The Ministry of Defense conducted tests in the Arctic conditions of the X-47M2 Kinjal hypersonic missile (in Russian that is Dagger), which was reported to TASS two days ago. The MiG-31K fighter-interceptor, taking off from the Olenegorsk airbase of the Murmansk region, launched a missile at a target located at the Pemboy training ground to the north-east of Vorkuta. The “Dagger” flight speed reached 10 M. The ground target was successfully hit.
The distance that the rocket flew exceeds 1000 km. At the same time, the distance from the Olenegorsk aerodrome, from where the carrier aircraft rose, to the missile launch point is 300 km. Thus, the range of the Dagger complex, which includes both the X-47M2 missile and the aircraft, exceeded 1300 km. Given that the combat radius of the MiG-31 is 800 km, the range of use of the complex is close to 2000 meters.
This is not the first test of a missile after it was put on pilot combat duty in the Southern Military District in December 2017. And then – from April 2018, the MiG-31K interceptors, armed with Daggers, began regular patrols of airspace over the Black and Caspian Seas. And during this period several tests of the rocket were also carried out in order to confirm its technical characteristics, as well as to train aircraft crews in launching techniques. In particular, the accuracy characteristics of the “Dagger” were confirmed – the probable circular deviation is in the region of 1-2 meters.
The enemies of atomic floating airfields are not only ours and Chinese missiles, but also sloppiness
MiG-31K is a modernization of the famous fighter-interceptor, which at the moment has the highest maximum speed in the world among serial aircraft. It reaches 3400 km / h. All underwing rocket holders were removed from the aircraft. MiG-31K carries only one dagger, mounted under the fuselage.
Based on a statement from the United Aircraft Corporation published in Vedomosti, the Dagger is a modification of an air-based Iskander missile. Of course, the modification is significantly improved: with a more powerful engine, an increased volume of solid fuel, with increased thermal protection. A substantial contribution to accelerating a rocket to high supersonic speed is made by its carrier – the world’s fastest aircraft. He launches it in the upper atmosphere at an altitude of 15−20 km to reduce aerodynamic drag.
The rocket is aeroballistic. That is, it flies along a ballistic trajectory, but at the same time constantly maneuvers along the course and pitch. In combination with hypersonic speed, this makes it impossible to intercept the “Dagger” with existing and promising missile defense systems.
The characteristics of the “Dagger” are minimally ajar. Reported speed of about 10-12 M and the range of the rocket, which, having separated from the carrier, flies about 1000 kilometers. The warhead is judged by the 9M723 Iskander rocket, it is 500 kg. But it can be nuclear, with a capacity of up to 50 kilotons.
The inertial missile control system can be adjusted by a GLONASS signal or from a long-range radar control aircraft. An optical homing head operates on the final section of the trajectory.
Now there are 10 “dagger” MiG-31Ks in the Southern Eastern District, however, they intend to increase the number of aircraft by attracting Tu-22M3M long-range supersonic long-range bombers to this business.
This modification of the aircraft, which is being modernized on the basis of the existing Tu-22M3, has very high expectations. First of all, the rod is returned to the aircraft for refueling in the air, which was removed in the late 80s under an agreement with the United States on disarmament. And now it really will be a long-range bomber. It is also equipped with a new near-hypersonic (speed up to 4.6 M) X-32 missile of increased range (1000 km) and noise immunity. Tu-22M3M will be able to carry 3 such missiles, which are an effective weapon to combat aircraft-carrying strike groups.
The upgraded Tu-22M3M is planned to be equipped with four “Daggers”. If the X-32 missiles are mounted on external holders – two under the wing and one under the fuselage, then with the “Dagger” not everything is so simple, since it is almost 4 meters shorter than the X-32. Perhaps a pair of missiles will find a place in the inner compartment.
Another carrier is planned – Su-57. But, of course, he will not pick up more than one rocket.
In connection with such a variety of carriers, it can be assumed that our industry intends to expand the large-scale production of Daggers. True, nothing is known about the cost of this rocket. It would be enough money.
It is quite understandable that the potential “clients” of the “Dagger” began to express ideas on how to deal with it. And statements have already been made that the antidote against our “Dagger” is found.
They write that the Israeli anti-ballistic missile system “Hets-3” is quite capable of intercepting a missile. Discussions on this topic began immediately after the “Hets-3” in the US exercises the first anti-missile shot down a Sparrow rocket launched from the F-16, developing a speed of 4 M. According to the development company, the complex is capable of intercepting targets moving at a speed 4.5 km / s or 12 M at an altitude of 100 km.
Even if this is so, the Dagger complex cannot be threatened in any way, because it works only with ballistic missiles that move strictly along the ballistic trajectory, which is calculated by a computer. A missile is sent to that point on the trajectory where the intercepted missile will be at the estimated time. In this way, you can even shoot down a satellite, which in practice has been proved by China and the USA.
And one moment. Since the interception takes place at high altitude, in fact, in space, the radar of the Israeli complex sees a missile at a very great distance. That is, it can have time to prepare for the interception. But the “Dagger” maneuvers during the flight, its position on the trajectory cannot be calculated. In addition, it flies at much lower altitudes.
The American Agency for Advanced Military Development DARPA announced its intention to create in the near future the interceptor of a Russian hypersonic missile. True, the manufacture of prototypes is still far away. This is a concept that has already been given a name – Glide Breaker.
The only thing known about the idea of Glide Breaker is that it will be a “small kinetic type aircraft.” That is, he must intercept with a mechanical shock. In general, DARPA announced its intention to “shoot down a maneuvering bullet”. If the idea of an interceptor is based only on the published principles of action, then this is clearly not enough.
Of course, there is no such weapon that would not be able to create effective means of protection. For example, the highest altitude reconnaissance aircraft U-2 for quite some time freely flew over the territory of the Soviet Union. However, the S-25 SAM was created, which was able to easily intercept an American spy.
Also, for about five years, the SR-71 Blackbird super-high-speed reconnaissance aircraft was a horror for the Soviet air defense system. But soon the MiG-25 interceptor appeared, and then the MiG-31, and parity was reached in the air.
So against the “Dagger” and other hypersonic missiles in the United States, sooner or later they will find an antidote. But the question is when this can happen. S-25 and MiG-25 were developed in parallel with the aircraft, which they had to withstand. With some, of course, a lag. But, as we see, not so significant.
As for the United States lag in the field of hypersonic weapons, it is very significant. “Dagger” for almost two years, has been in service with the Aero Space Forces. In the United States, research is only now beginning to unfold. The new RnD should begin after them, which will end with the creation of prototypes. Then there will be tests, the results of which are inevitable correction of structures. And then the serial production takes place.
Experts believe that the backlog is at least 10 years. It is clear that at this time, Russian designers will not sit idly by. Something new will appear. And in the United States will open new research.