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9M730 Knizhal - Dagger / Product 75 / Product 715

The Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic missile system was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 1. The Russian leader said the Kinzhal had an operating range of over 2,000 km. The MiG-31K fighter jet is the basic carrier of Kinzhal hypersonic missiles. During its use, the missile is accelerated by the aircraft to its maximum possible speed and after its release it switches on its solid-propellant engine and gains a hypersonic speed of 10 times the speed of the sound. The Kinzhal missile is capable of maneuvering at this speed and remaining actually invulnerable to the air defense and anti-ballistic missile systems existing today.

In the "President's Address to the Federal Assembly" on 01 March 2018, Putin stated "The most important stage of modern weapons systems was the creation of a high-precision hypersonic aircraft-missile complex, as you already knew for sure, without world analogues. His tests have been successfully completed, and, moreover, since December 1 of last year the complex began to carry out pilot-combat duty at the airfields of the Southern Military District. Unique flight characteristics of a high-speed carrier aircraft allow the missile to be delivered to the point of discharge within minutes. At the same time, a missile flying at a hypersonic speed exceeding the speed of sound by a factor of ten also maneuver on all sections of the flight path, which also allows it to overcome all existing and, I think, prospective anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems, range more than two thousand kilometers of nuclear and conventional warheads. We called this system "Dagger"."

The MiG-31 has a length of 70 feet, 5 inches (21.5 meters), while the Iskander / SS-26 is 7.2 meters long. These dimensions correspond very nicely to the released imagery. The video released on 12 March 2018 shows the release of the missile from the MiG-21 and the ignition after a drop of many hundreds of feet. The exhaust of the missile is quite smokey, consistent with the solid propellant of the Iskander, but inconsistent with the essential claim of the Dagger system, that the high-speed MiG-31 is used as an accelerator for a hypersonic air-breathing missile.

Dagger Dagger Dagger Dagger Dagger Dagger Dagger Dagger Dagger Dagger Dagger Dagger Dagger

The dagger is a contact, blade, or piercing-cutting weapon with a short or medium straight or curved double-edged blade. Most often, the dagger is used for close combat, but there are varieties of dagger with a weighted blade, designed for throwing. In modern armed conflicts, combat daggers are used mainly as an auxiliary kind of weapons designed to solve special tasks. The DKK "Dagger" ( GRUU - 3K95 index , export name - Blade, according to the classification of the US Defense Ministry and NATO - SA-N-9 Gauntlet is a Soviet and Russian multichannel all-weather sea-based anti-aircraft missile system. Probably the Kinzhal is the unofficial name of the 9M730 Project developed by NPO Novator.

A hypersonic weapon is capable of performing controlled aerodynamic flight (arbitrarily maneuver in pitch, roll and course) in the atmosphere for a long time (at least several minutes) with a speed of at least 5 Mach. The Mach number shows how many times the aircraft has exceeded the speed of sound. In order to determine at what speed the device will move relative to the Earth, it is necessary to know for what height the number M is taken, since the speed of sound with altitude drops (it is 340 m / s near the ground and only 300 m / s - at an altitude of 10 km). Usually the number M for aircraft as the maximum speed is indicated at a high altitude, and it is logical to assume that the case is also the case for hypersonic weapons. Therefore, 5 Mach - 5400 km / h of ground speed (vehicle speed relative to the earth's surface) at an altitude of 10-11 km.

In January 2018, the Russian press published information about a hypersonic aviation missile that was being created in Russia, called the "Product 75" - surprisingly similar to the "Dagger". The Product 75 range was 1500 km, weight - 1500 kg, and length - 6 m. But the speed is lower than what Putin said - mach 6. It was reported that the new missile is intended for strategic bombers Tu-22M3, Tu-95MS, Tu-160M2. However, the "product 75" weight and dimensions are such that it can work well with the MiG-31BM.

But at the same time "product 75" looks like "product 715", which is a deep upgrade of the X-32 missile, which is considered "the killer of aircraft carriers". At the finish line, the X-32 accelerates to a speed exceeding 5 M. But its flight becomes uncontrollable. So it can very well be that the designers managed to achieve both maneuvering in the final section of the trajectory, and increasing the speed.

The Dagger's flight to the target also takes a few seconds, which excludes the interception of the Dagger by air defense means. The length of the X-47M2 is about three meters, the speed of the ammunition exceeds 10 Mach, the range of its flight is 2000 kilometers. Since December 1, 2017, "Dagger" is being tested in combat combat operation in the Southern Military District with interceptors MiG-31BM.

The maximum speed of the Dagger is probably somewhat overstated by the president. The message spoke of a tenfold increase in the speed of sound (Mach 10) in flight. At the same time, the anti-ship missile "Zircon", which is at the final stage of testing, is dispersed "only" to the unthinkable Mach 6-7M, which is one and a half times less. And this is quite a lot.

Hypersonic missiles, which include the sea-launched "Zircon", requires an additional accelerating engine. Either solid fuel or LPRE. It is understandable that this complicates the development of the missile. The hypersonic missile is equipped with a hypersonic direct-air jet engine (GPVRD).

The heavy fighter-interceptor MiG-31 has a maximum speed is 3400 km / h. This is more than enough. And, indeed, on the video demonstration, which was accompanied by the message of the president, as a carrier of the "Dagger" was a modification of the interceptor MiG-31BM. The maximum takeoff weight is 47 tons. Is capable of taking 9 tons of missile and bomb weapons. This is quite enough for working with hypersonic rockets.

From a mechanical point of view, hypersonic direct-air jet engine (GPVRD) is simple. It is, very conditionally speaking, two funnels, connected in the middle by their narrow parts. Air is sucked into the front funnel, which plays the role of an oxidizer. In the center, at the point of constriction, combustion of fuel takes place. The products of combustion escape through the rear funnel, forming a jet. According to the commander-in-chief of Sergei Surovikin, the "marching" engine accelerates the warhead to hypersonic speed within a few seconds. According to Surovikin, the creation of an air missile complex with a high-precision aerial ballistic missile "Dagger" has become an important breakthrough in the development of hypersonic weapons systems, the Interfax news agency reported . According to him, the upgraded MiG-31, without entering the enemy's air defense zone, will deliver the missile to the discharge zone, after which the march engine will accelerate the warhead to hypersonic speeds within a few seconds.

"Maneuvering the missile at speeds several times the speed of sound allows it to overcome all existing and developed air defense and anti-missile defense systems," Surovikin said. Glavkom VKS also said that during tests at the ranges of the Ministry of Defense all the launches of hypersonic missiles resulted in the exact defeat of the assigned targets. "Since December 1 of last year," Dagger "has risen to pilot-combat duty in one of the air formations. Now the bases of his combat use are being worked out," said Surovikin.

The product index is not yet known for this distant descendant of the Soviet tactical strike aeroballistic missile X-15 ("Article 115"). In the video for official use presented to the Federal Assembly, the long-range interceptor MiG-31D3 with the onboard number "592" (serial number 5902, "Product 01D3"), which was the first "Foxhound", adapted for refueling in the air and known for its flight over the Northern Geographic and North Magnetic Poles under the control of test pilot Roman Taskaev and test navigator Leonid Popov.

ALBM Analyzing the video material, it can be concluded that the design of the mounts for "Dagger" uses all 4 of the ventral sub-body, designed for R-33 / S air-battle missiles, while the estimated length of the product corresponds to 6.5-7 meters, the body diameter is about 1000-1100 mm. The outer appearance of the rocket is similar to the 9M723-1 tactical ballistic missile Iskander-M, which makes possible the unification of the Dagger and Iskander in many modules of the avionics system, including: an inertial navigation system, a control system (represented by a gyro-stabilized platform and a digital ), An active radar-type guidance system (a radioscreen ARGSN fairing, possibly a 9B918 product from the Radar MMS research association) is visible on video, as well as a control complex based on a erodynamic rudders.

Despite the solid constructive similarity with the Iskander, the flying characteristics of the Dagger are about an order of magnitude greater than the 9M723 and X-15 combined. In particular, according to Vladimir Putin, the new air-launched missile system is capable of hitting targets with conventional high-explosive fragmentation and nuclear warheads at a distance of 2,000 km. Such a long range at such a small size is achieved by a high altitude stratospheric launch, which allows the missile to avoid the ascending branch of the trajectory in the dense layers of the troposphere, which burns an impressive percentage of precious fuel. This automatically guides "Dagger" to medium-range missile armament (RSD), and even in a super mobile version.

The aeroballistic hypersonic missile "Dagger" has a "quasi-ballistic" flight path at altitudes from 35 to 50-80 or more kilometers, thanks to which the air attack facility is able to overcome virtually any missile defense system above their maximum high-altitude interception boundary. MIM-104F (Patriot PAC-3), Aster-30 Block 1NT missiles will not be able to reach the Dagger on the high-altitude section of the trajectory. Conclusion: promising hypersonic missiles launched from air platforms (tactical fighters) over the territory of the Leningrad region will be able to strike without hindrance at the intensified AAG of the United NATO Navy in the North Atlantic, indicated at the beginning of our review. At the same time, the Swedish "Patriots" and "Gripenas" will not be able to counter anything with the "Dagger" rocket flying in the stratopause or thermosphere.

In the immediate vicinity of the battlefield, where the enemy's naval unit is located, the Dagger will enter the range of the RIM-161B / RIM-174 interceptor missiles and the AN/SPY-1D radar. Here the hypersonic "killer of aircraft carriers" has such advantages as the ultra-small EPR (approximately corresponding to the radar signature of the 9M723-1 missile of the Iskander-M missile system), a huge flying speed of 10500 km / h (taking precious seconds from the operators of Aegis on the "target route" and "capture"), as well as the possible implementation of anti-maneuver maneuvers with overloads of more than 30 to 35 units.

This will not allow it to intercept it not only on the descending branch of the trajectory in the thermosphere / upper layers of the stratosphere using the exoatmospheric combat stages Mk 142, but also in the denser layers of the atmosphere with the help of anti-aircraft interceptor missiles RIM-174 ERAM (Standard Missile-6) and RIM-162 ESSM, wich are unable to work on such maneuverable objects. Americans may dream of the interception of the Dagger with the help of the "Standards", but its speed is 2 times higher than that of the SM-6 and roughly corresponds to the SM-3.

The highlight of the multi-purpose aeroballistic rocket "Dagger" is the ability to attack at a dive angle of 90 degrees, which makes it difficult to detect AN / SPY-1 radar systems, which have a noticeably smaller elevation angle of the scanning beam. Apparently, the product can also be used for terrestrial radio-emitting / radiocontrast purposes such as "radar", "PU Otbrad", etc.

They were sent to the Southern Military District. And this is quite strange. Because there were no fighter units in the South East Fleet, in which the MiG-31 interceptors would be operated. But without them, as we now understand, "Daggers" do not fly. This means that the MiG-31 on duty somewhere on the Kuban or near Rostov-on-Don is still sent only in the mode of alert duty. For a couple of months. Although it is possible - soon several MiG-31 will additionally arm the already existing parts of the South-Eastern Military District. Specially for "Daggers".

The range of the Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic missile will reach about 3,000 km aboard the new Tu-22M3 carrier bomber compared to over 2,000 km on board the MiG-31K fighter jet, a source in the domestic defense industry told TASS on 18 July 2018. "The Kinzhal is an air-launched missile system and, therefore, it is necessary to look at its range considering the combat radius of its carrier. For the Tu-22M3, aboard which the missile will soon be tested, the hypersonic missiles target destruction range will equal over 3,000 km [the carriers combat radius plus the missiles range]," the source said. The source declined to give the exact range of the Kinzhal missile system.

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