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P-350 Bazalt 4K-77
P-500 Bazalt 4K-80
SS-N-12 Sandbox

SS-N-12 Sandbox is a Russian supersonic speed cruise missile with a range of 550 km carrying a payload of 1,000 kg. The Basalt was the last missile deployed on submarines and launched on the surface. While no photographs of the 'Sandbox' missile (4K80) have been released, drawings believed to originate with intelligence sources do permit a description of the missile. It has a cylindrical body whose front is slim with a sharply pointed nose. Two-thirds of the way along it bulges before tapering towards the rear. The missile is powered by a turbo-jet and there is a small air intake about halfway along the body. The missile is believed to use a solid propellant booster to clear the launcher and enter the cruising phase. There are two short, swept-back wings which are believed to be folded when the missile is in its launcher. A triangular vertical stabilizer is at the top of the missile behind the wings and there is another on the underside at the tail. Two short, swept-back fins are located at the rear of the missile forward of the rear stabilizer.

The missile featured command or inertial guidance with the option of mid-course updates. There is believed to be an active radar seeker for the terminal phase. The payload consisted of either a 1000 kg high explosive warhead or a 350 kT nuclear device, but the latter have now been removed. For Over-The-Horizon (OTH) targeting aircraft may also be used. These include the Tu-95 'Bear D', the Ka-25 'Hormone B' and the Ka-27 'Helix B' with Big Bulge I/J-band radar.

The P-350 Bazalt [industrial code 4K-77] was the successor to the P-35 Bazalt, which was started in 1963 and subsequently cancelled. It evolved into the P-500 Bazalt [industrial code 4K-80] which was the production version of the original P-350 Bazalt. Development work for the SS-N-12 Sandbox began in the mid-1960s probably as part of the Eighth Five Year Plan (1966-1970), was apparently completed in 1973. Production was probably authorized as part of the ninth Five Year Plan (1971-1976). Some 500 missiles were produced but production has now ceased.

Developed to replace the SS-N-3 Shaddock anti- ship missile, it was initially deployed on the aircraft carrier Kiev in May 1975. The missile was later retrofitted into the 'Echo II' and 'Juliet' class submarines during the 1980s, replacing the SS-N-3. The 'Juliet' class is designated Cruise Missile Submarines in Soviet terminology. The Slava-class cruisers carried an advanced version with an improved sophisticated guidance system, an autopilot that can be programmed for mid-course maneuvers, and an enhanced engine. The P-700 Granat [SSN-19 Shipwreck] was developed as a more successful turbojet alternative to the SSN-12 Sandbox, from which it was derived.

The development of the Basalt P-500 cruise anti-ship missile was launched by the OKB-52 by Resolution SM No. 250-89 of February 28, 1963. "Basalt" was intended to combat the most powerful ship groupings, including aircraft carrier. They planned to arm both submarines and surface ships. Rocket "Basalt" was intended to replace the P-6 rocket and had approximately the same weight and size characteristics. Draft P-500 was completed in December 1963.

The first stage of flight design tests took place from October 1969 to October 1970 in Nenoks. The rocket without radio equipment was launched from the ground SM-49 stand. In 1975, the Basalt rocket was adopted for the Project 675 nuclear submarines, which were previously armed with the P-6 complex. And in 1977, the Basalt was commissioned for aircraft-carrying cruisers of the Kiev type 1143. The first three ships of this project each had four twin SM-240 launchers with eight P-500 missiles in containers and eight spare in the cellar, and the fourth cruiser 1143.4 Ave. "Admiral of the Soviet Union Navy Gorshkov" was modernized and had six twin SM-241 launchers with twelve P-500 missiles in containers.

The entry of ships into the Navy was carried out on the following dates: "Kiev" - in December 1975, "Minsk" - in September 1978, "Novorossiysk" - in August 1982, "Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov" - in December 1987. The launchers were developed in the special engineering design bureau (Leningrad) under the guidance of the chief designer V.V. Chernetsky. On the Slava-type cruisers of project 1164 (developed by PKB Severnoye, chief designer AK Perkov, since 1979 - V.M. Mutikhin), which were commissioned in 1982, the P-500 missiles were located in sixteen containers, without recharge.

Like the P-6, the Basalt rocket had a flight profile high altitude - low altitude, but unlike the P-6, the length of the final segment (low altitude) was increased, and the altitude in this segment was reduced.

According to the aerodynamic and design-layout scheme, the P-500 was similar to the P-6, but it had a higher flight speed, increased firing range and a more powerful high-explosive-cumulative warhead, designed in GSKB-47. Could be used and a nuclear warhead. The Basalt rocket was the first sea-based cruise missile with high supersonic (up to 2M) flight speed. This significantly affected the design. A ventral sector air intake with a two-body central body was developed. In the design of the rocket used titanium alloys with the necessary strength characteristics at elevated temperatures. The closest attention was paid to the investigation of the structure with the simultaneous influence of the force factors of loading and temperature heating.

Especially for the P-500, a propulsion turbojet engine of increased thrust and efficiency KP-17-300, developed in OKB-300 GKAT was created.

Intended to combat the enemys large ship groupings, the P-500 was effective only in salvo firing, ensuring its breakthrough through missile defense systems. The volley was formed from 8 missiles with an interval of no more than 8 seconds. The rocket had one major flaw. She had a strongly forced cruise turbojet engine, which, before the start, had to be put into mode by an air starter directly in the launcher by its promotion for 20-30 seconds. Start and acceleration of the rocket to the cruising speed was carried out by two solid-fuel boosters. In salvo firing, it was necessary to simultaneously launch the sustainer engines of all eight missiles located in launchers. During the launch of the first rocket, hot powder gases, got into the air intakes of the operating cruise missile engines. Due to the lack of oxygen and the high temperature of the gas, the speed dropped, the engines stalled. For the first time this phenomenon was discovered on submarines pr.651 and 675. They could not cope with it and therefore submarines pr.675, put into service, had to remove some of the launchers, leaving only the bow and stern, removed at a considerable distance from each other. They provided a salvo of only 4 missiles.

The developers of the SM-241 launcher knew about this phenomenon, and therefore, on the launchers of the first ship of the project 1143, a special measurement system was included in the composition of pressure and temperature sensors in the necessary zones of the launcher. At the very first throwing tests on the Black Sea, a phenomenon appeared - when the first rocket was launched, the engines of the remaining missiles in the PU went out. Only after conducting a special test program, the order of launching rockets in the salvo was determined, ensuring a stable salvo with an interval of less than 8 seconds. At the same time, the finalization of the material part was not required, only the software development of the management system was required.

Studies to ensure a stable salvo of P-500 missiles carried out on the Kiev "TKR" made it possible to find out in more detail the reason for the disruption of the volley from the launching rocket and gave confidence in the possibility of creating a tight layout of launchers even for such a capricious missile as the P-500. This knowledge was required when creating SM-248 launchers for surface ships of project 1164. Initially, 12 launchers were planned to be deployed according to the TOR, but during the development of the draft design it was decided to increase the number of launchers placed on the ship to 16, which are located on the sides and have individual gas outlets overboard the ship. Such an arrangement made it possible to sharply increase the combat readiness of the ship and the combat power of the ship, capable of giving two eight rocket volleys one after the other. In the construction of the SM-248 used fiberglass housing and cover launcher. Guides for the rocket were made of high-strength aluminum alloy B-95 by extrusion without subsequent machining.

For the P-500 rocket, the Central Research Institute "Granit" developed the Argon control system (chief designer S.I. Chervyakov), which included an on-board digital computer for the first time. On the P-500, the principle of telecontrol was preserved, but a more modern control system of enhanced noise immunity was established, allowing target targeting of missiles in a salvo and selective defeat of the head targets from the attacked naval compound. For the first time, an onboard station of electronic countermeasures (active jamming) was used on the anti-ship missile system, which affected the enemy's GOS ZUR and ensured the invulnerability of the Kyrgyz Republic in the air defense zone of the attacked ship.

Target detection and guidance of the Bazalt complex, as well as subsequent Vulkan and Granit complexes , was carried out with the help of the Maritime Space Intelligence and Targeting System (MKRTS). The full-scale development of the MKRTS system was begun in 1962. Its members include:

  • EORSAT - radio-technical reconnaissance complex for detecting from space radiations of ship-based radio-technical equipment;
  • RORSAT - radar reconnaissance complex to detect surface sea targets from space;
  • nuclear power plant, providing power to the RORSAT spacecraft.

Work on the creation of the MKRTS Legend system and its transfer to the USSR Ministry of Defense armament with radar reconnaissance spacecraft were completed in 1975, and in 1978 with spacecraft of electronic reconnaissance. Later, a modification of the Basalt complex was created - the 4K80 rocket began to be equipped with a new, more powerful launching unit, which increased its flight range.

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