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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

KS-1 "Kometa" AS-1 KENNEL

The AS-1 air-to-surface missile is a subsonic, turbojet-powered, cruise missile with a range between 35 to 97 nm. It weighs approximately 6030-lb and has a conventional warhead of 2020-lb. For guidance, it uses a preprogrammed autopilot for launch and climb, a beam rider for mid-course and semi-active radar for terminal flight. It has a CEP of 150 ft when used in an anti-ship role and a CEP of 1.0 nm when used against land targets. Two AS-1 missiles are carried on the Badger B aircraft. Production of the AS-1 is estimated to have began in 1953, with IOC reached in 1956. It was first seen in 1961.

On September 8, 1947, the Soviet government instructed OKB-51 V.N. Chelomey to develop an aviation projectile 14X "Kometa" with a radar guidance system to protect Soviet shores from American aircraft carriers. But the failures with the 10X and 16X projects, and the shortcomings of the German FAU-1 prototype, forced Artem Ivanovich Mikoyan and Mikhail Iosifovich Gurevich to transfer the order to OKB-155 - the latter headed the missile theme at the MiG.

The layout of the MiG-9 jet fighter was taken as the basis, but soon they switched to a high-speed scheme with a swept wing like the MiG-15. Two BD-KS holders were installed on the Tu-4K carrier, and the Cobalt locator was replaced with a projectile guidance station, which, like the entire system, received the name Comet. Having found a target 100-200 km away, the operator took it for automatic or manual tracking and fired a projectile from a distance of 90-70 km. He entered the beam of the Kometa K-I carrier radar and began pointing using the three-point method: the carrier radar antenna, the K-III projectile receiver and the target were kept in a straight line. When deviating, the signal level in the K-III receiver went down and he gave the command to return to the course for the autopilot.

Then the semi-active radar homing head of the K-II projectile was turned on, which “caught” no longer the direct radar beam, but reflected from the target. When 20 km remained before it, the K-III system turned off, and the head switched to capture mode and led the projectile on this signal until it met with the side of the enemy ship. Guidance took 10-12 minutes, during which the carrier approached the target by 40 km. Cruise missile KS-1 gradually decreased to 400 m, leaving the field of view of the locators.

With the RD-500 turbojet engine, she developed a speed of 1150 km / h and was a very difficult target. To test the guidance, they made flying laboratories based on the MiG-9, Li-2, Yak-11 and Po-2, as well as manned analogous aircraft "K" with a cockpit in place of the warhead and a landing gear. The first launch of the analogue from the Tu-4K in the summer of 1951 was unsuccessful, but the defects were also eliminated at the State Tests in 1952-1953. out of 12 launches, 8 were successful. In the first of them, the Krasny Kavkaz cruiser, which was on remote control, was sunk by one missile. The ship was old, but when converted into a target, its survivability was increased, and this made an impression - an armor-piercing warhead weighing a ton was power.

Given the anti-corrosion coating on disposable projectiles was considered optional, many parts quickly rusted. There were even detected displacements of butt joints by 10-20 mm from the theoretical axes, which made the assembly of the product from such units simply impossible. To correct the situation, starting from 1952, the management of the plant, headed by its director S.I. Belilovsky did a great job. It included both technological and organizational measures. For example, the separation of the magnesium casting section into a separate subdivision (before that it was part of the aluminum alloys section) made it possible to drastically reduce the contamination of castings with by-products and ensure the stability of their properties. In 1953, the Central Factory Laboratory was established, which ensured the strictest input control of materials.

Serial products KS-1 were equipped with RD-500K engines. These were ordinary "aircraft" RD-500 turbojet engines that underwent overhaul after their assigned resource was used up. But as the production increased, new RD-500K engines began to be installed on the shells, which differed from the aircraft modification by using whenever possible cheaper materials.

The Tu-4KS system was adopted by the Navy Aviation at the beginning of 1953, and its creators were awarded the Stalin Prize. About thirty Tu-4s were converted into carriers, and the production of KS-1 "Kometa" shells was launched at plant No. 1 in Dubna in 1952. They went into service with the 124th and 5th aviation regiments of the Black Sea Fleet, which became the first parts of our missile-carrying aviation.

The first missile carriers were planned to be used against US ships fighting in Korea, but by that time there were still not enough combat-ready crews and aircraft. Only in June 1953, a training squadron "27" was formed as part of the Air Force of the Black Sea Fleet, and in the fall of 1955, the 124th TBAP DC (later - MTAP DD) was created on its basis, which included 12 Tu-4KS, 8 Tu-4 and other equipment.Then it was re-equipped with missile carriers of the 5th MTAP Black Sea Fleet.In total, these units received about 30 Tu-4K carriers.

State tests were completed in 1954. According to their results, the system was finalized and received the name "Kometa-M". At first, launches were carried out singly from a distance of 60-65 km - the probability of a direct hit was 81%. But the enemy had means of electronic interference and jet interceptors. In 1954, tests of the Tu-16KS jet missile carrier began. It differed from the basic version in the underwing holders of the BD-187 and the Kometa-N radar installed in the bomb bay. To test the new missile system, an alternate MiG-17SDK aircraft was created. In December 1957, the first combat crew of the commander of the 88th MTAP Black Sea Fleet launched a missile from a Tu-16KS. Aircraft of this type were the first to enter the aviation units of the Black Sea, and then the Northern and Pacific Fleets. The Kazan Aviation Plant built one hundred Tu-16KS, of which 59 had a wing-to-wing refueling system and were called Tu-16KS (ZA).

One of the shortcomings of the "Kometa" system was its exposure to radio interference, both induced by the enemy and arising from the interaction of guidance channels during the simultaneous launch of several projectiles. In 1961, anti-jamming equipment appeared, which was installed both on newly delivered and repaired KS-1 shells. The KS-1 missile turned out to be extremely successful and was in service with the USSR Navy Aviation until the seventies, when the last Tu-16KS aircraft were equipped with the new K11-16 missile weapon system. Part of the machines of this type received transitional beams under the BD-187, on which bombs could be hung. The probability of hitting the target UR KS-1 in some periods reached 80% in a simple and 60% in a complex jamming environment.

The Comet projectile was also constantly improved - the quality of workmanship was improved, and reliability increased. The launch range was brought up to 140 km, they made it possible to launch two shells sequentially from one carrier, a group attack of the target in a column and from intersecting courses. The new guidance equipment gave a direct hit probability of more than 80% in a simple and 60% in a difficult jamming environment - that is, each carrier would definitely hit the target. The Tu-16KS missile carriers were in service with the Black Sea 124th and 5th air regiments, the 574th air force regiment of the Northern Fleet, as well as the 568th and 570th regiments of the Pacific Fleet. They were still called naval mine-torpedo, but they were already missile-carrying. Long-Range Aviation also became interested in the new weapon, starting the formation of two regiments, which were supposed to receive a variant of the Comet projectile with a nuclear warhead. But another, more advanced and versatile missile was put into service, 65 Tu-16KS aircraft were converted for it, and the rest were handed over to Indonesia and Egypt.

In the middle of 1961, 25 Tu-16KS aircraft were delivered to Indonesia, where they entered the 41st and 42nd squadrons of the national air force. They were widely used in the war with Malaysia, they were even seen off the coast of Singapore, but their crews did not achieve much success. After the rupture of relations with the USSR, the operation of the Indonesian Tu-16KS ceased due to the lack of spare parts. By the beginning of the "six-day" war of 19b7, Egypt had 20 Tu-16KS. The Israeli attack caught them at the airfield, where they were all destroyed.

The air-missile system "Kometa" did not serve long, but was of great importance, as it had no analogues in the world. It was an extremely effective asymmetric response to NATO aircraft carriers.

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Page last modified: 01-07-2022 17:28:11 ZULU