Russian surface warships to guide coastal missiles

Russian surface warships will be able to provide guidance to coastal missile complexes. The new capabilities will radically increase Navy potential and the defence of naval bases and the coast, the Izvestia daily writes.

Russian surface warships to guide coastal missiles An artist rendering of the Russian Zircon missile (Picture Source: Russian MoD)

Small missile ships trained this year near Kamchatka to guide coastal Bal and Bastion complexes, the main Navy command said. Onboard systems and radars were linked with the reconnaissance contour of the coastal forces and the fleet. The ship radars detected surface targets and transmitted the information to coastal missiles in real time. They were ready for launch in several seconds.

The new technique confirmed the high capabilities of the warships and was recognized as successful. It will be introduced in all fleets. In future, small missile ships will guide Tsirkon hypersonic missiles which are to be supplied to the coastal forces, Defense Ministry sources said.

Guiding by small missile boats will increase combat capabilities of the missiles, former Navy Chief-of-Staff Admiral Valentin Selivanov believes. "Small missile ships will approach the adversary to the maximum and will uninterruptedly report target coordinates to the command post in real time. Such a warship can track targets for two days. The command post will decide which weapons to engage. For example, coastal complexes are considered the most dangerous weapons as they hit a warship hundred percent," he said.

Upgraded Ovod-class warships of project 1234 also received a possibility to provide guidance to coastal missiles. The Navy currently has 12 Ovod and most of them are re-equipped. The Smerch is overhauled in Kamchatka and the Zyb of the Baltic fleet which stood idle for a long time is preparing for an overhaul at the 33rd shipyard. The machine-building enterprise in Kingisepp completed the overhaul of the Rassvet. It also upgraded the Iceberg and the Geyzer in late 2018.

Bastion and Bal are the backbones of modern coastal defence. Bal is a close-range weapon to control the waters around naval bases. Bastion destroys warships at a distance of 500 km. The complexes can engage new supersonic Onix antiship missiles.

Tsirkon hypersonic missiles pose the main danger for the adversary. They will be carried by surface warships and submarines. The speed provides them with a higher destruction capability up to an aircraft carrier.

The new information exchange system increases stealth characteristics of warships and coastal missile complexes and ensures their better interaction, expert Dmitry Boltenkov said. "The Navy has actually created a common information space. It updates the defence tactic and promotes mutual camouflage. Coastal complexes will receive information from warships rather than own radars and will not emit to expose themselves. It will make the strike unexpected and increase the survivability of the complexes. Their radars, in their turn, can guide warships. As a result, the adversary will encounter a surprise attack from a direction where it believes nobody is operating," he told the Izvestia.

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