Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Putin, Russia

Russia. Nuovi o perfezionati missili ipersonici. Kh-47M2 Kinzhal e 3M22 Zircon.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-04-28.

Kh-47M2 Kinzhal 001

«President Vladimir Putin says that Russia has developed unique offense weapons without the intention of starting a war with anyone but to maintain “strategic balance” and “strategic stability” in the world.»

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Gli Stati Uniti hanno basi navali, aeronautiche e militari in senso lato quasi in ogni regione del mondo.

Tuttavia, il dominio militare globale non sarebbe stato possibile senza avere disponibile una flotta di portaerei nucleari. Queste, unitamente alla flotta militare e di appoggio che le circondano formano una forza offensiva che per decenni è stata egemone.

Tuttavia, la scienza militare insegna come nella storia si siano alternati periodi nei quali le strutture di difesa erano quasi imprendibili a periodi ove i mezzi di offesa potevano superarle facilmente. Un esempio per tutti le trincee e la mitragliatrice nella prima guerra mondiale, superate dalla introduzione del carro armato.

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«The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (“dagger”) is a Russian nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM). It has a claimed range of more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi), Mach 10 speed, and an ability to perform evasive maneuvers at every stage of its flight»

«The missile is designed to target US and NATO warships posing a threat to strategic missile systems in Russia’s European part and to destroy NATO missile defence system and ballistic missile defense ships and land objects close to Russia borders, such as one in Romania»

«It is allegedly designed to overcome any known or planned US air or missile defense systems including MIM-104 Patriot, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Aegis Combat System»

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Alcun analisti americani mettono in dubbio le caratteristiche di questi missili e cruise ipersonici.

Il dubbio è lecito, ma proprio non vorremmo dover vederli in una azione bellica.

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Kh-47M2 Kinzhal.

The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (“dagger”) is a Russian nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM). It has a claimed range of more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi), Mach 10 speed, and an ability to perform evasive maneuvers at every stage of its flight. It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads and can be launched from Tu-22M3 bombers or MiG-31K interceptors. It has been deployed at airbases in Russia’s Southern Military District.

The Kinzhal entered service in December 2017 and is one of the six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 1 March 2018.

Design.

The missile is designed to target US and NATO warships posing a threat to strategic missile systems in Russia’s European part and to destroy NATO missile defence system and ballistic missile defense ships and land objects close to Russia borders, such as one in Romania. It is allegedly designed to overcome any known or planned US air or missile defense systems including MIM-104 Patriot, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Aegis Combat System.

The missile first stage is probably shared with 9K720 Iskander and the guidance section is specifically designed for this missile. It is capable of attacking fixed and movable targets such as aircraft carriers. The missile accelerates to hypersonic speed within seconds of launch and performs maneuvers at all stages of the flight trajectory to evade enemy missile defenses.

Russian media claims the missile’s range will be 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi; 1,100 nmi) when carried by the MiG-31K and 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi; 1,600 nmi) when carried by the Tu-22M3.

American commentators have been skeptical about Russian claims about the weapon.

Operational history.

The first operational unit armed with the hypersonic Kinzhal missiles was formed in Southern Military District of Russia in December 2017.

In May 2018, ten MiG-31Ks capable of using Kinzhal missiles were on experimental combat duty and ready to be deployed.

By December 2018, aircraft armed with Kinzhal missiles have conducted 89 patrol flights over the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

By February 2019, crews of the MiG-31K attack aircraft in role of Kinzhal missile carriers have performed more than 380 training flights with the missile, of which at least 70 have been carried with mid-air refueling.

The weapon made its public debut during the Aviadarts international contest in August 2019.

According to TASS, the first launch of Kinzhal in the Arctic took place mid-November, 2019. Reportedly, the launch was carried out by a MiG-31K from Olenya air base. The missile hit a ground target at “Pemboy” proving ground, reaching the speed of Mach 10.

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Two down, more to go? With hypersonic weapons already in the field, Russia looks to improve features

Moscow — Hypersonic weapons are a top priority for the Russian government, a defense analyst with the state-run think tank IMEMO has told Defense News, and with two now fielded, the country is looking into further improving the technology.

“The so-called hypersonic technology is essentially an evolutionary development. However, it provides new, combined abilities for missile weapons: increased speed and maneuverability, and improved accuracy,” Dmitry Stefanovich said. “I can’t imagine a person who is responsible for the decision-making in the country and who wouldn’t be interested in improving all those features.”

By creating hypersonic technology that can overcome missile defense systems, Russia maintains “strategic stability and strategic balance,” President Vladimir Putin once told Russian news agency Tass in March 2020.

For Russia, hypersonic technology is also a way to avoid a quantitative arms race like the Soviet Union went through during the Cold War, said Viktor Litovkin, a retired colonel and military analyst with Tass. “We have no money to get involved in a quantitative arms race. You need to have a little, but the highest quality, which will restrain the adversary,” he said.

There are currently two hypersonic missiles with the Russian military: the Avangard and the Kinzhal. The former is a nuclear-capable missile reportedly able to fly faster than 20 times the speed of sound. The first Avangard infrastructure was set up in December 2019.

The Kinzhal (or “Dagger” in English) is a nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile fielded in December 2017. Before entering the military’s inventory, it was tested with the MiG-31 fighter jet. Putin has said the weapon can exceed 10 times the speed of sound, but some missile experts have cast doubt on that capability.

Russian media previously reported the Kinzhal physically resembles the 9M723 ballistic missile developed for the Iskander tactical missile system. “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck,” Stefanovich said of the similarity.

Russia is also testing its 3M22 Zircon anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile, expected to be installed on the modernized submarine-killing ship Marshal Shaposhnikov. The vessel is undergoing its owns tests. The head of Tactical Missiles Corporation JSC, Boris Obnosov, told Tass last month that the Zircon’s testing is going according to schedule.

The first launch of Zircon from the nuclear-powered submarine Severodvinsk will take place in June, industry officials said, according to reports from Tass this month. If testing goes well, the Zircon will be delivered to the military in the first half of 2022.

Obnosov has said hypersonic projects are among the top priorities for his company, adding that there are “several dozen” hypersonic efforts ongoing in partnership with the country’s several research and development institutes. He said a center dedicated to hypersonic technology efforts could be established to oversee the projects, without providing further information.

Tactical Missiles Corporation is Russia’s leading developer of hypersonic technology, so it might also be behind a recently tested prototype of an air-to-surface hypersonic missile meant for the Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet. However, the company did not respond to questions from Defense News regarding its hypersonic projects.

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Russia reports successful test launch of hypersonic missile

Moscow — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday [2020-10-07 n.d.r.] hailed the successful test launch of a new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile as a “big event” for the country.

Speaking to Putin via a video call, Russian General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said the test launch took place Tuesday from the Admiral Groshkov frigate located in the White Sea, in the north of Russia.

The missile successfully hit a target in the Barents Sea, he added.

“Equipping our armed forces — the army and the navy — with the latest, truly unparalleled weapon systems will certainly ensure the defense capability of our country in the long term,” said Putin, who was celebrating his 68th birthday Wednesday.

In 2019, Putin had said the Zircon would be capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles).