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Overview of Kh-35 Main Anti-Ship Missiles of the Vietnam Navy


Currently the surface force of the Vietnam Navy with the core of fast attack missile ships as well as guard ships are using popular Kh-35E Uran-E missiles, so What is so special about this weapon known as "national missile"?

In recent years, the Navy is one of the forces prioritized by higher levels to go straight to modern with the investment in many new and extremely modern weapons and equipment, meeting the requirements of security protecting the Fatherland's sacred sea sovereignty. Along with the timely and synchronous investment, the Vietnamese surface warships with the core of the Gepard 3.9 frigate ships and the fast attack ship 12418 Molniya have created a strong deterrent, the "steel fist" our main force in combat. And when it comes to the most powerful weapons on these warships, we immediately think of the Kh-35E Uran-E surface-to-air missile. 

Kh-35E anti-ship missile (Russian name: X-35, NATO designation: AS-20) is a subsonic anti-ship missile that is most commonly used on Navy warships today, in addition it can also be launched from many different platforms such as fighters, helicopters, ground launchers, ... Designed by the Zvezda Design Department in 1983 to replace the P-15 Termit missiles, outdated, slow speed and limited range.

This is a type of missile belonging to the group of extremely popular anti-ship missiles in the world such as Harpoon of the US, Sea Eagle of the UK, Exocet of France, with the ability to attack targets at long range outside the horizon and ceiling, ultra-low flight to minimize the time it takes to expose in front of reconnaissance vehicles, target detection radar and ship defense systems.In terms of basic specifications, Kh-35E is 4.40m long, wingspan 0.93m, diameter 0.42m, weight 630kg. It can be seen that the missile is quite compact in size, convenient to move and install. For example, on board the 12418 Molniya missile ship can carry a base of 16 rounds of Kh-35E even though it only displaces more than 500 tons.The Kh-35E missiles are housed in the reusable launcher cum storage tube KT-184, which can be mounted individually or in groups of four available for replacement. While inside the launcher, the wings of the Kh-35E were folded back and fully opened after firing.The Kh-35E missile carries the ARGS-35E active radar self-guided warhead, which is designed to be able to lead bullets to hit assigned targets at the end of the journey. The self-guided head performs functions such as: detect and select the right target of the water surface to attack according to the parameters loaded from the beginning, determine and provide the target parameter and access speed to the target for the computer launch ship. Can scan targets from a maximum distance of 20km, a weight of 40kg, work in X-band and environments from -50 to +50 degrees C, maximum sea level 6.

Next is the missile's penetrating bullet block, which is detonated by the bottom fuse according to the slow-hold explosion mechanism after the warhead block breaks the outer armor layer into the enemy ship compartment. The warhead weighs 145kg, can destroy surface ships with water displacement of 5,000 tons or less with just one hit.

In addition, the missile also has an inertial conductor block, which is used to guide Kh-35E missiles according to pre-parameterized routes to the target before activating the active radar self-guided warhead. The unit includes a cruise state control computer, an accelerometer sensor system and a radio high-speed measuring system. The computer synthesizes the parameters from the systems at the same time comparing with the original parameters, thereby leading the missile according to the expected journey or self-destructing if there is an error or deviation from the target.Equally important on the missile is the TRDD-50AT turbojet engine block, which is a small two-threaded jet engine developed for a winged missile. The block is 330mm in diameter, 850mm in length, and 82kg in weight. The engine helps to stabilize the Kh-35E missile at Mach 0.8 subsonic cruise speed.Kh-35E anti-ship missiles attack the target according to the principle of "fire and forget", with the combined guided missile system operating completely autonomously after leaving the launch tube. This guiding principle helps the means of carrying launch and reconnaissance and to ensure the missile's combat maneuver immediately after launch to avoid the enemy's response. The missile's target attack sequence is divided into three phases: the target detection phase, the missile launch preparation stage and the missile attack phase.

At the target reconnaissance stage, the on-board reconnaissance or search radar detects, identifies and determines the parameters of the enemy ship to be attacked, in addition, this process is also possible  aided by both shore and satellite reconnaissance stations.In the stage of preparing to launch the missile, the combat unit, after receiving the full target parameters from the reconnaissance activities, will load the firing element into the missile and be ready to receive the firing order. Because the Kh-35E missile has a steering mechanism, when launched, the ship does not need to turn toward the target like the 1241REs with P-20M missiles.

And finally, the missile attacks the target, after receiving the launch command, the missile bullets will quickly activate and fly towards the target, and use independent navigation methods with parameters  preloaded, using a flying mechanism close to the sea and being able to use multiple bullets to attack the target at the same time will increase the rate of hitting enemy ships very high.

It can be seen that, the Kh-35E is a modern missile with great strength, high independence and sophisticated combat, worthy of being the main anti-ship missile model of our Navy today. Not only stopping at the import of large quantities, our Army is also trying to perfect and self-control the process of manufacturing domestic Kh-35E missiles with the recently announced KCT-15 and VCM-01 programs. , shows us a remarkable development of Vietnam Defense Technology that can manufacture advanced weapons to meet the military's operational needs.

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