Russia prepares to use the fire-and-forget Hermes missile system
The Kremlin is preparing to put into use in the “special military operation” [a term used by Russia] a new Hermes missile system. Tests have already begun, according to media reports.
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The Design Bureau of Instrumentation has begun testing the Hermes multipurpose missile system. It can hit armored vehicles, tanks, surface targets, and low-speed aircraft at a distance of up to 100 kilometers. The rocket in the basic version can accelerate up to 1.3 thousand meters per second. It has a high-explosive warhead of 28 kilograms.
Hermes has fire-and-forget capabilities. In flight, the missile uses two types of guidance. When the missile speed is cruise phase Hermes uses inertial and/or radio command guidance. Semi-active laser guidance is used in the last [terminal] phase of flight before the missile hits the target. Although it is not officially confirmed at the moment, it is said that Hermes also uses radar and infrared homing.
Depending on the configuration, Hermes has a different weight. The system weighs 110 kg when the rocket booster has a diameter of 170 mm. When the diameter of the booster is 210 mm, the system configuration reaches 130 kg.
Hermes is one of the typical Russian military developments, which, if initially forgotten, are then revived. For example, this system was developed back in the 1990s. According to Russian sources, it is quite possible that this missile is some derivative of the 57E6 used by the Pantsir missile system because it closely resembles it.
At the beginning of the last decade, Russia was ready to start the serial production of Hermes. However, as it turned out, this did not happen. It turned out that the development of the system is not complete and there are serious gaps. A few years later, in 2016, the development was restored. Several prototypes were produced.
These prototypes were to be sent to Syria. Russia had decided to test them there. However, neither Western nor Russian media reported that the plans had come to fruition. Most likely, problems with the missile system again canceled the testing in Syria.
However, experts say that it was the civil war in Syria that caused Hermes to be revived as a project. According to them, Russia saw the need for more precision weapons.
It is now clear that Russia has developed several variants of this system. Hermes-A is designed for air launch. This version may be tested in Ukraine, as it allows integration on commonly used air platforms in the war, such as the Ka-52 attack helicopter and the Su-25 attack aircraft. The range will be about 15-20 km, say people in the know.
the other two variants are Hermes-K and Hermes-C. The first was designed to be launched from a warship. The second option is designed for land launch. It is assumed that the system could be integrated into a Kamaz truck that would carry 24 missile launchers.
“Hermes” can be installed on any medium or large tonnage vehicle. This includes both air and land platforms. For example, from air platforms, the Hermes can be carried and launched from all types of rotary and fixed-wing platforms. According to sources, the system could be designed to be installed on ships. Delivery decisions will be made based on test results.
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