Russia upgrades the 3M-54 Kalibr missile for better combat use

MOSCOW, ($1=66.83 Russian Rubles) — Russia is working on upgrading its 3M-54 Kalibr cruise missile. The executive general director of the Russian company Almaz-Antey Yan Novikov reveals the intentions of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation for the future of the cruise missile.

Russia upgrades the 3M-54 Kalibr missile for better combat use
Photo: Russian MoD

Novikov says this has been a tradition in the development of weapons and systems since Soviet times. “Even in the Soviet era, when creating new weapons, they always had great potential for modernization. Designers, when creating a working model, are already beginning to think about its further development,” said the CEO.

Novikov speaks to the Russian online publication National Defense. Speaking to media reporters, Novikov confirmed that the Russian Ministry of Defense has an interest in continuing to improve the 3M-54 Kalibr. Work is already underway on this modernization, with the end result being “significantly improved flight performance and increased combat efficiency.” “In the end, we are waiting for a product that significantly exceeds the current generation,” Novikov concluded.

Bigger nuclear payload?

Novikov did not give more details about the modernization of the 3M-54 Kalibr. Russia’s TASS media, citing sources in the Russian Defense Ministry, said the new 3M-54 Kalibr cruise missile may have “much larger nuclear and conventional payloads of around one ton.”

It is not yet clear whether all versions of the 3M-54 Kalibr will be upgraded. We know that this cruise missile exists in the versions of an anti-ship missile, air-to-surface and surface-to-surface.

Russia is using the 3M-54 Kalibr missile in Ukraine

After the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed on March 19 that it had used the Kinzhal hypersonic missile in Ukraine, Major General Igor Yevgenyevich Konashenkov confirmed that Russia had used the Kalibr cruise missile.

According to Konashenkov, Russian warships in the Caspian Sea have launched anti-ship, anti-submarine, and land-attack cruise missiles 3M-54 Kalibr hitting military infrastructure facilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The use of the Kalibr cruise missile took place on the evening of March 19 and on the morning of March 20.

Russia upgrades the 3M-54 Kalibr missile for better combat use
Photo: YouTube

The Kalibr cruise missile destroyed repair shops and buildings belonging to a military repair plant in the city of Nezhinsk. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that this plant is used by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine for the restoration of ground armored combat vehicles.

3M-54 Kalibr cruise missile

3M-54 Kalibr has been produced in Russia since 1990. So far, it has been confirmed that she took part in the civil war in Syria. According to the statement of the Russian Ministry of Defense, 3M-54 Kalibr is already receiving combat use in the war in Ukraine. The 3M-54 Kalibr is an anti-ship, anti-submarine cruise missile that can be launched from air, land, or sea.

Russia has developed four variants of the missile – 3M54K [a submarine-launched anti-shipping variant], 3M54T [an anti-shipping variant], 3M14K [SS-N-30A – an inertial guidance land-attack variant] and 3M14T [an inertial guidance land-attack variant]. Depending on the variant, the rocket weighs between 1,300 and 2,300 kg. All cruise missile variants use a 400-500 kg HE or thermonuclear warhead.

The Kalibr cruise missile is powered by a multi-stage solid-fuel rocket, turbojet engine and can develop a speed of 0.8 to nearly 3 Mach. Depending on the variant, the cruise missile has a different operational range. For example, some missiles for home use or for export hit targets from 50 to 200 km, but some developments currently, such as Kalibr-M, reach 4,500 km. The missile is equipped with a guidance system and internal guidance plus terminal active radar homing.

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