RK-55

Last updated
RK-55 Relief
(NATO reporting name: SSC-X-4 'Slingshot')
S-10 Granat(SS-N-21 'Sampson')
SS-C-4 Slingshot.JPEG
Typesurface/sub-launched nuclear cruise missile
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In servicesince 1984
Used by Soviet Union / Russia
Production history
DesignerL. V. Lyulev, Novator NPP Temp, Raduga
Designed1975
Manufacturer Novator, NPP Temp, Raduga MKB, KhAZ (Kharkiv), others?
Produced1976
Specifications
Mass1,700 kg (3,750 lb)
Length809 cm (26 ft 7 in)
Diameter51 cm (20.1 in)
WarheadConventional
Nuclear
Blast yieldNuclear 200kt [1]

EngineSolid-propellant rocket booster + R-95-300 or 36MT-37 turbofan
450 kgf
Wingspan310 cm (122.0 in)
Operational
range
3,000 km (1,600 nmi) [2]
Maximum speed 720 km/h (447.4 mph)
Guidance
system
Sprut inertial guidance plus TERCOM
Launch
platform
Akula-class submarine, Sierra II, Victor III, Yankee Notch, Yasen-class submarine, TEL

The Novator RK-55 Relief (Russian : РК-55 Рельеф 'Relief'; NATO: SSC-X-4 'Slingshot'; GRAU: 3K12) is a Russian land-based and submarine-launched cruise missile with a nuclear warhead developed in the Soviet Union. It was about to enter service in 1987, when such weapons were banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. A version launched from submarine torpedo tubes, the S-10 Granat (SS-N-21 'Sampson'; GRAU: 3K10), has apparently been converted to carry conventional warheads and continues in service to this day. [3] The Russian Federation was reported to have deployed the derivative SS-CX-7/SS-CX-8 systems on February 14, 2017.

Contents

The RK-55 is very similar to the air-launched Kh-55 (AS-15 'Kent') but the Kh-55 has a drop-down turbofan engine and was designed by MKB Raduga. [4] Both have formed the basis of post-Cold-War missiles, in particular the 3M-54 Kalibr which has a supersonic approach phase. [5]

Development

In the late 1960s, the "Ekho" study conducted by the GosNIIAS institute concluded that it would be more effective to deploy many small, subsonic cruise missiles than the much more expensive supersonic missiles then in favour. [6] In 1971 Raduga began working on the air-launched Kh-55, which first flew in 1976. [4] That same year, RK-55 first flew. [5] NPO Novator would work on the submarine- and ground-launched versions. In 1993 Novator exhibited the Sizzler series weapons, which appears to be based on the RK-55. [5] It is a two-stage design, which goes supersonic during its final approach to the target.[ citation needed ]

Design

Six RK-55 missiles are carried on an eight-wheeled transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) based on the MAZ 543 launcher of the R-17 (SS-1 'Scud B'). [7]

The S-10 is launched through 533 mm torpedo tubes.[ citation needed ]

Operational history

Fewer than 100 RK-55s had been deployed by the end of 1988. [2] The new Akulaclass was the first class to receive the new missile. [8] It was later fitted on the Sierra I/II and Victor III classes and the new Yasen-class submarines. [8]

Four Yankee-class submarines deployed in 1988 [2] is a design of particular note, replacing the missile compartment with additional torpedo tubes for 35-40 land attack cruise missiles. They were probably nuclear-tipped S-10s during the Cold War, and then converted to use conventional warheads [8] after the START I treaty restricted sub-launched nuclear cruise missiles. The US Navy has done the same on a grander scale with the SSGN conversions of four Ohio-classsubmarines. It has been suggested that S-10's could in future be fitted to converted Delta-class submarines, or to surface ships, but these have not been confirmed. [5]

The ground-launched variant was subject to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed in December 1987 and had been tested. [9] Six launchers with 84 missiles was deployed at the Missile/Launcher Storage in Jelgava (Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic) and had been destroyed by November 1990. [10] [11] [12]

In early 2017, US officials and analyst Jeffrey Lewis asserted that Russia was violating the INF through the deployment of the 9M728 (SSC-X-7) and 9M729 [13] (SSC-X-8) missiles as part of the Iskander missile system. These are widely reported as variants of the earlier SS-C-4. According to U.S officials, two missile battalions equipped in SSC-8 were deployed as of 14 February 2017 in violation of the treaty. [11] [14] [15] Each battalion consists of 4 launchers, each launcher supplied with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. One battalion is allegedly located at Kapustin Yar near Volgograd; the other's location is unknown at this time. The German newspaper FAZ argued in February 2019 that in addition to two known locations where missiles and battalions are stationed – at a launch pad at Kapustin Yar, in southern Russia, and Yekaterinburg – there would be two other places equipped with these missiles: Mozdok in North Ossetia and Shuya near Moscow. Each of the four battalions would have four-wheeled launchers, each carrying four missiles, adds the German media. This adds to 64 SSC-8 missiles in Russia's possession, which can be armed with conventional or nuclear warheads. This type of missile has a range of 2,350 kilometers. With a conventional warhead of 500 kilograms, the range is 2,000 kilometers. [16]

Variants

Conventional unitary High Explosive (HE) warhead and submunition warhead versions of the RK-55 have probably been developed, to justify the continuing service of the submarines that carry them. [5]

Operators

Former

Derivatives

Similar weapons

See also

Notes and references

  1. SIPRI (1989) p16
  2. 1 2 3 Norris, Cochran; et al. (1989), SIPRI Yearbook 1989: World Armaments and Disarmament (PDF), p. 21, archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-09, retrieved 2009-02-04
  3. "SS-N-21 "Sampson" (RK-55)". Missile Threat. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  4. 1 2 "Kh-55 (AS-15 'Kent'/Kh-555/RKV-500/Kh-65)", Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, 2009-09-09, archived from the original on February 4, 2009, retrieved 2009-02-04
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "RK-55 Granat (SS-N-21 'Sampson'/3M10)", Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, 2008-09-10, retrieved 2009-02-04[ dead link ]
  6. "Kh-55/RKV-500A, Kh-55SM/RKV-500B, Kh-555 and Kh-65SE (AS-15 'Kent')", Jane's Air-Launched Weapons, 2008-08-01, archived from the original on June 4, 2009, retrieved 2009-02-06
  7. "RK-55 (SSC-X-4 'Slingshot' and 3K10 Granat)", Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, 2008-09-12, archived from the original on 2012-09-03, retrieved 2009-02-04
  8. 1 2 3 "SS-N-21 'Sampson' (P-1000 3M70 Vulkan/3K10 Granat)", Jane's Naval Weapon Systems, 2009-01-08, archived from the original on September 15, 2008, retrieved 2009-02-04
  9. Thomson, David B. (July 1999), A Guide to the Nuclear Arms Control Treaties LA-UR-99-3173 (PDF), Los Alamos National Laboratory, p. 131
  10. Thomson (1999) p 127
  11. 1 2 Gordon, Michael R. (February 14, 2017). "Russia Deploys Missile, Violating Treaty and Challenging Trump". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  12. "INF TREATY". www.bits.de. December 8, 1987. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  13. Majumdar, Dave (2017-02-14). "Russia's Dangerous Nuclear Forces are Back". The National Interest. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  14. Pike, John. "9M729 - SSC-X-8". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  15. Burns, Robert. "Official: Russia Has Deployed Missile in Violation of Treaty". Military.com. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  16. https://www.armyrecognition.com/february_2019_global_defense_security_army_news_industry/russia_has_more_ssc-8_cruise_missiles_than_expected_with_conflictual_range.html
  17. "U.S. Accuses Russia of Deploying Cruise Missile in Threat to NATO". Newsweek. March 8, 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  18. "Russia Test Fires SSC X-8 Cruise Missile". defenseworld.net. September 28, 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  19. Pike, John. "9M729 - SSC-X-8". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2018-10-22.

Related Research Articles

Cruise missile Guided missile which remains in the atmosphere and flies with approximately constant speed

A cruise missile is a guided missile used against terrestrial targets, that remains in the atmosphere and flies the major portion of its flight path at approximately constant speed. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high precision. Modern cruise missiles are capable of travelling at supersonic or high subsonic speeds, are self-navigating, and are able to fly on a non-ballistic, extremely low-altitude trajectory.

Intercontinental ballistic missile Ballistic missile with a range of more than 5,500 kilometres

An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a missile with a minimum range of 5,500 kilometres (3,400 mi) primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery. Similarly, conventional, chemical, and biological weapons can also be delivered with varying effectiveness, but have never been deployed on ICBMs. Most modern designs support multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), allowing a single missile to carry several warheads, each of which can strike a different target. Russia, United States, China, France, India, United Kingdom, and North Korea are the only countries that have operational ICBMs.

A cruise missile submarine is a submarine that carries and launches cruise missiles as its primary armament. Missiles greatly enhance a vessel's ability to attack surface combatants and strike land targets, and although torpedoes are a more stealthy option, missiles give a much longer stand-off range, as well as the ability to engage multiple targets on different headings at the same time. Many cruise missile submarines retain the capability to deploy nuclear warheads on their missiles, but they are considered distinct from ballistic missile submarines due to the substantial differences between the two weapons systems' characteristics.

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty Expired agreement between the USA and USSR (later Russia) on nuclear arms control

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was an arms control treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union. US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the treaty on 8 December 1987. The US Senate approved the treaty on 27 May 1988, and Reagan and Gorbachev ratified it on 1 June 1988.

Submarine-launched cruise missile Cruise missile that is launched from a submarine

A submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) is a cruise missile that is launched from a submarine. Current versions are typically standoff weapons known as land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs), which are used to attack predetermined land targets with conventional or nuclear payloads. Anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs) are also used, and some submarine-launched cruise missiles have variants for both functions.

Kh-15 air-to-surface/antiship missile

The Raduga Kh-15 or RKV-15 is a Russian hypersonic aero-ballistic missile carried by the Tupolev Tu-22M and other bombers. Originally a standoff nuclear weapon similar to the U.S. Air Force's AGM-69 SRAM, versions with conventional warheads have been developed.

Kh-55 Family of air-launched cruise missiles

The Kh-55 is a Soviet/Russian subsonic air-launched cruise missile, designed by MKB Raduga. It has a range of up to 2,500 km (1,350 nmi) and can carry nuclear warheads. Kh-55 is launched exclusively from bomber aircraft and has spawned a number of conventionally armed variants mainly for tactical use, such as the Kh-65SE and Kh-SD, but only the Kh-101 and Kh-555 appear to have made it into service. Contrary to popular belief, the Kh-55 was not the basis of the submarine- and ground-launched S-10 Granat or RK-55 Relief designed by NPO Novator. The RK-55 is very similar to the air-launched Kh-55 but the Kh-55 has a drop-down turbofan engine and was designed by MKB Raduga. Both have formed the basis of post-Cold-War missiles, in particular the Sizzler which has a supersonic approach phase.

MKB Raduga

MKB Raduga is a Russian aerospace company, concerned with the production of various missile-systems and related technologies. It is headquartered in Dubna in the Moscow Oblast. Formerly a division of the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau, it was spun off as a separate OKB in March 1957.

BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missile long-range, all-weather, subsonic tactical/strategic cruise missile

The Ground Launched Cruise Missile, or GLCM, was a ground-launched cruise missile developed by the United States Air Force in the last decade of the Cold War and disarmed under the INF Treaty.

P-270 Moskit Anti-ship missile

The P-270 Moskit is a Soviet supersonic ramjet powered anti-ship cruise missile. Its GRAU designation is 3M80, air launched variant is the Kh-41 and its NATO reporting name is SS-N-22 Sunburn. The missile system was designed by the Raduga Design Bureau during the 1970s as a follow up to the P-120 Malakhit. The Moskit was originally designed to be ship-launched, but variants have been adapted to be launched from land, underwater (submarines) and air, as well as on the Lun-class ekranoplan. The missile can carry conventional and nuclear warheads. The exact classification of the missile is unknown, with varying types reported. This uncertainty is due to the secrecy surrounding an active military weapon. The missile has been purchased and exported to the People's Liberation Army Navy (China) and Indian Navy (India).

Kh-59 Cruise missileAir-launched cruise missileAir-to-surface missileAnti-ship missileLand-attack missile

The Kh-59 Ovod is a Russian TV-guided cruise missile with a two-stage solid-fuel propulsion system and 200 km range. The Kh-59M Ovod-M is a variant with a bigger warhead and turbojet engine. It is primarily a land-attack missile but the Kh-59MK variant targets ships.

SS-N-3 Shaddock

The P-5 "Pyatyorka", also known by the NATO codename SS-N-3C Shaddock, is a Cold War era turbojet-powered cruise missile of the Soviet Union, designed by the Chelomey design bureau. The missile entered service in 1959. Pyatyorka is a common name for the missile as the "digit 5", corresponding to the R-7 Semyorka, the digit 7.

9K720 Iskander Short-range ballistic missile

The 9K720 Iskander is a mobile short-range ballistic missile system produced and deployed by the Russian military. The missile systems (Искандер-М) are to replace the obsolete OTR-21 Tochka systems, still in use by the Russian armed forces, by 2020. The Iskander has several different conventional warheads, including a cluster munitions warhead, a fuel-air explosive enhanced-blast warhead, a high explosive-fragmentation warhead, an earth penetrator for bunker busting and an electromagnetic pulse device for anti-radar missions. The missile can also carry nuclear warheads. In September 2017, the KB Mashinostroyeniya (KBM) general designer Valery M. Kashin said that there were at least seven types of missiles for Iskander, including one cruise missile.

Nuclear triad nuclear weapons launchable from strategic bombers, submarines and ICBMs

A nuclear triad is a three-pronged military force structure that consists of land-launched nuclear missiles, nuclear-missile-armed submarines, and strategic aircraft with nuclear bombs and missiles. Specifically, these components are land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and strategic bombers. The purpose of having this three-branched nuclear capability is to significantly reduce the possibility that an enemy could destroy all of a nation's nuclear forces in a first-strike attack. This, in turn, ensures a credible threat of a second strike, and thus increases a nation's nuclear deterrence.

KSR-5

The Raduga KSR-5 was a long-range, air-launched cruise missile and anti ship missile developed by the Soviet Union. It was essentially a scaled down version of the Kh-22 'Kitchen', built to be carried by the less capable Tu-16.

3M-54 Kalibr Group of Russian missiles

The 3M-54 Kalibr,, also referred to it as 3M54-1 Kalibr, 3M14 Biryuza, , 91R1, 91RT2 is a group of Russian surface ship-, submarine-launched and airborne anti-ship and coastal anti ship (AShM), land attack cruise missiles (LACM) and anti-submarine missiles developed by the Novator Design Bureau (OKB-8). Derived export versions are the 3M54E, 3M54E1, 3M14E, 91RE1, 91RTE2. The 3M54T, 3M54K, 3M54A, 3M54E (3M54TE), 3M54KE and 3M54AE have a second stage that performs a supersonic sprint in the terminal approach to the target, reducing the time that target's defense systems have to react. The 3M54T1, 3M54K1, 3M54A1, 3M54E1 (3M54T/K/AE1) only travel at subsonic speeds, although their range is accordingly greater than those of the supersonic versions.

NPO Novator

NPO Novator is a Russian company that designs long-range anti-aircraft missiles. It was established in 1947 as OKB-8 in Sverdlovsk, became independent in 1991, and then became part of the Almaz-Antey conglomerate. It is perhaps best known for designing the 9M82 and 9M83 missiles of the S-300V SAM system.

KS-1 Komet Air-to-surface , anti-ship missile

The Raduga KS-1 Komet, also referred to as AS-1 and KS-1 was a soviet short range air-to-surface missile, primarily developed for anti-ship missions. It was carried on two aircraft, the Tupolev Tu-4 and the Tupolev Tu-16.

Kh-80 Type of Air-to-surface missile

The Kh-80 Meteorit-A, the RK-75 Meteorit-N(GRAU:3M25N, NATO:SS-NX-24 Scorpion) and the P-750 Meteorit-M was a Soviet cruise missile which was supposed to replace subsonic intermediate range missiles in Soviet inventory. The missile was an ambitious project since the target was to ultimately develop it into hypersonic missile.