79M6 Kontakt Miniature ASAT
Work on the Kontakt [Contact] system began in the 1980s. The system involved the destruction of satellites and ballistic targets using a three-stage rocket with the 79M6 Kontakt kinetic interceptor launched from the MiG-31D carrier aircraft. The first stage of the anti-attack was able to reach an altitude of 120-600 kilometers, the second - 1500 kilometers. The system involved the destruction of at least 24 satellites within 36 hours or 20-40 spacecraft in 24 hours.
Individual elements of the Contact system were tested in the 1980s, and in the 1990s, development was frozen. Then a number of system components were proposed by China and India. Work on the “Contact” resumed in the 2000s. The Russian Dagger complex, which includes a hypersonic aeroballistic missile, is presumably based on the developments used in Contact. Most of the “Contact” elements were tested at the Sary-Shagan test site (Kazakhstan). It is worth noting that the Dagger complex is not currently declared as an anti-satellite weapon, however, it probably allows such a use. On the other hand, in Russia, work is underway on the Rudolph mobile anti-satellite complex, which is likely to be a modernized Contact.
The anti-satellite system included the 45G6 Krona radar-optical recognition system for space objects, the 46I6 command transmission system, the 30P6 Kontakt anti-satellite aircraft complex consisting of the MiG-31D carrier aircraft and the 79K6 Kontakt rocket with the kinetic satellite interceptor. Ground-based means for target detection and guidance of the aircraft complex were located at site No. 74 of the Sary-Shagan training ground.
MiG-31D carrier aircraft (product 07) was created on the basis of the MiG-31 interceptor. These aircraft were given the designation of "MiG-31D", a designation which is also applied to initial production MiG-31s with refueling probes, as well as to what Greg Goebel terms "a bewildering range of other Foxhound variants, both real and imaginary."
The specially configured MiG-31 was designed to carry an air-launched missile equipped with a satellite-homing, kinetic-kill warhead (Reference 126). It is possible to assume that MiG-31D it were created within the framework of the program of domestic "star wars" for the destruction of orbital stations and spacecraft of the enemy.
Very similar to the US F-15 air-launched ASAT, which was successfully tested against a satellite in September, 1985, the USSR/CIS miniature ASAT would have been restricted to satellites in LEO, but it would have considerably greater flexibility for engaging enemy satellites than the Co-orbital ASAT. Perhaps more important would be its ability to attack with virtually no warning, unlike the Co-orbital ASAT.
A pair of specialized MiG-31s [Izdelye 07 "article 07"] were built in 1987 as carriers for an ASAT missile. These two Foxhounds featured triangular "webbed feet" wing endplate fins, like those fitted to some MiG-25 prototypes. These fins provided improved flight stability at high altitudes for missile launches with the suspension on the external pylon of large rocket. The prototypes did not have a rocket launch system [RLS] -- instead, they had a 200-kilogram mass equivalent. The radio-transparent nose fairing was replaced by an all-metal fairing, and a central sliding pylon for the "article" was added. A single large missile was carried under the fuselage. The cannon was deleted to save weight. A special upward-looking radar and associated intercept fire-control system was to be fitted to production machines. The MiG-31D, flying at the height order 17,000 m with a velocity of 3,000 km/h, would zoom to launch the interceptor at the target.
The 79M6 Contact rocket was developed at the Fakel Design Bureau OKB Vympel, which specialize in the creation of air-to-air missiles. It was a three-stage rocket. Solid-propellant rocket engines developed by OKB-16 (Kazan Engine Design Bureau) were installed on the first two steps, and a liquid-propellant rocket engine on the third. The length of the rocket is about 10 meters, the diameter is 74 centimeters, the mass is 4550 kilograms, and the mass of the interceptor is 20 kilograms. The rocket launch was supposed to be carried out from a height of 15-18 kilometers. She could hit targets in the range of orbits from 120 to 600 kilometers.
The R-37M rocket, developed by Vympel, is equipped with the fastest aircraft in the world at the moment - the MiG-31BM interceptor, whose maximum speed reaches 3000 km / h. The total qualities of the aircraft and missiles allow hitting low-orbit satellites.
If there is only limited information on missiles of the S-500 and A-235 systems, the characteristics of the R-37M are disclosed. The weight of the rocket is 510 kg, the weight of a high-explosive fragmentation warhead is 60 kg. Length - 4.06 m, diameter - 0.38 m. The guidance system is inertial, allowing for radio correction if necessary. At the finish of the flight, the active radar of the GSN is turned on, having a target capture angle of 120 degrees. There are two fuses - contact and fired when approaching the target at the estimated distance. In the final section, the speed reaches 5 M. But it is clear that the rocket works on space targets only in conjunction with the interceptor. Ground launcher this task is not able to provide.
The MiG-31D Kontakt anti-satellite aircraft complex was developed by the Almaz concern to destroy low-orbit satellites. The chief designer of the complex is A. A. Lemansky. The technical proposal for the creation of a carrier aircraft was developed by decision of the Military Industrial Commission under the Council of Ministers of the USSR of January 6, 1983. In accordance with the decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR of November 29, 1983 No. 1124-361ss, starting in 1984, in the interests of creating an anti-satellite system, a prototype of the Azov missile defense system complex at the Sary-Shagan test site also worked. The resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR on the creation of the complex was issued on November 27, 1984.
The preliminary design of the MiG-31D was developed and protected by the Customer in 1985. In the same year, technical documentation was prepared and transferred to the Gorky Aircraft Plant for the construction of the first aircraft of this type.
The construction of the first experimental vehicle (board number 071) was completed by the end of 1986, and on January 17, 1987 the crew of the test pilot OKB im. A.I. Mikoyan Aviard Fastovets and test navigator Leonid Popov took her on her first flight. The MiG-31D prototypes did not have an airborne radar station - instead, a mass equivalent of 200 kilograms was installed. The radiotransparent nose cone was replaced with an all-metal one, and a central retractable pylon for anti-satellite missiles was installed. In 1987, the construction of the second car was completed and its flight tests began. The second prototype MiG-31D, # 072, tested by the pilots OF OKB in Zhukovskiy. The first departure and tests conducted the test pilot A.G. Fastovets. By the beginning of the 1990s, the MiG-31D flight design phase was completed, and both machines were relocated to undergo further tests at the Sary-Shagan training ground. The test program continued several years, but it was stopped in the beginning of the 1990s because of the obscure situation with the advent of a new rocket.
According to reports, the matter did not reach the flight tests of the rocket as part of the complex. In the early 1990s, all work on the creation of the Contact complex was curtailed, although research work was carried out until 1995. The status of the Russian airlaunched ASAT today is unclear, but Russian officials in 1992 indicated that future space tests were possible. The effort was suspended in the early 1990s and so far few details have been released. According to the source (“The Shield of Russia”), anti-satellite system assets at the Sary-Shagan training ground were deployed at facilities 2574, 3610, 3615 and 3641.
Although development ended with the collapse of the USSR, there were reports in 2009-2010 about the modernization of the Krona system and with the 79M6 (and upgraded 95M6) anti-satellite missile designed by Fakel for the MiG-31D. Alexander Zelin, commander of the VKS, in 2009 said the MiG-31's anti-satellite mission was "being reanimated for the same mission." According to CNBC [Oct 25, 2018], US intelligences says that this missile may be ready by 2022. It is believed to be designed to target communications and imagery satellites in low earth orbit.
MiG-31A / MiG-31S / Ishim space complex
In the late 1990s, the issue of creating an air-based Ishim launch vehicle based on the Contact rocket was considered. The carrier was planned to be made a joint Russian-Kazakh development. However, he remained on paper. Since 2009, there has been talk in Russia about the resumption of work on the creation of the Contact anti-satellite system.
The MiG-31D was resurrected in the late 1990s as the "MiG-31A" proposal, with the aircraft being used to launch a small satellite payload of up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds) into orbit, instead of an ASAT interceptor. The first test launching of this system was planned for 1999-2000, which did not happen. The MiG-31S designator has also been applied to a projected launch vehicle for small space vehicles.
In early 2005 Russia and Kazakhstan were considering a project of launching small satellites into space from the Russian MiG-31 fighter. At a meeting in the Kazakh capital Astana on 23 March 2005, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Danial Akhmetov and director Yuri Solomonov of the Moscow-based Heat Engineering Institute discussed the creation of the Ishim aerospace rocketry system. The Ishim space complex is designed for injecting small non-military spacecraft into the near-earth orbit [the Ishim River is a river running through Kazakhstan and Russia].
The MiG-31 rises to the required altitude with an attached small-size rocket carrying a satellite. Separated from the plane, the rocket, powered by its engine, orbits a spacecraft weighing up to 160 kilograms. The Moscow Thermal Engineering Institute can in a short time design and manufacture the new rocket with a solid-fuel engine, which is a guarantee of its dependability and avoids the use of toxic components. Kazakh Prime Minister Danial Akhmetov instructed the Kazakh Aerospace Committee and the Informatics and Communication Agency to set up a working group for comprehensive feasibility study and realization of the Ishim system.
At the Asian Aerospace 2006 exhibition (Singapore), KazKosmos from Kazakhstan for the first time publicly presented the promising Ishim orbiting missile orbiting complex based on the MiG-31D aircraft. According to the company’s materials, Ishim is designed to quickly launch a large number of small satellites into various orbits. According to KazKosmos experts, in the 21st century, it will be necessary to launch and maintain various small satellite constellations in orbit, the optimal solution for which can be a complex based on the MiG-31D aircraft. The complex includes two aircraft carriers, designated MiG-31I, a three-stage carrier rocket, suspended between the engine nacelles, as well as an air command-measuring complex based on the Il-76MD aircraft. The take-off mass of the MiG-31I aircraft with a launch vehicle is 50 tons,
The length of the payload compartment on the launch vehicle is 1.4 m with a diameter of 0.94 m. The complex allows to put into a circular orbit with an inclination of 46° to 160 kg of the payload at a height of 300 km or up to 120 kg at a height of 600 km. Withdrawal orbit parameters can vary widely, including high elliptical, heliosynchronous, equatorial, polar, with an inclination of up to 115°, etc. The use of the Ishim complex from the territory of the customer state is proposed for basing an aircraft at a first-class airfield. The Ishim complex is being created in cooperation with RSK MiG (the developer of the carrier aircraft) and the Moscow Institute of Heat Engineering (the developer of the rocket).
At present machines 07/1 and 07/2 are located in Kazakhstan. These MiG-31s also serve as the carrier of the hypersonic flying laboratory GLL-EY. Judging by indirect evidence, such work is underway, but details about them are unknown. On 14 September 2018, what appears to be just such a starting system was photographed at the Zhukovsky airport by an aviation photographer.
|Rocket length||OK. 10 m||OK. 10 m|
|Rocket diameter||740 mm|
|Rocket mass||4550 kg||OK. 10,000 kg|
|Payload mass||20 kg (? Kinetic interceptor)||120/160 kg|
|Maximum flight range of the carrier to the launch point||600 km||500 km|
|Launch speed||2120-2230 km / h / 2.55 M|
|Trigger point height||15-18 km|
|Payload Orbit Height||from 120 km||
|target Orbital inclination||50-104 degrees||standard 46 degrees|
|accuracy of the MiG-31D to the launch point||
|MiG-31D exit time to the launch point||no more than 50 seconds before passing over the AES target point|
|Rocket flight time||100- 380 sec.|
|Target servicing rate||24 targets in 36 hours|
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