Saturday, November 17, 2012

Soviet cruise missile AS-5 "Kelt" in Poltava

The Raduga KSR-2 (NATO reporting name: AS-5 "Kelt") was a Soviet cruise missile developed in 1958 and entered service in 1962. The missile was normally armed with a conventional high explosive warhead, although it could be fitted with a one megaton nuclear warhead. The first testing of the missile began in 1958, with two missiles being carried under the wings of a modified Tu-16 bomber designated as Tu-16KSR-2. The bomber was fitted with a newly developed search and target illumination radar Ruby which has a maximum range of approximately 200 kilometers. During the tests missiles were fired at ships and ground targets. Once the launching aircraft's radar has locked onto a target, the missile can be launched. The rocket motor fires immediately after release in boost mode, accelerating the missile to its cruise speed. Once the missile turns on an approach course to the target, the motor switches to cruise mode, shutting down one of its chambers. The missile's autopilot then flies a course using inertial guidance toward the target. In anti-shipping mode the missile engages its J-band active radar in the final approach to the target.As about missile’s combat use, Egyptian Tu-16 bombers reportedly launched thirteen KSR-2 and twelve KSR-11 missiles during the 1973 Yom Kippur war.
One such cruise missile is preserving in the Poltava Museum of Long-Range Aviation in the open air, which is located on the territory of the former air base. Museum includes Tu-160 strategic bomber, Tu-95 MS turboprop strategic bomber and rocket carrier, Tu-22 M3 long-range supersonic bomber and rocket carrier with changeable geometry of the wings, Tu-22 KN passenger jet, Su-15 UM fighter, Tu-16 medium-range bomber