Molniya (AS-14 Kedge)
This is the only missile of the air-to-ground class which has been designed by Matus Bisnovat's "Molniya" [Lightning] Design Bureau, which specializes in air-to-air missiles. It was developed in the middle nineteen seventies for MiG-27, Su-17, and Su-24 (Fencer) aircraft. It was later also installed on other aircraft. It is used chiefly against heavily reinforced targets (almost half its weight is the warhead). It is supported on AKU-58 launcher pylons, from which it is dropped down before its engine starts. The Kh-29L (Article 63) is an improved version of the Kh-29, with semiactive laser guidance. A target can be illuminated from the delivery aircraft or from another aircraft or from the ground. The Kh-29T (Article 64) has a television head with automatic optical homing to a distinguishable object indicated by the pilot in the cockpit. The Kh-29D version with a thermal- imaging head is also on the list of Russian export items.
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