Torpedo missile will change the tactics of the Russian ASW forces?

The TASS agency revealed that the production of new missile APR-3M "Grif" began in Moscow's "Region". They are primarily to help the Russians fight submarines wherever, due to the enemy's advantage in the air, it will not be possible to send surface ships.

The information about the end of the trials and the start of production of rocketotorps marked APR-3M "Grif" came from Igor Krylov, the general director of the "Region" scientific and production plants (included in the KTRW - Korporacja Takticieskoje Rakietnoje Woorużienije). It was this company that developed the new armament (using the previous work of the CNII "Gidropribor" institute in Saint Petersburg and the turbojet propulsion system produced by the "Saturn" plant from Rybińska) and would like to supply it to the Warsigian Flail.

"All APR-3M rocket attempts have been completed, the serial production process has been organized and deliveries to the Russian Ministry of Defense are ongoing. In the near future, we will also launch promotions of these rockets on foreign markets. APR-3M is integrated with the armament of a modernized submarine helicopter Ka-27M "

Igor Kryłow - general director of the "Region" plants

The export plans of the "Region" plants are understandable that the older APR-3E missiles were sold to the Chinese Navy. J ak far assumed, however, that the new weapon system will be equipped helicopters and aircraft of the Russian naval aviation. This is in line with the profile of the company "Region" based in Moscow (founded in 1969), which is known primarily for the production of aerial bombs such as: precision-guided bomb KAB-1500Kr, KAB-1500ŁG, KAB-500-SE, KAB-500Kr-U and KAB-250ŁG-E.

But also in these plants a small ZOP "Package-E / NK" torpedo was developed and a super-fast torpedo "Szkwał E". The "region" is also involved in research and development in the field of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics of high-speed submersibles, submarine rocket hydro-jet vehicles and guidance systems for submersibles.

What has revolutionary been developed in Russia?

So far, only so much is known that the new ZOP APR-3M "Grif" rockets were created on the basis of APR-1 "Kondor" older missiles, APR-2 "Jastrieb" and APR-3 "Orły", which were previously introduced to the equipment of the Russian navy war. According to Russian sources, this kind of ammunition is one of the "most effective weapons for anti-submarine warfare".

Official data on even the older APR-3E rocket can indeed be amazing. P očiska this is no combat submarines on the surface, under periscope and immersed to a depth of 800 m at the maximum speed to 44 knots (80 km / h). APR-3E works according to the "fire and forget" principle. The search for the target takes place by means of a self-guided hydroacoustic head. The system is difficult to detect, because during this search rocket propulsion is not turned on, and the missile falls under the influence of gravity by moving in a spiral motion. However, this is related to certain restrictions because the minimum sea depth at the point where the weapon can be discharged can not be less than 100 m, the sea level can not be greater than 6.

Only after locating the foreign submarine, the propulsion is activated, which allows you to catch up with the target in 1-2 minutes. Such a short time results from the APR-3E speed which exceeds 70 w (about 130 km / h). This weaponry can also be used against surface targets, then the depth of the basin can be smaller (minimum 60 m).

In the case of the APR-3M rocket, several changes were made reducing its mass (470 kg compared to 525 kg for APR-3) and dimensions (3.25 m compared to 3.68 m for APR-3) with simultaneously increased range (by extending the operating time of the drive system). According to the Russians, the accuracy of the projectile was increased (introducing, for the first time, an integrated steering system with an inertial navigation system), the interference resistance of the homing head with the range improved (from 2 km for APR-3 to 2.5 km for APR-3M), the depth of its application and simplified operations during daily storage and preparation for operations.

At present, it is known that the new missile will first receive upgraded anti-submarine helicopters (ZOP) Ka-27M, on which rocketotrops passed tests. However, it is most likely also received by all platforms that were previously adapted to use the older APR-3 missiles: ZOP Tu-142ME and Il-38 planes, as well as Ka-28 and Mi-14PŁ helicopters.

Russians are also increasingly talking about the need to equip APR-3M surface ships with rocketoraphors. At the same time, two directions of action are assumed. First of all, new missiles are to be prepared for firing from standard torpedo tubes found on submarines and surface units. The Russians, however, want to go further and, by analogy with American missiles, ASROC intend to adapt their rocket-launchers for firing from the standard launchers of the Kalibr vertical launch system.

From the very beginning, this system was prepared not only for launching 3M-14 and 2M-54 maneuvering missiles, but also 91RE2 missile launchers designated for anti-submarine (developed by OKB "Nowator" institute on the basis of 86R "Wodopad" complex). However, this weaponry was not widely introduced into Russian ships, because 3M-14 maneuvering missiles with a range greater than 2000 km became more important. With the new APR-3M missiles, the situation may change and then a new class of multirole ships will really appear in the Russian Navy.

Representatives of the "Region" plants want their equipment to be introduced widely, indicating, among others, for its effectiveness. APR-3 and APR-3M missile-launchers have a guidance system with an adaptive advance angle in two planes. This angle is corrected the entire time you approach the goal. It allows to determine the place of impact so that it covers the rigid hull of the submarine. In the case of APR-3, the probability of hitting the most sensitive place of the submarine was determined at 50%. APR-3M missiles offer the probability of increased to 60%.

The most interesting in the APR-3M is, however, a turboshowowy engine with an adjustable draft operating in two regimes. It is powered by a high-calorific solid fuel that allows the engine to run for 113 seconds. To compensate for the impact of noise generated on the hydroacoustic guidance head through the body of the rocket, this body and head fixing nodes are made of noise suppressing materials. According to the Russians, there are no similar solutions in the world.

The reason for the mysterious publicity of "Region" scientific and production facilities

Disclosure of information about the completion of APR-3M missile-finder tests by the head of the "Region" plant was probably a well-thought-out activity. The budgetary constraints of the Russian Ministry of Defense may cause that there will be no orders for new weapons at all. This is where the unprecedented openness of Igor Krylov, who praised his product before the TASS agency, offering it also for export.

Such a form of pressure on Minoborona may mean that the APR-3M missile defense rating by the Russian armed forces is not so unambiguous. Theoretically, we are dealing here with a revolutionary weapon system that could significantly change the tactics of the ZOP forces. The missile-guns give the Russians the possibility of attacking submarines without surface ships, mainly using sea aviation.

This method of operation was already developed with the previously introduced weapon systems: APR-1, APR-2 and APR-3. After detecting the submarine and deciding to destroy it, the aircraft enters a combat course, and its crew enters data regarding the flight parameter and submarine movement into the control system.

These data are then fed into the missile system, which at that time is connected to the aircraft's power system. After the drop, the projectile stabilizes the flight, which is slowed down by the braking parachute. The rocketotropound enters the water at an angle of about 15 °, the braking segment and protective wind deflector automatically disconnect . At a depth of about 20 m, the cover of the homing head is also discarded, as well as an explosive charge. The propulsion system turns on, however, only after locating the attacked submarine.

Here, however, there is a clear difference between missile launchers used by the US Navy and those developed by the Russians. The Americans created the RUM-139 VL-ASROC system, in which the task of the launching rocket is to quickly report to the indicated region the practically standard ZOP torpedo (Mark 46 or Mark 54). On the other hand, the Russians have created a completely new weapon system, in which not a rocket, but the aircraft must provide a rocketotorpipe.

Doubts also arouse the assertion that APR-3M missiles will replace shiASWps in areas endangered eg by anti-ship missiles from coastal rocket squadrons (with this situation the Russians have to do in the Baltic). A rocket-gunpowder attack is only possible if the submarine has already been detected - and that's where the surface ships are best suited. Searching for submarines can also be carried out by means of aircraft. However, it can always provoke counteracting the aviation of the opponent, which, as far as NATO is concerned, has a clear advantage over the Russian (mainly information).

Similar doubts are raised by the installation of this type of equipment on surface vessels. APR missile-rafts have a range several times smaller than the ASW torpedoes (about 4.4 km compared to at least 15 km), which requires practically accurate approach to the attacked submarine. In the case of American ASROC missiles, they can be fired at a distance of up to 22 km, to which the range of the torpedo carried inside is still available (another 15 km). US Navy ships can therefore operate beyond the range of torpedo equipment of attacked units. What's more, they work faster because they can immediately launch an ASROC missile at the attack object on their own sonar after discovering the attack object.

In the case of Russian surface ships using APR missiles, they must first catch the submarine to attack it. Using helicopters, the mission is also longer than that of the Americans, because the helicopter has to take off from the deck, find the exact location where the object is being attacked and then drop the weaponry.

Profit in relation to US on-board helicopters is really only linked to the speed of the Russian missile-finder, which in the case of APR-3M is 70 knots. However, the Americans compensate for this gain, which in the case of ASW Mark 54 torpedoes (located in the ASROC rocketotrope) moving at over 40 knots is greater than 15 km. And the start time of the US Navy on-board helicopters is the same as in the case of the War of the Sea.

The Russians, of course, indicate that the advantage of their weapons is a larger combat load (85 kg in the case of APR-3ME). The American Mark 54 torpedoes have indeed a smaller head (about 43.9 kg) but in the version carried by helicopters they have a smaller diameter (324 mm compared to 350 mm in APR-3M), they are also shorter (2720 mm compared to 3200 mm) and lighter (276 kg compared to 475 kg).

All these factors may result in the fact that rocketotorps will actually enter the armament of Russian naval aviation, but the Russian ASW torpedoes will still be bought on a massive basis. An example is the small-sized 324 mm "NK-caliber" torpedo torpedo (produced in the same plant in the Region as APR-3M) with a length of 3108 mm, which carries a combat load of around 60 kg moving at a maximum speed of 50 knots ( 30 knots while searching) within 20 km.

Will the difference in the speed of 20 knots compensate for five times smaller range, you will be able to see after placing the order by Minoborona. As for now, you can not count on a large contract for "Region" plants.

 Tactical and technical data of the APR rocket export version



Weight [kg] 575 525 475

Length / diameter [mm] 3700/350 3600/350 3200/350

Maximum speed [nodes / km / h] 62/115 64/120 70/130

Maximum range [Mm / km] 2.06 / 3.8 2.13 / 4 2.33 / 4.33

Maximum depth [m] 600 800 800

Detection range of the homing head [m] 1500 2000 2500

Combat cargo [equivalent to TNT in kg] 80 up to 85 Over 85