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Kh-38 / X-38 air-to-surface missile

The Russian Air Force put the advanced X-38 air-to-surface missile into service by January 2013. Although the short-range missile was developed for the T-50 fifth generation fighter jet, the existing bombers and fighter jets, including Su-34 and MiG-29 CMT will be equipped with these missiles. The X-38 missile is capable of hitting manoeuvering armored vehicles and hideouts at a distance from 3 to 40 kilometers. These missiles will upgrade the combat capacity of the Russian Air Force.

Developed by corporation "Tactical Missiles" from the beginning of the 1990s, and is intended for prospective Russian arms aviation complexes 5th generation, as well as multi-role fighters Su-35, MiG-35 and helicopters. The first missile was demonstrated at MAKS-2007. The missile was tested in great secrecy in 2012, and was commissioned in late December 2012. The delivery of missiles will be started shortly. The new missile will be equipped with independently guided warheads. This solves various tasks and increases the striking power of T-50 multipurpose fighter jets. The missiles will be placed inside the jet that is being developed using stealth technology, says editor-in-chief of the Nezavisimoe Voennoe Obozrenie magazine Victor Litovkin.

A fighter jet may have special characteristics, including non-visibility to radar and other detecting equipment, but it is just an aircraft. But when it is equipped with high-precision guided missiles, this is a high-precision aviation complex. That can be considered a fifth generation fighter jet. The fact, that the missile on board the jet increases its low visibility, Victor Litovkin said.

The missile will not reflect on the radar screen. It has another advanced feature. It can orient itself during the flight using the GLONASS space navigation system. The recent armed conflicts, including in Afghanistan and the Middle East have shown that it is difficult to discover targets from air even with the guidance from the ground because advanced camouflaging systems have been developed. These missiles will be guided to the target by a GLONASS satellite, says Victor Litovkin. The missiles accuracy increases owing to the GLONASS satellite that sees the target and missile and combines these two points. When taking into account the fact that this is a supersonic missile, a complicated task is solved, a missile that is flying at a high speed is guided to a target. In short, this is a great achievement of Russian missile designers, Victor Litovkin added.

Air guided missile short-range X-38ME designed to engage a wide range of terrestrial (including fortified and armored) single and multiple targets, as well as enemy surface ships in the coastal strip. The peculiarity of the family of missiles Kh-38ME is a modular design that provides enhanced combat effectiveness through the use of various types of guidance systems and combat equipment during operations for different purposes, as well as to respond quickly to changing tactical situation in the combat zone.

It is planned that the Kh-38 should eventually replace in domestic armament combat aircraft previously developed enterprise corporations Kh-25M and X-29 of various modifications, while on the dimension of the new weapon of destruction occupies an intermediate position between them. Compared to the families of missiles X-25 and X-29, X-38 have significantly increased resources assigned to maintenance, durability and reliability.

The rocket family X-38ME is modular. Depending on the intended type of target to the missile can be fitted with various warheads and homing. Putting all modifications is combined - midcourse missile is controlled by an inertial control system, and in the final part of the trajectory moves to the homing. To reduce the restrictions on the movement of the carrier rocket control system of the X-38 provides a very wide viewing angle for the purpose of bearing in the horizontal plane at the time of start-up and 80 . Rockets are used to air launch devices such as CRA or APU. In the case of launch from helicopters in the rear of the rocket placed rocket boosters that provide the required initial velocity.

Aircraft based on Russia's only aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov may combat-test new X-38 missiles, as well as SVP-24 computer systems for unguided weaponry in Syria in November 2016. The Russian air force prepared to try out new weaponry and targeting systems, with full combat tests of the hardware to be carried out as part of missions in Syria, according to an RBTH source in the Russian military-industrial complex. In November 2016, the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov will be dispatched toward Syria's shores, with the deck-based Su-33 and MiG-29K/KUB fighters and Ka-52K Katran helicopters on board. The carriers naval aircraft may test the new X-38 missiles in combat action at the end of the year. "We reinforce our aviation group and bring in completely new means of destruction to the region," said the RBTH source. "MiG-29K fighters will use a totally new type of missile, the X-38, to eliminate the militants."

Su-33 fighters, in turn, will receive the SVP-24, a new high-precision targeting system for unguided missiles. The system allows to increase the accuracy of air strikes several times over and avoid possible civilian casualties. The system adjusts the flight path based on the fighter's position and flight parameters. As a result, the deviation from the target is not more than a couple of meters. At the same time, the SVP-24 is only a couple of extra units that will be installed as part of the aircraft's avionics.

The Su-33 was created as an aircraft to ensure air superiority, i.e. as a full-fledged fighter-interceptor. During the Syrian campaign, naval Su-33 fighters with new targeting systems will use gravity bombs. The MiG-29K/KUB aircraft will be equipped with guided bombs and missiles, using the Glonass satellite navigation system. The operational tour may involve about 15 naval MiG-29K/KUB and Su-33 fighters, as well as 10 Ka-52K Katran, Ka-27 and Ka-31 combat helicopters.

options homing systems:
  • X-38MLE - with laser homing;
  • X-38MKE - with a satellite navigation system;
  • X-38MTE - with thermal GOS 9-B-7738;
  • X-38MAE - active radilokatsionnoy GOS.
  • Depending on the task rockets can apply different combat units: on the X-38MAE, X and X-38MLE 38MTE - high-explosive or penetrating, on
  • X-38MKE - cassette. Sustainer engine - dual-mode solid fuel.
  • Launch with the limit angle of the horizontal Peleg purpose
  • Launch at small and medium-range
  • Launch with a diving support near-field
  • Launch at maximum range
  • Launch with the limit angle of the horizontal bearing target
Performance characteristics
Launch range, km 3 - 40
Maximum flight speed, M 2.2
Corner bearing target in the horizontal plane at the time of start-up, degree 80
The probability of hitting the target (without counter / at countering) 0.8 / 0.6
Service life, years 10
Assigned resource (aircraft / helicopter)
on the takeoff and landing, pcs. 15/30
On the fly by a carrier, h 75/75
By operating the equipment, h 90/90
Warhead weight, kg 250
Launch weight, kg no more than 520
Dimensions, m
length 4.2
diameter of the body 0.31
the scope of the missile wing 1.14
Launch conditions:
height range, m 200-12000
speed range, m / s 15-450
package party include
  • combat missile;
  • missile layout dimensions and mass;
  • training-range missiles;
  • inert missile;
  • educational and split the rocket;
  • training-flight missile;
  • set of operational documentation;
  • Group set of spare parts for 10 years;
  • SPTA single.
  • The ground operation missiles provided air assets preparation of complex lesions, "Oka-E-1".

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Page last modified: 18-09-2016 13:23:47 ZULU