Russian MoD to upgrade 32 Kh-22 long-range anti-ship missiles


The Russian Defense Ministry decided to make Kh-22 missiles operational again. They have been the main weapon for supersonic Tu-22M3 bombers for a long time, but were decommissioned in early 2000s. It has been now decided to accept the remaining missiles back into service. Experts said an upgrade will match them with the latest Kh-32 cruise missiles which are considered invulnerable for air defense and fighter jets, the Izvestia daily writes.


Russian MoD to upgrade 32 Kh 22 long range anti ship missilesArtist impression: A Tu-22M3 launching a Kh-22 missile


The Defense Ministry told the newspaper 32 Kh-22 are to be upgraded in three years. The cost is estimated at 300 million rubles. Raduga Design Bureau of Tactical Missiles Corporation designed Kh-22. Close to 3000 missiles of various modifications were produced. The munition depended on the mission. It can have an ordinary high-explosive fragmentation charge or a special (nuclear) warhead.

The cruise missile was designed to destroy warships, radars and fortified strategic facilities (military bases, bridges, power plants) of the adversary.

A deep modernization of Kh-22 will replace the element base of the munition. The capabilities of the weapon will be comparable to modern Kh-32, expert Alexey Leonkov said. "The characteristics of the upgraded munition will considerably surpass the missile for which it was created. Modernized Kh-22 will have a more powerful engine, a smaller warhead and bigger fuel tanks. It will increase the range nearly two-fold to one thousand kilometers," he said. Leonkov said the missile will have a new jamming-resistant inertial targeting radar with radio-controlled adjustment according to terrain relief. The autopilot is replaced by automatic controls. The upgraded missile is created for operations in conditions of heavy air and missile defense.

Kh-32 design began in early 1990s and the first launches were held in mid-2000s. The missile speed is not less than 5 thousand km/h. It can be fired from any altitude and major distance at spatial and pinpoint targets. Tu-22M3 bomber is the main carrier of the missile.

The combination of speed and unpredictable trajectory makes the missile invulnerable for antiaircraft weapons and fighter jets. The engine starts up after the launch from the aircraft. Kh-32 immediately ascends and enters the stratosphere. The engine switches to cruise regime after the missile reaches the assigned speed. At the final stage it nosedives to attack the target at a hypersonic speed, the Izvestia writes.


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