Russian ground forces will be able to destroy enemy headquarters, command posts, artillery and armored vehicles in a matter of seconds. The country has begun the creation of the latest hypersonic light-class missile, sources in the military-industrial complex told Izvestia. The development, according to them, is being carried out as part of the implementation of the concept of high-precision tactical missile systems. The novelty is capable of hitting targets at a range of hundreds of kilometers – to cover this distance, it will take a few seconds. Experts say that now Russian troops will radically increase their firepower.
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The development of new missiles has begun on the basis of technical solutions for the Hermes missile complex project, Izvestia sources in the defense industry said. The principal difference between the weapons, which received the working designation “Klevok-D2”, will be the use of a new ramjet engine (ramjet). It will accelerate the missile to virtually hypersonic speed, which will dramatically increase its range and make it invulnerable to modern air defense systems.
Earlier, Izvestia reported that the military department approved the concept of introducing high-precision tactical missile systems into ground brigades and divisions. Compact launchers can be mounted on Typhoon and Tiger armored vehicles. Targets for them will be detected by drones and soldiers with KRUS “Strelets” kits. The new weapons will take an intermediate place between artillery and heavy operational-tactical Iskander-M missile systems.
According to the terms of reference for the development of the components of the complex (the documents are at the disposal of Izvestia), the new ammunition can be used from a variety of platforms, both ground and air. The launch weight in the transport and launch container will not exceed 150 kilograms. The caliber of 207 mm taken from “Hermes” will not change either. A warhead weighing 57 kg should be enough to destroy both armored vehicles and light shelters or individual buildings.
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According to sources, the rocket will be equipped with wings that unfold after launch. After taking off with the help of a detachable launch stage and giving the initial acceleration, the flight will continue on the cruise ramjet engine. On it, it will accelerate to several thousand kilometers per hour in 40 seconds. The terms of reference indicated that it should be optimized for movement at a level of up to five speeds of sound, which is the official boundary for the beginning of hypersound.
– Previously, the combined arms divisions included Tochka missile systems, which are outdated and removed from service. And the divisions received nothing in return, ”military expert Viktor Murakhovsky told Izvestia. “As a result, they didn’t have long-range firepower. At the same time, the area of responsibility of motorized rifle and tank brigades and divisions has expanded, and the scope of operations that they must carry out in accordance with the new combat documents has also increased. And from the means of fire, these formations have only barreled artillery and multiple launch rocket systems. Their range does not allow them to operate over the entire depth of the division’s zone of responsibility. As a result, the commander is forced to ask the senior commander for resources. This is an abnormal situation. The commander must have at hand his own fire weapons capable of solving reconnaissance and strike missions.
It is possible to aim new long-range missile systems in a variety of ways: from drones, using radar reconnaissance or information from military intelligence units, the expert added.
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The development under the designation “Klevok” has been known since the 90s of the last century. The sample created within their framework is now known as “Hermes”. The novelty will use part of his developments, but in the version with a ramjet rocket engine “Klevok-D2” will fly much farther and faster.
This year, at the Army-2020 exhibition, a version of the Hermes complex on a mobile chassis was presented for the first time. The launcher for six missiles can be mounted on a three-axle KamAZ truck. The possibility of installing it on other models of military equipment is also declared. According to the developer’s representative, even when shooting at 100 km, the deviation is only half a meter. And according to the results of a cycle of field tests, experts concluded that the new ammunition is capable of hitting any tank with a probability of 98–99%.
Earlier it was reported that the missile will have a combined guidance system when firing at maximum range. She overcomes the main part of the route under the control of the inertial navigation system. At the final stage, the homing head is turned on, which is able to independently detect enemy armored vehicles and direct ammunition at it.
The complex was developed not only in the version for the ground forces. Prior to that, the aircraft “Hermes-A” was created with a range reduced to 15–20 km. Tests of such air-launched missiles have been carried out on Ka-52 helicopters since the early 2000s. This version was equipped with a laser guidance system.
The possibility of installing “Hermes” on naval ships, small boats and even installing their launchers on anti-aircraft missile systems “Pantsir-S” was also announced.