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Russia MoD launches supersonic anti-ship "Oniks P-800" cruise missile


The Russian mobile coastal defence system 'Bastion' launched the anti-ship cruise missile P-800 'Oniks' for the first time in Chukotka region, as shown in footage released by the Russian Defence Ministry on Thursday.


Russia MoD launches supersonic anti ship Oniks P 800 cruise missile 925 001 P-800 Onix missile launched from a Russian Bastion coastal-defence unit (Picture source: Russian MoD)


The deployment of Bastion coastal defence missile system offers the Russian Navy a new capability to dominate the critical sea lanes along the Russian landmass in the arctic. Lack of infrastructure and ports limits the military options of nations in the region, to the use of long-range strategic weapons, but the Bastion, capable of hitting ships at sea at ranges of 500-800 km poses a conventional means of deterrence.

The recent exercise demonstrated the capability of Bastion coastal defence systems to deploy using amphibious landing ships to a firing location inland in the Chukotka Peninsula. From a position about 200 inland, the Bastions was capable of striking targets along the entire eastern part of the Northern Sea Route, from the De Long to the Bering Straits. These sea lanes provide critical access routes to the Northern Sea Route, connecting the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and North-Sea and saving weeks on sea travel. This route passes almost entirely in parts of the arctic waters claimed by Russia.

About ten warships and support vessels of the Pacific fleet, as well as naval aircraft, provided safety for the missile launch. The exercise was conducted in accordance with the combat training plan of troops in the North-East of Russia, as MoD reports.

The Onix missile weighs 3.1 tons of which 300 kg is the warhead (200 in the export version.) The missile can carry a semi-armour piercing high explosive warhead or a small thermonuclear warhead.

Launched from a vertical launch tube, using a solid-rocket booster, the missile transitions to a horizontal flight and accelerates to a high supersonic speed powered by a ramjet fueled by kerosene (T-6). From coastal positions, the missile can attack naval targets beyond the horizon, at ranges of 600 kilometres in a ‘Hi-Lo’ trajectory, flying at a speed of 2.6-2 Mach. An improved version known as Onix-M will be capable of extending the range to 800 km. The new version is designed to operate over land and sea and attack naval and land targets with high precision.