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Moskit Kh-41 ALCM
SS-N-22 Sunburn

The NATO designation SS-N-22 'Sunburn' is believed to be designated P270 Moskit, the air-breathing variant of the naval missile 3M80 (the designation 3M80 apparently referring to the Mach 3 speed of 1980 weapons, or so some say). It may have been designed originally to enhance the effectiveness of Missile Cutter Brigades (that is, units of missile-equipped FACs) and Destroyer Brigades hitherto dependent upon the Malachit or SS-N-9 'Siren'. It is used on "Sovremennyy" destroyers (eight missiles on each) and on "Tarantul [Tarantula] III patrol ships (four missiles on each). A high supersonic speed was specified to reduce the target's time to deploy self-defense weapons, indeed the weapon was designed specifically to strike ships with the Aegis command and weapon control system and the SM-2 surface-to-air missile.

The Moskit (3M80) is a ramjet-powered missile with a slim forward body and ovoid nose, and a fatter rear half with four divided air intakes. There are four clipped delta platform wings and four smaller tail surfaces of similar shape organized in cruciform configuration around the fuselage. All the wings and tail surfaces are folded when the missile is in the launcher. Internally the radar seeker is in the nose with the guidance system, batteries and radio altimeter in the remainder of the front compartment, and the 300 kg semi-armor-piercing warhead immediately behind. A fuel tank, presumably with a kerosene-type fuel, occupies the area to the leading edges of the wing and the area almost to the rear edges is occupied by the ramjet. Much of the rear of the missile is occupied by a solid propellant booster through which runs the ramjet nozzle. Actuators are to be found below the tail surfaces.

Fuselage - body of revolution with the ogival form of nose section and the X-shaped wing arrangement and tail assembly. Wing and tail assembly folding, made from the material OTYA and OTYA-Y, longerons - from VKL -3. Four off-axis inlets and air ducts are located on the housing. Front fairing with the radio-transparent spinner (three-layered fairing from the fiberglass fabric scan -3 on the connecting material K -9-70). Skin and intermediate collection it is made from VT -5, tank compartment - made of the stainless steel, longerons - from VKL -3, fairing - from the fiberglass fabric T -10 on connecting K -9-70. Air ducts of welded construction - from the material OTYA-Y, OTYA.

The 3M82 "Mosquito" missiles have the fastest flying speed among all antiship missiles in today's world. It reaches Mach 3 at a high altitude and its maximum low-altitude speed is M2.2, triple the speed of the American Harpoon. The missile takes only 2 minutes to cover its full range and manufacturers state that 1-2 missiles could incapacitate a destroyer while 1-5 missiles could sink a 20000 ton merchantman. An extended range missile, 9M80E is now available.

When slower missiles, like the French Exocet are used, the maximum theoretical response time for the defending ship is 150-120 seconds. This provides time to launch countermeasures and employ jamming before deploying "hard" defense tactics such as launching missiles and using quick-firing artillery. But the 3M82 "Mosquito" missiles are extremely fast and give the defending side a maximum theoretical response time of merely 25-30 seconds, rendering it extremely difficult employ jamming and countermeasures, let alone fire missiles and quick-firing artillery.

The air-launched version, officially called ASM-MMS and apparently also Kh-4, is intended specially for Su-27K (Su-33) carrier-based fighter aircraft. It was for the first time shown to the CIS leaders in February 1992 in Machulishche and then to the public in August 1992 at the Moscow Air Show in Zhukovskiy. The missile is propelled by a dual (rocket-jet) engine operating by the same principle as the Kh-31 engine. The missile, suspended under the aircraft, has a folding wing. The missile is guided by an autopilot during the initial fight stage, with possible correction by the aircraft pilot, and by active radar during the final flight stage.

Raduga continues to develop the system for domestic and export customers. It has continued work on the the air-launched variant, known as the ASM-MSS and Kh-41. In August 2001 Raduga displayed a lightened 3M-80E1, with weight reduced from 4150kg to 3970kg, and range reduced from 120km to 100km.

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Page last modified: 25-11-2016 12:03:40 ZULU