The origins of this missile are obscure although its similarity to the Harpoon have led to the unofficial name 'Harpoonski' [Kharpunskiy]. The designation Kh 35 has been applied to it by Russian sources, although this probably refers to the air-launched version while the ship-launched version is reported to be named Uran.
In 1972 the Zvezda-Strela State Scientific-Industrial Center (GNPTs) group began working on the 3M24 Uran (Western SS-N-25) anti-ship missile system for ships of various classes. The Kh-35 antiship cruise missile can be used by surface ships and motor boats, coastal reconnaissance/strike systems, naval helicopters and also by Air Force planes. The missile has been selected for the most modern of the Russian Navy's ASW vessels, namely the Project 1154 Large Anti-Submarine Ships ('Neustrashimy' class frigates), and is being retrofitted into Type 1135 Escort Ships ('Krivak I' frigates) replacing the RBU mountings. It is also being offered with the 'Gepard' class Small Anti-Submarine Ship (frigates) which appears to be a replacement for the 'Koni' class on the export market.
The Uran missile systems comprise 16 Kh-35 missiles - 4x4 launchers with pressurised transport-launching containers. The SS-N-25 is an autonomous anti-ship missile system and consists of the missile, the launcher-handling system and probably a fire-control console. It is compatible with most surface search radars. The Uran system now serves as armament of Project 1149.8 missile equipped gun boats and other vessels. A coastal defense variant and, more recently, an antiaircraft variant were later developed on the basis of this missile.
The Kh-35 missile has a normal aerodynamic design and an aluminium-alloy airframe. The missile is a thick cylinder with ovoid nose and a long air intake of square cross-section running along the lower half of the body. The missile has a folding wing and a folding tail fin. There are four clipped-delta platform wings midway along the body and four slim trapezoid control fins at the rear. The wings and control fins are in X configuration and all fold. A tandem 120 kg solid propellant rocket booster is fitted and has four long, slim, rectangular fins.
The missile's power plant consists of a solid-fuel booster and a turbojet powerplant. The missile's take-off weight is 750 kilograms, the warhead weighs 150 kilograms with a range of up to 130 kilometers.
SS-N-25 probably operates in a similar fashion to Harpoon with data from the ship's sensors being fed into the missile through the fire-control console. Russian literature would suggest that the missile has a limited capability compared with Harpoon. The Kh-35U anti-ship aircraft missile (Article 78U) flies toward its target at a speed of about the 300 m/s at an extremely low altitude. The sea-skimming altitude is 5-10 meters. Owing to its high-precision radio-altimeter, the missile can skim the sea waves at an altitude of 3-5 meters at the terminal phase of trajectory. Its guidance system combines inertial guidance for during the initial flight stage and active-radar guidance during the remaining flight stage. For use by coastal or shipborne launchers the missile is equipped with a rocket starter-accelerator, a container-type launcher having room for four missiles.
The air-launched AS-20 Kayak version was scheduled to become part of ordnance in 1994. The Kh-35U is intended to serve as weapon of practically all tactical naval aircraft, also of ZOP on the Tu-142 long-range aircraft (eight missiles on two positions, four per position, under the wings) and carrier-based Ka-27 helicopters (four missiles). Air-launched versions can conduct purely sea-skimming attacks or may conduct a high altitude search then enter a sea-skimming terminal phase.
Also available is an IC-35 flying target simulator for training a ship's air defense team in destroying missiles of this class. The "Zvezda" product line includes a variant of the Kh-35 missile which operates with thermal-imaging rather than radar guidance during the final flight stage.
The Zvezda Kh-35U (Russian: ?-35?; AS-20 'Kayak') is the jet-launched version of a Russian subsonic anti-ship missile. The same missile can also be launched from helicopters, surface ships and coastal defence batteries with the help of a rocket booster, in which case it is known as Uran ('Uranus';SS-N-25 'Switchblade'; GRAU 3M24) or Bal ('Baal';SSC-6 'Stooge';GRAU 3K60). It is also nicknamed Harpoonski for its similarity to the AGM-84 Boeing Harpoon. It is designed to attack vessels up to 5000 tons.
The mobile coastal missile system BAL-E equipped with Kh-35 Uran (SS-N-25 'Switchblade', 3M-24) anti-ship missiles is intended for:
- maintaining control over strait zones and marginal waters
- protecting naval bases and other coastal military installations
- protecting coastal areas exposed to risk of seaborne assault
- gaining dominance on the sea within missiles' kill zone.
The Bal-E mobile coastal missile system with the KH-35 type anti-ship missile was developed on the order of the Russian Navy in the late 1990s and adopted for service in 2008. The system consists of a self-propelled command control and communications centre, self-propelled launchers, a transport and reloader machine and communications vehicle, a total of up to 11 special vehicles. The coastal missile system is capable of hitting targets at ranges up to 120 kilometers at any time and under any weather conditions. The time of deployment after a march - 10 minutes, cruising range - 850 kilometers, ammunition - 64 missiles, the number of missiles in one salvo - 32. By 2015 the maximum range of the 3K60 'Ball' coastal defense system, featuring the Kh-35U missile, had been upped to 300 km.
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