Tags: Moscow | Missile | Sales

Moscow Missile Sales

Tuesday, 30 August 2005 12:00 AM

The 3M-14 can be fired from either ship or submarine launching systems. The subsonic missile then flies at very low altitude over water and land to a designated point where its high-resolution radar guides it to within a few feet of its intended target.

The sale of the 3M-14 to China is likely to be part of a package deal along with Beijing's purchase of eight advanced versions of the "Kilo" class submarine from Russia. The Kilo submarines are to be delivered to Beijing over the next five years.

Novator officials did not deny unconfirmed reports that Iran is also interested in purchasing the 3M-14 land attack missile for its Russian-built Kilo submarines.

However, in an article published by Aviation Week and Space Technology, the Russian missile maker did confirm that the 3M-14 missile is capable of exceeding the range and payload limits established under the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime).

The MTCR is a multi-national accord that applies limits to missiles that can carry nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. The MTCR limits specifically prohibit export of missiles that exceed 186 miles in range and 1,100 pounds of payload. Russia signed on to the MTCR treaty. However, the 3M-14 sale is likely to show that Moscow is not as yet ready to honor its treaty obligations.

The Russian CLUB missile comes in two versions. One version is a land attack cruise missile similar to the U.S.-made Tomahawk. The Chinese military purchase of 3M-14 will give it a strategic force projection capability on its current and future submarine fleet.

The long-range 3M-14 strike missile gives the Chinese Navy (PLAN) more options to attack Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and U.S. bases in Asia in the event of conflict there.

The second version of the CLUB is a subsonic cruise missile with a supersonic rocket second stage that is designed to attack ships. Again, the U.S. and many of its allies lack the ability to defend against this kind of missile.

For the PLA (People's Liberation Army), the long range of the CLUB missile family can be exploited once it has its constellation of imaging and radar military satellites.

While the merchants of missiles in Moscow peddle their wares to India, China and Iran, they are finding it more difficult to sell their weapons at home. The Russian air force is struggling to maintain combat capability with an inadequate budget.

However, some key programs are making progress. The Russian air force recently tested a Raduga Kh-555 long-range, conventional cruise missile. President Vladimir Putin, who flew in a Tupolev TU-160 Blackjack bomber that launched the missile, witnessed the test.

The Kh-555 is a modification of the Kh-55 (AS-15 Kent) strategic nuclear cruise missile. The Kh-555 is fitted with an electro-optical guidance package, and the nuclear warhead is replaced with a conventional explosive. The Kh-555 program has come back after several previous failures. The Russian air force has long had a requirement for a conventional precision-strike missile. The Kh-555 program has been competing with the Kh-101 long-range missile for an ever smaller defense budget. The Kh-101 has been in development for over 15 years.

The Russian air force is also testing a new version of the MiG-31 Foxhound, one of the few operational aircraft that can exceed three times the speed of sound. While details of the new version of the high-speed interceptor are sketchy, Russian officials have admitted that the new version will employ advanced sensors and a new long-range missile to replace the standard armament of the MiG-31.

The Russian emphasis on upgrading the expensive MiG-31 is seen as an effort to upgrade the decaying Moscow air defense network. The MiG-31's mission to defend the Russian homeland is critical because the aging air defense system is seen as vulnerable to advanced bombers and long-range cruise missiles. The Russian network of obsolete radars and lack of airborne early warning aircraft put the high-speed MiG-31 at the forefront of Moscow's air defense.



Charles Smith will be on:

The Jerry Hughes Show on Friday, 9/2/05, at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Show information at http://www.cilamerica.com.

The George Putnam Show on Friday, 9/2/05, at 1 p.m. West Coast time (4 p.m. East Coast time) on KCAA 1050 AM in Southern California; WPYT 560 AM in Pittsburgh; WLTH 1370 AM in Gary, Ind., and Chicago; and CRN Radio Network, WWW.CRNI.NET.


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The 3M-14 can be fired from either ship or submarine launching systems.The subsonic missile then flies at very low altitude over water and land to a designated point where its high-resolution radar guides it to within a few feet of its intended target. The sale of the...
Tuesday, 30 August 2005 12:00 AM
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