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3M55 Oniks / P-800 Yakhont / P-800 Bolid / SS-N-26

SS-N-26 The supersonic P-800 Yakhont (Gem) is a ramjet version of P-80 Zubr [SS-N-7 Starbright]. The Yakhont missile has a range of 300 kilometers, the capacity to carry a 200-kilogram warhead and the unique ability of being able to cruise several meters above the water surface, making it difficult to detect and intercept. The ship, submarine and coastal-launched Yakhont is launched from the unified ampoule-shaped transport-launching container (TLC). The container is 9 m long, is 0.71 m in diameter.

The firing range reaches 300 km (162 nmi.) when flying along a combined trajectory and 120 kg (265 lb.) when following only a low-altitude trajectory. Flight speed varying over the range from M=2.0 to M=2.5 is provided by the kerosene-fueled multi-mode liquid-fuel ramjet. The P-800 Bolid is the encapsulated, submarine launched version of Yakhont. An air-launched version of the missile with the take-off weight of 2,500 kg (5,507 lb.) was also developed. The closest American counterparts, the Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles, are subsonic; the best French antiship missile, the Exocet, has a range of only 45 miles.

The homing head is designed for search and detection of sea-borne and land-based targets in electronic countermeasures environments, for selection of false targets based on data supplied, for acquiring and tracking of a chosen target, and for preparation and presentation of target coordinates to the onboard autopilot system of the Yakhont anti-ship cruise missile. The homing head performs the above functions in severe weather in conditions up to Sea State 7.

The homing head is an onboard two-channel active/passive radar with a complex wide-band coherent signal with a phase-code manipulation in compliance with the random law both during surveillance and tracking in an active operation mode. The homing head re-adjusts frequencies and time parameters. It is highly immune to various active countermeasures that affect the operating range and angle coordinates. Also, it is resistant to passive interference like dipole clouds and angular reflectors. It adapts to unfriendly environment and difficult operating conditions. The homing head is modular: antenna, transmitter, receiver, information processor, built-in self-check device. It employs the latest achievements of Granit-Electron and other defense companies of Russia.

The Russian-Indian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace Ltd, was set up in 1998 to manufacture supersonic cruise missiles based on the Russian-designed NPO Mashinostroyenie 3M55 Yakhont (SS-N-26). Sea- and ground-launched versions have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian Army and Navy. Indian ground forces successfully test-fired a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in August 2011, the 25th Brahmos launch for the Indian Army. The test met all the mission parameters.

Indonesia bought an undisclosed number of Russian SS-N-26 Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles for $1.2-million apiece in 2007 to replace Harpoon missiles on its frigates. In October 2008, Indonesia Navy Commander Adm. Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno said his country would like to buy Russian SS-NX-26 Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles. On 21 April 2011 the Indonesian Navy has successfully tested a Russian-made anti-ship missile for the first time. The Yakhont anti-ship missile was launched from the Van Speijk class frigate, Oswald Siahaan, during naval exercises in the Indian Ocean. Russian observers oversaw the drills, which involved 12 ships and over 1,000 personnel.

Bastion weapon system

The Bastion is a modern weapon system equipped with supersonic Yakhont anti-ship missiles. Its non-export version, known as Onix, will soon become the basis for the anti-vessel armaments of the Russian Navy's surface ships and nuclear submarines. The standard version consists of four self-propelled launchers K-340P with two launch tubes of Yakhont antiship missiles each (according to some sources three tubes), one or two command vehicles K380R, launch-associated support vehicle, and four transloaders K342R. Support equipment includes maintenance facilities and training hardware. Number of launchers, transloaders, and command vehicles varies depending on a customer's request.

One Bastion system includes missiles in transport/launch containers, launcher vehicles, combat control truck, transporter loader, combat alert support vehicles, and helicopter-based targeting system. Deployment from marching position takes about five minutes. The system can be used for destruction of surface ships and radiocontrast targets in conditions of intense fire and electronic countermeasures. Maximum combat load is 24 missiles. Missile launches can be performed with 2.5-second intervals.

Vietnam, which ordered one or two Bastion-P systems in 2005 from Russia's NPO Mashinostroenia scientific and production association and its Russian and Belarus partners. Vietnam started to receive one battalion of Yakhont coast-to-ship missiles in 2009. This is the first time that the coast launched Yakhont SSM has been exported to another country. have begun deliveries of the K300P Bastion-P mobile coastal defence missile system. By 2010 Vietnam had taken delivery of Bastion systems ordered from Russia in 2005. The contracts on supplies of coast-based systems Bastion armed with anti-ship cruise missiles Yakhont to Syria and Vietnam rank 4 and 5 on the list of Russias 2011 military contracts. The sum of the contract with Syria is around $300 million. By late 2011 Russia had completed the contract of exporting one battalion of Yakhont coast-based anti-ship missile, and Vietnam was in talks with Russia on buying several more Bastion systems, so this weapon has good export prospects.

In September 2010, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Russia would implement a 2007 contract to deliver Yakhont missiles to Syria. Israel and the USA lobbied against the deal, as it would have allowed Syria to hit ships up to 300 km from its shores with the supersonic cruise missiles. They were also worried they could be acquired by regional terrorist groups.

Israel is concerned by Russia's decision to sell anti-ship Yakhont missiles to Syria but the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) would be able to "deal" with the challenge, the chief of Israeli General Staff said in September 2010. "We have been following the deal for a long time. There were attempts by the highest political levels to thwart the deal but they did not succeed," The Jerusalem Post quoted Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi as saying. "This is a negative development and we will know how to deal with it," the general added.

Russian media quoted on 01 March 2011 a high-ranking representative of Russia's General Staff as saying that Russia was planning to deploy Bastion missile systems with Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles on the disputed South Kuril Islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan. Russia will deploy mobile coastal missile system Bastion armed with supersonic antiship cruise missiles Yakhont at Kuril Islands. The systems will be used for protection of Kurils' seashore. Exact amount of Bastion systems planned to be stationed at Kurils has not been specified. Bastion missile system is used for protection of the 600-km long seashore.

Russia's move came as part of government plans to modernize armed forces in the country's Far East. The decision was taken after the long-standing territorial dispute between the countries escalated in November 2010 following a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to one of the four South Kuril Islands. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan criticized Medvedev's trip as "inexcusable rudeness," sparking an angry reaction from the Kremlin.

Japan is concerned over Russia's plans to deploy missiles on a group of disputed islands, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said on 02 March 2011. "This is very regrettable," Edano told journalists in Tokyo. He added that Japan was following closely the "trends of Russia's military activities in the Far East." Japan's continued claim over the four Kuril Islands has prevented Moscow and Tokyo from signing a formal peace treaty to end World War II hostilities. Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai lie at the end of a chain stretching from Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula to the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

In November 2010 Gen. Henry de Jesus Rangel Silva, Strategic Command of Venezuela confirmed the statement of Hugo Chavez made in Sept 2009 that missile systems with firing range of 300 km would be delivered to Venezuela in the nearest future. Same as Hugo Chavez, the general did not specified the type of arms, however the World Arms Trade Analytic Center (WATAC) presumes it can be either coastal defense mobile missile system Club-M or mobile coastal missile system K-300P Bastion-P.

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