Random image exposed a new Russian Izdeliye 720 cruise missile

Former Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu often made it a point to tour various military plants during his tenure. Russian journalists, keen on capturing every moment, managed to snap an intriguing photo this January during one such visit to the Raduga State Machine-Building Design Bureau. 

Random image exposed a new Russian Izdeliye 720 cruise missile
Photo credit: Dzen

While there, perceptive onlookers spotted an unidentified missile displayed near the air defense system launchers. The Russian Federation recently revealed that this missile is a new development, inspired by Russian combat aviation experiences in Ukraine. Although they didn’t disclose the name, Russian media have dubbed it Izdeliye 720. 

Sergei Bogatikov, the general director of the Raduga State Machine-Building Design Bureau, confirmed the existence of the Izdeliye 720 missile in talks with Russian journalists. However, he mentioned that it was too early to share detailed information about the missile, which had been captured in footage from Shoigu’s visit. 

Random image exposed a new Russian Izdeliye 720 cruise missile
Photo credit: Dzen

“While it’s too early to unveil specifics about Izdeliye 720, given its media mentions, we can share a bit,” said Sergei Bogatikov. “Izdeliye 720 showcases the finest aspects of the Raduga Design School. It merges tried-and-true technical solutions from long-range cruise missiles with cutting-edge developments, gleaned from combat experiences in our current military operations.” 

He further commented, “The Raduga school, built on the foundational work of Alexander Yakovlevich Bereznyak, has established core design principles. These principles help us craft and upgrade our products, ensuring their efficiency in varied conditions and for all tasks.” 

The latest innovations from the State Design Bureau Raduga focus on guided air-to-ground missiles for both long-range and front-line aircraft, as well as warships. Many systems developed by Raduga are now available globally and have proven their effectiveness in real combat scenarios.

Su-57 gets a Kh-69 missile for hitting railway stations and hubs
Photo credit: Telegram

Earlier this year, military expert Piotr Butowski provided insights into this missile system. He noted its resemblance to the Kh-69 missile, featuring a square fuselage and a folding wing. However, the Izdeliye 720 is notably smaller, measuring around 3.4 meters in length, with a wingspan of 2 meters and a launch weight of up to 450 kg. One key difference is the missile’s air intake, positioned on top rather than concealed in the lower section of the body. 

Butowski raised questions about the missile’s intended purpose. He pointed out that a similar system is employed in the LMUR [Izdeliye 305] missile, which is more compact and commonly used by Ka-52M and Mi-28NM helicopters. Drawing on open sources, he speculated about the missile’s capabilities. 

According to Butowski, the missile’s warhead is designed to be radiolucent, allowing for radar guidance. This feature supports both active homing in the anti-ship variant and passive homing in the anti-radar variant, where radio communication is unnecessary. 

One Ka-52 helicopter deflected 18 MANPADS by jamming all warheads
Photo credit: Dzen.ru

“In this scenario, it’s likely not a missile,” Butovsky suggests, “but actually a radio-electronic intelligence device. The small antennas on the fuselage give this away.” 

Moreover, the radar guidance system could probably be swapped out for an optical one. Another puzzling feature is the booster. Usually, jets don’t need a booster for launch, but this isn’t the case for helicopters or ground launchers. 

“All signs point to the idea that Izdeliye 720 is similar to the Israeli Delilah missiles, which can be launched from air, land, or sea. These types of missiles utilize an inertial guidance system with satellite correction. In the final flight stage, the seeker’s image is sent to the operator, who can then pinpoint the target and make necessary adjustments,” the expert concludes.

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