| RPK-3 Metel |
(NATO reporting name: SS-N-14 'Silex')
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Mass||3,930 kg (8,660 lb)|
|Length||7.2 m (24 ft) (85R missile)|
|Warhead||Various ASW torpedoes or nuclear depth charge. Later multi purpose torpedoes and 185 kg shaped charge warhead against ships.|
|Propellant||solid fuel rocket|
|10 – 90 km for 85RU/URPK-5 Rastrub (versus ship)|
5 – 50 km (anti-sub )
|Maximum depth||20–500 metres|
|Maximum speed||Mach 0.95, 290 m/s (650 mph)|
|Radio command via helicopter or other external guidance plus an IR seeker.|
|Kresta II, Kara, Burevestnik 1 & 2, Udaloy I, Kirov|
Metel Anti-Ship Complex (Russian : противолодочный комплекс «Метель» 'Snowstorm'; NATO reporting name: SS-N-14 Silex) is a Russian family of anti-submarine missiles. There are different anti-submarine variants ('Metel') for cruisers and frigates, and a later version with a shaped charge ('Rastrub') that can be used against shipping as well as submarines.
The missile carries an underslung anti-submarine torpedo which it drops immediately above the suspected position of a submarine. The torpedo then proceeds to search and then home in on the submarine. In the case of the 85RU/URPK-5, the UGMT-1 torpedo is a multi-purpose torpedo and can be used against submarines as well as surface ships. The missile has been in operational service since 1968, but is no longer in production; it was superseded by the RPK-2 Viyuga (SS-N-15 'Starfish').
In the early 1960s the Soviet Union introduced the RBU-6000 and RBU-1000 anti-submarine rocket launchers, which worked on a similar principle to the Royal Navy's Hedgehog system of the Second World War, propelling small depth charges up to 5,800 metres (6,300 yd) from a ship. However this meant that a ship would still be in range of the submarine's torpedoes and missiles, and depth charges were less accurate than homing torpedoes. In 1963 the US Navy introduced ASROC, a missile that flew to the estimated position of the target submarine, and then dropped a torpedo into the water to destroy it. The SS-N-14 was the Soviet response.
In 1993, an upgraded version, designated YP-85, with a range of 250 km (130 nmi), was proposed for export.
The missile is based on the P-120 Malakhit (NATO: SS-N-9 'Siren') anti-shipping missile. The missile itself is radio command guided and is powered by a solid fuel rocket motor. The later 'Rastrub' models of the weapon were "universal" carrying a UGMT-1 multi-purpose torpedo and in addition had 185 kg (408 lb) shaped charge warhead for use against ships guided by radio command and infrared seeker. In anti-submarine mode the missile flew at approximately 400 m (1,300 ft) altitude, and when it was over the estimated position of the target submarine the missile was commanded to release the torpedo or depth charge. In anti-shipping mode the missile flies much lower, at 15 m (49 ft).
The URPK-3 entered service in 1969 on the Kresta II and Kara classes of cruisers.The URPK-4 was introduced in 1973, and the anti-ship version URPK-5 Rastrub in 1976. The URPK-4 has been used on the Burevestnik-class frigates and the first batch of the Udaloy-class destroyers; the Udaloy II carries the SS-N-15 'Starfish'. The system was installed on the battlecruiser Admiral Ushakov (ex-Kirov) but not on her sister ships.
Of these the Krestas and all but two Karas have been retired, along with most of the Burevestniks and half the Udaloys; the Kirov appears to have been upgraded to the SS-N-16 'Stallion' at some point. 100 missiles are estimated to remain in service as of 2006 [update] .
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