Top 5 of the best and deadliest Russian cruise missiles

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PANAGYURISHTE, BM, ($1=72.86 rubles) – Russia has a highly developed missile industry – both in large transport missiles for space and in combat missile construction for its weapons systems. And although Russia’s space forces have not made impressive strides in recent years and continue to rely on older Soviet developments, the Russian Federation’s cruise missiles are experiencing a renaissance.

Russia has always had a highly competitive production of efficient and precise cruise missiles. Today we will not compare which cruise missile in the world is the best, but we will present the top five most deadly cruise missiles in Russia.

The categorization will be based on different indicators, but it will consider the range of the missile, its combat experience, size, warhead, precision, striking power, and more.

#5 – P-700 Granite

P-700 Granit cruise missile, photo credit: Wikipedia

This missile is a Russian cruise missile, which was in service with the Russian Navy and is a type of anti-ship missile. The NATO name of the rocket is SS-N-19 Shipwreck and launches from a submarine. It weighs 7,000 kg a long-range rocket, produced between 1985 to 1992, and can carry a nuclear warhead.

The explosive power of the missile is equal to 500 kt of TNT. Depending on the altitude, the rocket can fly with 1.6 Mach or 2.5 Mach, is powered by a turbo engine, and its operating range is nearly 630 km. He is in service in Russian submarines class Oscar, Kirov, and Kuznetsov. It is no longer in service with the Russian Navy, but a replacement has been found – the Zircon missile. Unfortunately, it was never exported and was exploited only by the Russians.

#4 – Kh-55

Kh-55 cruise missile, photo credit: Wikipedia

Kh-55 is a Russian cruise missile, which is still in service with the Russian Navy and is a subsonic air-launched cruise missile. The NATO name of the missile is AS-15 ‘Kent’. Bombers launched the Kh-55, and its use by the Tu-160 bomber is known so far. It is a long-range missile and has been in production since 1981. Depending on the type and warhead, the missile’s weight is in two versions – 1,650 kg and 2,400 kg. It carries a nuclear warhead, and its explosive power is equal to 200 kt of TNT.

The missile develops a speed range of 0.6-0.8 Mach and has a wide range of action – from 300 km to 3,500 km depending on flight altitude, speed, and nuclear warhead. The missile has an inertial navigation system, radar, as well as thermal and active guidance system. The bombers that use it are the Russian Tu-95MS, Tu-160, and Su-34.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation confirms that in 2015, during a daily operation in Syria, Russian bombers fired 34 missiles of this type at Islamic State positions.

#3 – P-270 Moskit

P-270 Moskit cruise missile, photo credit: Reddit

P-270 Moskit is a Russian winged supersonic anti-ship cruise missile, which, depending on its type, can be fired from an airplane or ship. The P-270 Moskit also has a version for launching from the ground by modified military trucks with pneumatic tubes. Its production began in 1983 and continues to exploit to this day. In addition to Russia, this missile is in Egypt, India, Vietnam, Iran, and North Korea.

The P-270 Moskit weighs 4,500 kg and has an operating range of up to 250 km. It can carry 300 and 150 kilograms of thermonuclear warheads, with an explosive power equivalent to 120 kt of TNT. It develops a speed of 3 Mach, has an inert navigation system and thermally active radar. The planes that launch the missile from the air are mainly Su-27 and Su-33.

#2 – Kh-101

Kh-101 cruise missile, photo credit: Wikipedia

Kh-101 is a secret Russian project that became known to the general public in the 1990s. The primary purpose of this missile is to replace the already decommissioned Kx-55, which we classified as the fourth most dangerous Russian cruise missile.

The Kh-101 weighs between 2,200 and 2,400 kg and arms with a conventional warhead weighing between 400 and 450 kg. The missile range is 4,500 – 5,500 km and can fly at a maximum altitude of 6 km. and has integrated electronic systems for trajectory correction, video, and thermal guidance.

The Kh-101 is not yet in service with the Russian army, but state tests have been completed according to preliminary information, and the missile is entering serial production. It assumes that in 2023 the rocket will be put into operation by the Russian military. The missile carriers will be Tu-160 and Tu-95MSM.

#1 – 3M-54 Kalibr

Kalibr cruise missile, photo credit: Vitaly Kuzmin

The first place in our ranking is a rocket that deserves to be there, and its ranking is not surprising. 3M-54 Kalibr is a Russian cruise missile which, according to its modification, can be launched from ships, submarines, and fighters. However, this rocket can only move at a supersonic speed between 2.5 and 2.9 Mach.

It powers a turbo engine and has an integrated inertial navigation system, active thermal radar, and Digitized Scene-Mapping Area Correlator. Depending on its variants, the missile has a different operational range – from 50 km to 2,500 km. Kalibr is a multistage rocket and is powering by solid fuel. It can carry a warhead between 400-500 kg of explosives or a thermonuclear warhead. It has been mass-produced since 1994.

Caliber has five variants for the domestic Russian market and eleven for international markets. It is currently in service in Russia, Algeria, India, Vietnam, China, and Iran. From 2015 until today, the Russian Air Force has actively used it in the civil war in Syria. In addition, the Kalibr was used last year in battles between the Libyan National Army and pro-government troops in Libya.


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