In the late 1970s the USSR created a naval space system for reconnaissance and target designation "Legend", which could guide a rocket on any ship in the World Ocean. Due to the fact that high-resolution optical technologies were then unavailable, they had to launch these satellites into a very low orbit (400 km) and feed from an atomic reactor.
The complexity of the energy scheme predetermined the fate of the entire program - in 1993, the "Legend" ceased to "cover" even half of the naval strategic directions, and in 1998 the last apparatus ceased to function. However, in 2008 the project was revived and already on new, more effective physical principles. As a result, by the end of 2017, Russia will be able to destroy within three hours to within 3 meters any American aircraft carrier anywhere in the world.
The development of a cruise missile - the "killers of aircraft carriers" - began in OKB-52 in 1969, and it was adopted in 1983. The missile was named P-700 Granit. It could be run from under water from inclined containers installed at an angle of 60 °. Before the start, the container was filled with seawater to equalize the pressure difference, and then the accelerator pushed the rocket to the surface of the water, where the propulsion engine was already starting.
The P-700 flew on a supersonic (2.5 M) for a distance of up to 600 km, and when flying to the maximum range it first ascended to a higher altitude (to reduce drag), captured the target with a homing head (GOS), and then descended to the surface of the sea . There she moved to the target at an extremely low altitude, which made it difficult for her locators to locate a probable enemy. And at a volley rockets could be built in a kind of "flock" - a spatial configuration with the distribution of targets.
Even the powerful Soviet navy had no hope of fighting with the American on an equal footing. Despite the presence in the Soviet Navy submarine (NPS pr. 675, pr. 661 "Anchar" DPL pr. 671), missile cruisers, onshore RCC numerous naval missile boats, as well as numerous complexes RCC P-6, P -35, P-70, P-500, there was no confidence in the guaranteed defeat of AUG. When firing from a long range, the missile's GOS could not independently capture the target, which means that the weapon required additional target designation. AUG moves with great speed and regularly changes the direction of movement: there is not the slightest point to shoot at random. Special combat units to correct the situation could not - the problem was in a safe horizon detection purposes, their selection and ensuring accurate targeting for flying up cruise missiles.
The use of aviation to guide the missile did not solve the problem: the ship's helicopter had limited capabilities, moreover, it was extremely vulnerable to deck aviation. Scout Tu-95RC, despite the excellent makings, was ineffective - the plane required many hours to arrive in the given area of the World Ocean, and again the scout became an easy target for fast deck interceptors. Such an inevitable factor as the weather conditions, finally undermined the confidence of the Soviet military in the proposed target designation system based on a helicopter and reconnaissance aircraft. There was only one way out: to monitor the situation in the World Ocean from outer space.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed that work is continuing on Liana, a new constellation of military satellites capable of advanced scanning for ground and sea-based radio signal emissions. Expected to be completed this year, the system will significantly improve Russia's space-based electronic intelligence capabilities. On 14 January 2017, speaking at a meeting with senior military officials, Shoigu said that the Defense Ministry was actively engaged in the creation of the Liana space surveillance system, a constellation of satellites using the Lotos-S and Pion-NKS radio surveillance satellites. Once completed, the satellite cluster will replace the aging Soviet-era Tselina Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) satellites, and create an upgraded ELINT system for use on land and at sea. The Liana network will locate ground-level radio signal emissions from both stationary and moving objects of various size, from ground and sea-based installations to enemy vehicles and vessels. According to military experts, the system's Lotos-S satellites will be tasked with ground surveillance, while Pion-NKS satellites will be charged with monitoring the seas.
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