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P-700 3M-45 Granat

The improved US ASW defenses around carrier battlegroups during the 1970s increasingly restricted the effectiveness of Soviet submarines carrying the SS-N-7/9 'Starbright/' Siren' (Ametist/Malachit). At the same time the Soviet Navy wished to strengthen the defenses of its SSBN bastions and this led to a requirement for a new missile. 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.

No photographs of' Shipwreck' have yet been published but the missile is believed to have a broad cylinder body with pointed nose. Halfway along the body is an air inlet for the turbofan or turbo-jet which is used in the cruising phase after the missile has been launched with the aid of two solid propellant boosters. There are two sharply swept-back wings and two swept-back tail fins with a similar stabilizer on the underside of the missile.

The missile is believed to have an inertial guidance system possibly with provision for mid-course guidance in over-the-horizon (OTH) engagements although this seems unlikely. Following the usual Soviet practice the missile employs active radar terminal guidance. It uses a 750 kg high explosive warhead with impact and proximity fuses. Alternative payloads were reported to be nuclear or fuel-air explosive. However, it seems more probable that the aircraft and the satellite feed target location data to the ships, and it is noteworthy that all the 'Shipwreck' launch platforms carry 'Punch Bowl' satellite communications systems.

The Shipwreck's initial employment was on the battle cruiser Kirov (later renamed Admiral Ushakov). The Shipwreck was subsequently deployed on the nuclear powered cruiser Peter the Great. It is also deployed on submarines, which can launch the missile while submerged. Some 300 missiles are believed to have been produced but production is complete. The missile is used only by the Russian Navy.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:50:00 ZULU