Friday, October 16, 2015

Russia's Kalibr-NK / SSN-30A Cruise Missile - The Deets

3M-14 / 3M-54 export variant missiles at DefExpo 2014
On October 7, 2015, Russian Gepard-class frigate Dagestan, and three other Russian Navy destroyers launched 26 Kalibr-class cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea at 11 targets in Syria.

The Russian ministry of defense posted the following video that purportedly shows Kalibr-NK cruise missiles being launched from ships deployed in the Caspian sea.

The range of the targets from the launch point in the Caspian sea exceeds 500-km.

The minister of defense told the president that the actual range was "more than 1,500 km."

According To Sputnik News the missiles traveled 1,500 km through Iranian and Iraqi airspace and struck terrorist positions in Raqqa, Aleppo and Idlib provinces, reportedly destroying all.

Sputnik News reports that the missile was first launched in 2012. It can travel 50 to 150 meters above the ground and hit sea targets up to 350 kilometers away and ground targets more than 2,500 kilometers away. Their maximum deviation from the designated target is only three meters.

The name Kalibr-NK suggests that the missile is a variant of the 3M-54 / 3M-14 Kalibr (NATO designation SSN-27A 'Sizzler') family of missiles that equip Russian Navy submarines and surface ships.

The 3M-54 is the anti shipping variant and the 3M-14, the LACM variant. The surface ship launched variant of the 3M-54 is called 3M-54T, and the surface ship launched variant of the 3M-14 is called 3M-14T.

The 3M-54/3M-14 (anti-shipping) missile variants have a 200 kg (440 lb) warhead and range of 440-660 km (270-410 mi). The missiles fly at supersonic speed in the terminal phase to reduce target reaction time.

As compared to the surface launched 3M-54T, the submarine launched 3M-54 is shorter (8.22m vs 8.9m).

The 3M-14 missile has a 450 kg (990 lb) warhead, a range of 1,500-2,500 km (930-1,550 mi), and subsonic terminal speed of Mach 0.8.

The submarine launched variant 3M-14 is significantly shorter at 6.2 m (20 ft) than the 8.9m (29 ft) 3M-14T, but other specs are the same.

Export variants of the 3M-54/3M-54T (Kalibr) are designated 3M-54E/3M-54E1 (Klub). Similarly, the export variant of the 3M-14/3M-14T are designated 3M-14E/3M-14E1 (Klub).

All export variants are restricted to 300 km range.

Washington Post reports that Russia conducted a flight test of the NK-Kalibr on September 11, 2015, a month before firing the missiles from the Caspian Sea. The NATO designation for the missile, which has capabilities similar to the US Navy Tomahawk, is SSN-30A (3M-14T). During the test, the missile traveled some 2,000 kilometers, or about 1,200 miles.

The missile was tested earlier in August 2015, at which time US officials said it was nearing deployment. The new missile can be armed with either nuclear or conventional warheads.

According to some western reports, four of the missiles launched against targets in Syria malfunctioned and landed in Iran. Russia and Iran have rubbished these reports.

Operational use of Kalibr-NK has prompted NATO military intelligence analysts to upgrade its status to "deployed."

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