

Based on:
Shirokorad A.B. Weapons of the domestic fleet. 1945-2000. - Minsk: “Harvest”, 2001
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  1. kote119
    kote119 April 5 2016 06: 34
    In the Primorsky Territory, such missiles (decommissioned) were installed on children's playgrounds.
  2. m262
    m262 April 5 2016 21: 36
    Yes, the technology of the 50s, for pointing one missile THREE radar, a gift for electronic warfare ...
  3. crambol
    crambol April 5 2016 22: 38

    Everything is extremely interesting. The only pity is that Cape Korabelny (the mouth of the Ponoy) is not mentioned, where the Sopka was placed with great fanfare under the protection of the Tu-16 in 1961.

    1. zyablik.olga
      zyablik.olga April 6 2016 01: 58
      Quote: crambol
      Everything is extremely interesting. The only pity is that Cape Korabelny (the mouth of the Ponoy) is not mentioned, where the Sopka was placed with great fanfare under the protection of the Tu-16 in 1961.

      Guarded by the Tu-16? wassat From whom and why did distant bombers guard the anti-ship complex?
  4. xomaNN
    xomaNN April 6 2016 18: 22
    but the exploitation of obsolete complexes continued until their resources were fully developed.

    And this is correct, and not the way they "sawed" the aircraft carrier "Kiev" - "Minsk" - "Novorossiysk" for half a term fool