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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
antitank missile
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1988
Used by Russia
Production history
Designer Raduga
Designed 1970s–1980s
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) maximum
300 km (160 nmi)
Speed Up to Mach 5[1]
inertial guidance, active radar homing, or anti-radiation missile
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 U.S. Air Force's AGM-69 SRAM, versions with conventional warheads have been developed.


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]


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 1988.[3] 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-6-1s for a total of twelve missiles internally.[2]


  • 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]




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


  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 [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d "Kh-15 (AS-16 'Kickback'/RKV-15)", Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, 2008-09-02, retrieved 2009-02-06 [dead link]
  3. ^


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