In 1978, the Council of Ministers of the USSR issued a decree on the creation of a modular series of tactical missiles "air-to-ground" with a single engine, combat unit, stabilization system, but with different guidance systems. The development of the complex was entrusted to Zvezda Design Bureau.
The idea was born from the experience of development and serial production of the previous generation of guided missile weapons created by the design bureau team. Work on the X-23, X-25 and X-27 missiles revealed their significant commonality in the main subsystems. Therefore, the essence of the modular concept is to separate the group of missiles for various purposes common subsystems, which, when combined, form a single basic module for all missiles in this modular series, while the interchangeable modules docked to them create a variety of missile types. The application of the modular principle of missile construction ensured the reduction of time for the development of new products and the cost of their testing, simplified the adaptation of each type of weapon to different aircraft carriers, reduced the total cost of retraining of personnel in the troops and facilitated maintenance by operating organizations.
The main principles laid down in the ideology of building a modular X-25M missile were:
- Replacement of three missiles in production: X-23M, X-25 and X-27PS by one missile with interchangeable guidance systems;
- The possibility of forming the necessary shape of the missile in service parts;
- The possibility of improving this class of weapon through the use of new types of combat units and advanced guidance systems.
The creation of a modular missile should have been possible:
- to reduce the number of missile types;
- significantly reduce the cost and time required to develop new guided missile weapon systems;
- shorten the mobilization deployment cycle for a specific period;
- to create a family of modular elements of weapon systems with sufficient adaptation to the dynamic situation in the theatre of war;
- to increase the operational reliability of weapon systems;
- to simplify their operation.
At the first stage, it was planned to unify the missiles X-23M, X-25 and X-27PS, and in the future to develop new versions of modules for the missile GOS and combat equipment.
The modular series included missiles:
- X-25ML - with laser homing head;
- X-25MR - with a radio command guidance system;
- X-25MP - with a radar passive head of homing.
X-25MP missile with a passive homing head (PHAR) is designed for high-precision engagement of radar control systems of enemy air defense, including radars of anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) "Hawk", "Improved Hawk", "Nike Hercules".
To defeat the Roland-1 and Crotale air defense systems, K-25MP missile was upgraded to K-25MPU index. The upgrade consisted of expanding the frequency range of passive RGSN and the use of an inertial guidance system, which provides the ability to prolong the guidance and re-capture the target with a temporary shutdown of the radiation of the radar target. The range of fire has increased dramatically.
Carrier aircraft: MiG-23BK, MiG-27M, MiG-27D, Su-17M3, Su-17M4, Su-24M, Su-25, Yak-141, MiG-29M, MiG-29K.
In addition to the adopted triad, the Zvezda Design Bureau, using the modular principles inherent in the X-25M, proposed options for X-25MT with TV fuel, X-25MTP with thermal imaging fuel to defeat heat-emitting targets, X-25MS with satellite navigation system and X-25MA with active radar-guided development of "Phasotron NIIR" (30 kg head provides a launch range up to 40 km).
In the west, the missile was designated AS-12 "Kegler".
The X-25MP rocket is made according to the aerodynamic scheme "duck" with the X-shaped arrangement of the wing and rudders (see projections).
The missile control system is a combined one. In the vertical guidance channel is carried out in two stages. The first - with the help of autopilot SUR-73, which provides the movement of the missile on a logarithmic trajectory and stabilizes the missile on the pitch, course and roll . When the angle of bearing 27 - 30 ° rocket is converted into a dive and makes a "slide" (with a blast BC is the most effective).
At the second stage - on the radiation of the radar target is carried out homing. Depending on the radiation range of the radar targets, the missile is equipped with radar target coordinators PRGS-1PVP or PRGS-2PVP respectively. High-sensitivity CNSs were created by NPO "Automatics".
The SRSG-1PVP coordinator allows searching for radar targets with continuous A-band radiation and tracking them in the sector ±30o when the missile is mounted on the carrier aircraft suspension. The maximum angular velocity of tracking of the antenna of the PRGS-1PVP coordinator is 6 degrees per second.
The head of PRGS-1PVP (A-077) is designed for pointing at targets with continuous radiation of the range A and has an angle of capture of 60 - 100 °, allowing the station direction finding not only on the main beam, but also on its side blades of directional pattern.
- detection and pointing at one of three radars at the same position, differing in operating frequencies;
- change of pointing in flight when the target radar is switched off to another station at the same position;
- recapture when the signal is lost or the carrier frequency is changed;
- priority gripping of the backlighting radar as the most dangerous;
- possibility of redirection and launching by another radar.
The replacement head of the PRGS-2VP (L-015) serves to attack targets with pulsed radiation of the range A' and also allows to select signals, highlighting them among the interference, and briefly memorize the position of the radar when it is switched off, continuing to monitor in this area. Coordinator PRGS-2PVP searches for radar targets in the range of A1 and tracks them in the sector ± 30o on the course and from +20o to -40o on the pitch when the missile is on the suspension of the aircraft carrier. The maximum angular tracking speed of the PRGS-2VP coordinator antenna is 8 degrees per second.
Dual-mode engine PRD-276 on mixed fuel is designed in OKB-81 under the leadership of I.I.Kartukov. PRD-276 with a fuel charge of 81 kg had a starting thrust of 2000 kGs and operating time up to 11.5 s. The F-27 high-explosive combat unit is located in the forward part of the airframe behind the WGSN and in the tail compartment behind the propulsion system. Charging BC is saturated with metal inclusions - steel crumb. Combat efficiency is ensured by installing a contact fuse that detonates the BC when hitting the target (radar antenna systems are vulnerable to blast, as opposed to protected targets of other missiles that require a cumulative jet or piercing action).
X-25MP differ from X-25 improved aerodynamics, modified shape and diamond-shaped profile of the steering wheel and plumage. Increasing the size and weight of the rocket X-25MP compared with the basic version of X-25 required the installation of destabilizers in the plane of the rudder. Moving forward the aerodynamic focus of the rocket, destabilizers reduce the reserve of its stability and make the rudders more efficient. In later versions, additional BC in the tail compartment was removed, and an acceptable alignment was achieved by reconfiguring the missile. The efficiency of the rudders is improved by lengthening the missile body with spacers. The released volumes were used to accommodate the equipment and power system of a larger capacity, which increased the launch range. An air cylinder of increased power capacity provided power to the steering machines for 90s of controlled flight. Accordingly, the capacity of the ampoule accumulator battery was increased.
For transportation and storage of the X-25MP rocket a special container is used, in which it is packed at the manufacturing plant. The container provides the rocket with necessary storage conditions and protects it from moisture, impacts, etc.
|Manufacturer||SSC "Star Arrow"|
|Flight Speed max. m/s||850-920|
|Flight Speed average, m/s||400-500|
|Flying speed of the carrier, km/h||600-1250|
|Launch height, km||0.05-10|
|The length of the rocket, mm|
|X-25MP with PWGE-1PO||4194|
|X-25MP with PRGS-2PO||4294|
|Maximum rocket body diameter, mm||276|
|Start weight , kg|
|Weight of combat unit, kg|
|Aircraft launcher||APU-68, APU-68UM|
|rocket container weight , kg||530|
The X-22 missile proved to be a very effective anti-ship vehicle even without a nuclear charge. Tests have shown that in the event of a sea target being hit, the X-22 would cause damage to the target ship, which could disable an aircraft carrier or cruiser. At the take-off speed of 800 m/s, the area of the hole was up to 22 sq.m., and the inner compartments were burned by a cumulative jet to a depth of 12m.
The Soviet leadership considered the aircraft Tu-95K-22 and Tu-22M3 with the X-22 rocket the most effective tool to combat aircraft carriers. Therefore, Soviet heavy aircraft systematically approached the U.S. aircraft carriers and recorded the action of radio electronic interference Americans. According to navigators, the effectiveness of these tools was tremendous: the target markings on the screens literally drowned in a cloud of interference, it became impossible to aim. Therefore, a version of the attack was developed, according to which the first to launch X-22 missiles with nuclear warheads are not on specific targets, and the area where the American aircraft carrier connection was to be. It was believed that after that the action of electronic countermeasures will significantly reduce, and the second wave of X-22 missiles will find surviving targets.
Measures to overcome the air defense included a variety of tactical techniques: massaging efforts of several strike groups, echelonizing the combat orders of missile carriers and air defense aircraft that covered them, maneuvering during an attack. The strike could be delivered by reshaping several units and launching from different directions, frontal attack with salvo launch of dozens of missiles, consecutive disabling of cover ships, weakening of the air defense and defeating the main target. Sometimes a distraction group of aircraft stood out. During combat training, the targets were real AUGs, which were within the reach of missile-borne units. The appearance of potential enemy ship groups near the Soviet shores usually served as an excuse to work out a plan of counteraction with training anxiety and regimental flight. During daily training, crews were limited to tactical launches.
Until the beginning of the 90s, the crews of both YES and Navy conducted combat firing at sea targets in the Caspian Sea, for which the crews from remote airfields moved closer to the firing range during training sessions. Mozdok usually served as a base for "long-range" airfields, and Oktyabrskoye in Crimea served as a base for "sailors". Over time, the range in the Caspian Sea, which had been in operation since the 50s, was closed by environmentalists' demands due to the contamination of the sea with countless missile debris. Problems have also arisen with the organization of shooting at the Akhtuba range, which is now under Kazakhstan's control.
With the removal of weapons Tu-22K and Tu-95K-22 missile system K-22M continued to remain in service, using the aircraft Tu-22M3 - the most modern machines of this type. Equipped with these parts are the basis of the missile forces of the YES and the Navy in Russia and the Ukraine. By 1994, there were 92 aircraft of this type in Ukraine and the Crimea.
In April 1987, the forces of the Russian YES were consolidated into the 37th FA of the Navy. To date, the Tu-22M3 are in service with four of its air regiments, as well as two maritime missile-bearing regiments on the SF and TOF (in the early 80's at the height of Soviet aviation fleet had a fleet of one and a half dozen missile-carrying regiments).
After several years of uncertainty, rocket firing at newly equipped firing ranges also resumed (their arrangement was linked not only to the choice of small, extensive locations for safety requirements in case of missiles or irregular missile behavior, which sometimes happened, but also to the equipment of measuring posts and telemetry control points). For the first time, the Tu-22M3 of the Severomorsk Kirkenes Red Banner Air Division carried out missile launches in the Barents Sea during the Zapad-99 command and staff exercise in northern Russia. Striking together with the missile ships of the fleet, 24-26 June 1999 TU-22M3 "destroyed" detachment cover enemy ships at a range of 100 km, and the "main target" - with 300 km. In September the same year, the TU-22M3 detachment conducted missile firing at targets four X-22.
During a joint exercise of the Air Force of Russia and Ukraine August 11, 2000 a pair of Poltava Tu-22M3 made a five-hour flight to the North and together with 10 Russian aircraft attacked targets at the testing ground near Novaya Zemlya. Although only three pilots had participated in the launches before due to the long break, both target barges were hit.
Two weeks later, on 25th August 2000, the crew of the Ukrainian Tu-22M3 performed an unusual task: providing joint exercises of the Air Forces and Air Defence at the Arkhalyk range, after a long flight it fired an X-22 target missile successfully intercepted and hit by Su-27 fighters.
On 6 April 2001, during a major exercise of the 37th Air Force combined with the Yuzhny Shield-2001 KShU, the X-22 was launched, which was of research nature: a missile that had been stored in a warehouse for 25 years was taken to check reliability. Launch from the board of the Tu-22M3 at the Makat test site was a success, all systems of the X-22 worked off routinely. Less successful were the shooting at the new range near Chita in September 2002 - due to failure in the guidance missile fell in Mongolia, causing a scandal and demands for millions of compensation (the same slippage took place in Kazakhstan, where the X-22 fell near the village).
The X-22 took an exceptional place in domestic aviation and rocket technology - both in terms of the service life of the complex, approaching the 40-year mark, and the universality of application. Unlike other missiles of its class, whose service was limited to a single type of aircraft (in turn, a special modification of which was created for a certain complex of missile weapons). X-22 was armed with three carrier aircraft - Tu-22K, Tu-22M and Tu-95K-22.
However, the long service and improvement of the complex could not save it from a significant disadvantage - low serviceability associated with the use of liquid rockets. The high performance achieved by the use of liquid-propellant missiles, brought with it organic flaws and problems with ensuring the combat readiness of missiles, which required equipment with toxic and caustic components - acid and no less harmful fuel.
Prolonged storage in refueled form proved to be unacceptable due to corrosion resistance of the structure. The use of protective coatings and inhibitors - corrosion retardants - also prevented this threat from being radically eliminated. At one time, the solution was to organize a continuous cycle of work on missiles, in which at the expiration of the period of maintenance of fuel and oxidizer refueled AKR from them, removed BC, the tanks were washed with neutralizing solution, dried, and the missiles were put in storage, while the next stage of the AKR after the equipment was ready for combat duty. The labor-intensiveness of such a "carousel" with maintenance of constant combat readiness created too many obstacles; and the main direction was to improve the refueling technology, which accelerated the process as much as possible and simplified it with due security.
The most effective measure was the introduction of ampoule filling with a special unit. The oxidizer from its sealed pressure vessels was pumped into the rocket tanks, remaining virtually isolated from the environment. Filling was carried out just before firing, and storage of the missiles was no longer permitted. The equipment of the rocket technicians included a protective special suit with a woolen suit to be worn under it, thick rubber gloves on top of ordinary knitted ones, and bashila boots in a thick finger. The equipment was equipped with an insulating gas mask, and the filling process was controlled by a gas analyzer in case of leakage. Labor-intensive operations in combat units were avoided as much as possible, and flights with unpacked missiles became a common practice even at the exercises. In full, their training was carried out only when offsets launches were carried out, at best, during training sessions 1-2 times a year. Shooting was an event, and in practice, given the responsibility, only the most trained crews with similar experience were allowed to fly. The training usually took at least one month, with several rehearsals. The launch always took a couple in which a substitute crew provided backup in case of refusal. Sometimes volley launches were made by a pair of missiles or both crews, including X-22 of different types with radar and inertial guidance.
- А.В.Карпенко, С.М. Ганин "Отечественные авиационные тактические ракеты", "Бастион" N1, 2000г.
- Широкорад А.Б. "История авиационного вооружения", -Мн.: Харвест, 1999.-560с.
- В. Марковский, К. Перов "Советские авиационные ракеты "Воздух-земля".М., Издательский центр «Экспринт»