Kh-15

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Raduga Kh-15
(NATO reporting name: AS-16 'Kickback')
AS-16 Kickback 2008 G1.jpg
Raduga Kh-15
Type air-to-surface missile
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
Used by Russia
Production history
Designer Raduga
Specifications
Weight 1,200 kg (2,650 lb)
Length 478 cm (15 ft 8 in)
Diameter 45.5 cm (17.9 in)
Warhead weight 150 kg (331 lb)

Wingspan 92 cm (36.2 in)
Operational
range
300 km (160 nmi)
Speed Up to Mach 5[1]
Guidance
system
inertial, active radar, or anti-radiation
Launch
platform
Tu-95MS-6, Tu-22M3, and Tu-160 [1]
Kh-15 from rear

The Raduga Kh-15 or RKV-15 (Russian: Х-15; NATO:AS-16 'Kickback';GRAU:) is a Russian air-to-surface missile carried by the Tupolev Tu-22M and other bombers. Originally a standoff nuclear weapon similar to the US Air Force's AGM-69 SRAM, versions with conventional warheads have been developed.

Development[edit]

In 1967, MKB Raduga started developing the Kh-2000 as a replacement for the Kh-22 AS-4 'Kitchen' heavy anti-shipping missile.[1] Development of the Kh-15 started some time in the early 1970s.[2] The sophistication of the design made it suitable for other roles, and a nuclear-tipped version was developed in tandem with the conventionally armed variant.[1] An upgrade under development was cancelled in 1991, but reports in 1998 suggested an upgraded Kh-15 might be fitted to Su-35 tactical aircraft.[2]

Design[edit]

The Kh-15 climbs to an altitude of about 40,000 m (130,000 ft) and then dives in on the target, accelerating to a speed of about Mach 5, which makes it the fastest aircraft-launched missile to date.[1]

Operational history[edit]

It entered service in the early 1980s. It can be carried by the Tu-95MS-6 'Bear-H', Tu-22M3 'Backfire C', and Tu-160 'Blackjack'.[1] The Tu-22M3 can carry six missiles on a MKU-6-1 rotary launcher in its bomb bay, plus four missiles on two underwing pylons for a total of ten missiles per aircraft.[2] It is reported that the Tu-160 can carry two MKU-6-1's for a total of twelve missiles internally.[2]

Variants[edit]

  • Kh-15 (RKV-15) - the original version with nuclear warhead and inertial guidance
  • Kh-15P - passive seeker for anti-radar use
  • Kh-15S - active radar seeker for anti-shipping use[1]

Operators[edit]

Similar weapons[edit]

  • Raduga KSR-5 (AS-6 'Kingfish') - heavy anti-surface missile carried under the wings of Tu-22M
  • Kh-59 (AS-13 'Kingbolt') - ASM for tactical aircraft, up to 285 km range
  • Kh-37 (updated version of AS-20 'Kayak') - land attack version of subsonic 'Harpoonski', 250 km range
  • AGM-69 SRAM - 1000 kg US missile with up to 170 km range

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Kh-15, RKV-15 (AS-16 'Kickback')", Jane's Air-Launched Weapons, 2008-08-01, retrieved 2009-02-03 
  2. ^ a b c d "Kh-15 (AS-16 'Kickback'/RKV-15)", Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, 2008-09-02, retrieved 2009-02-06 

References[edit]

  • Gordon, Yefim (2004). Soviet/Russian Aircraft Weapons Since World War Two. Hinckley, England: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-188-1.