MOSCOW, ($1=73.75 Russian Rubles) – The Russian Ministry of Defense has launched a tender for the disposal of guided ammunition of the Navy Aviation [MA-VMF]; according to the public procurement portal, it is planned to eliminate 187 guided missiles in charge of the Naval Air Force, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
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In detail, the agreement provides for the disposal of 145 short-range IR R-60 air-to-air missiles [NATO code AA-8 Aphid] and 42 Kh-25 air-to-ground missiles [NATO code AS-10 Karen], to be carried out by November 10, 2023, and for an initial contract amount of 3.1 million Russian rubles [equivalent to 37,000 euros].
The need arises from the need to remove guided weapons that entered service in the first half of the 1970s, now “expired” and considered unsuitable for current operational scenarios.
For example, the R-60 air-to-air missile entered into service in 1973 is one of the smallest and lightest air-to-air missiles in the world [its weight does not exceed 44 kg and its radius of maximum action is 8 km] and in use it has been practically replaced by the more powerful and modern R-73.
Despite this, the curriculum of this small missile is highly respected: in 1978 the Soviet Air Force became the protagonist not only of the shooting down of two Iranian CH-47 Chinook helicopters that had crossed over into Soviet airspace but also of KAL flight 902 Paris- Seoul which due to a navigation error found itself in Russian airspace; in that case, the missile detached 4 meters from the left-wing and caused the death of two passengers but fortunately, the aircraft managed to make an emergency landing on the ice.
The Syrian Air Force [corroborated by Soviet reports although denied by the Israeli one] instead mentions the shooting down of several F-4s, F-16s, and IAI Kfir during the 1982 Lebanon War.
The Iraqi one mentions the shooting down of an Iranian F-14A with an R-60 launched from a MiG-23ML and of an RAF Tornado in the Gulf War, although this shooting was never confirmed by the British who also admitted the loss of the aircraft.
In the Angolan war, the Cuban MiG-23s committed the shooting down of a South African Mirage F1Cz, while in 1999 in India a MiG-21 destroyed an Atlantique maritime patrol vessel of the Pakistani Navy with an R-60.
The Kh-25 short-range air-to-ground missile [pictured above and below] entered service in 1976 and was designed to engage small ground targets. It was adopted by virtually any Soviet-made aircraft: MiG-21, MiG-23/27, MiG-29, Su-17/20/22, Su-24, Su-25, Su-27, including Yak trainers -130 and Ka-52 helicopters, and has been used extensively in conflicts for the past 35 years.
From the Soviet war in Afghanistan to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, from the two Chechen Wars to the Russian intervention in Syria; although it has been replaced by the more modern Kh-38 family, the still “working” supplies will probably still be used.
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