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UKRAINE BEGIN WORK ON HIGH-PRECISION MISSILE WEAPON
The Yuzhnoye State Design Office (KB ‘Yuzhnoe') in Ukraine is working on a cruise missile and a vertically-launched tactical missile, writes Yevgeniy Lenutovski . Until now, the bureau has specialised in intercontinental ballistic missiles and space launch missiles. The State foreign trade company Ukrspetseksport is already offering the new missiles to potential customers.
The Korshun cruise missile is intended for air, ground, and ship launch. It would be used to attack non-mobile land targets and ships. In size, weight, and general configuration it closely resembles the Raduga Kh-55 (AS-15 ‘ Kent ') and its conventional-warhead Kh-555 derivative. However, Raduga is not involved in the Ukrainian project, and has said that the two missiles are separate projects by the two companies and nations.
Ukraine was involved in the Kh-55 programme. The Kh-55 was developed by the Raduga Design Bureau (NPO) at Dubna from the early 1970s. Although the first evaluation batch of missiles was built at the the Dubna Machine-Building Plant (DMZ), series production of the Kh-55 was undertaken by the Kharkov State Aircraft Manufacturing Company (KhGAPP, former KhAPO) between 1980 and 1987.
Given this background, it is likely that the Korshun is based on the earlier Russian missile. Korshun is expected to use a guidance system that combines inertial and GPS/GLONASS navigation. The anti-ship version will have a seeker for terminal homing. Unspecified stealth technology is used to reduce the weapon's radar cross-section.
An internally-mounted turbojet provides cruise power. This could be the Soyuz R95-300 turbofan that was manufactured by the Ukraine-based Motor Sitch company for use on the Kh-55SM. Land and ship-based variants would be launched under the power of a solid-propellant rocket booster, but this is unlikely to be needed for the air-launched role.
Several type of warhead are likely to be offered, including high-explosive, high-explosive penetrating, and submunitions. The latter could be contact-fuzed, or fitted with some form of sensor-based fuzing.
For ground and shipboard launch, the missile is provided in a combined container/launcher. This can be mounted on ships or on a land vehicle.
The Grom tactical ballistic missile system is at a much earlier stage of development. Completion of the design could take three years or more, depending on the exact requirement of the customer.
Vertically launched from a container/launcher carried by a wheeled transporter/erector/launcher (TEL), it is a single-stage solid-propellant missile intended for use against single of closely-spaced ground targets. Several types of warhead are proposed, including high-explosive, high-explosive penetrating, and a submunitions payload that would scatter bomblets over an area of 10,000 m 2 .
A Grom battery would typically consist of a two or three TELs, plus a mobile command post; a targeting-support truck; a maintenance truck; a crew truck, and between three and six transport trucks.
Missiles could be launched from any suitable terrain that the vehicles can reach, from pre-surveyed launch points, or form pre-prepared positions.