Russia's Top 5 Deadliest Cruise Missiles
Russia’s Top 5 Deadliest Cruise Missiles delves into the heart of Russia’s formidable cruise missile arsenal, highlighting the technological prowess and combat effectiveness of these advanced weapons.

Russia’s missile industry is state-of-the-art, with expertise in manufacturing huge transport missiles for use in space and constructing combat missiles for its weapons systems. 

However, while Russia’s space forces have made little advancements in recent years and continue relying on Soviet-era innovations, the Russian Federation’s cruise missile program is enjoying something rebirth.

Russia has always been at the forefront of the cruise missile industry, producing some of the world’s most effective and deadly weapons. Instead of debating whether the country has the superior cruise missiles, we’ll take a look at Russia’s top five most lethal ones.

The missile’s range, battle history, size, warhead, precision, hitting power, and other factors will all play a part in this classification.

Here are Russia’s Top 5 Deadliest Cruise Missiles

1. P-700 Granite 

Russia's Top 5 Deadliest Cruise Missiles
P-700 Granit cruise missile

The Russian Navy once employed anti-ship missiles similar to this Russian cruise missile. Known as the SS-N-19 Shipwreck by NATO, this missile is launched from a submarine. This heavyweight rocket (capable of carrying a nuclear payload) was manufactured from 1985 to 1992 and had a range of over 7,000 kilometers.

The missile possesses the same destructive force as 500 kilotons of TNT. With an operating range of roughly 630 km, a maximum speed of either 1.6 Mach or 2.5 Mach (depending on altitude), and is powered by a turbo engine.

It has been utilized by Russian submarines of the Oscar, Kirov, and Kuznetsov classes. Although it is no longer in service with the Russian Navy, a replacement, the Zircon missile, has been developed. Regrettably, it was never exported and was solely utilized by the Russians.

2. Kh-55 

The Kh-55 is a subsonic air-launched cruise missile developed in Russia and currently used by the Russian Navy. This missile is known as the AS-15 “Kent” within NATO. Bombers dropped the Kh-55, and the Tu-160 bomber is the only aircraft known to have used it.

Russia's Top 5 Deadliest Cruise Missiles
KH55

This long-range missile was first produced in 1981. it comes in two versions, weighing 1650 kg and 2400 kg. However, it depends on the Type and Warhead. Based on its flight height, speed, and nuclear payload, the missile’s effective range can span from 300 km to 3,500 km.

The missile’s guiding systems include inertial navigation, radar, thermal imaging, and active electronics. Russia’s Tu-95MS, Tu-160, and Su-34 bombers are equipped with it. Russian planes launched 34 of these missiles at ISIS strongholds in Syria in a daily operation in 2015, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

3. P-270 Moskit

The P-270 Moskit is a Russian supersonic anti-ship cruise missile with wings. It can be launched from aircraft or ships. Launched through pneumatic tubes attached to modified military trucks, the P-270 Moskit is also available in a ground-launch variant.

Russia's Top 5 Deadliest Cruise Missiles
P-270 Moskit

Its manufacture began in 1983 and is ongoing to the present day. This missile is present in Egypt, India, Vietnam, Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

The P-270 Moskit weighs 4,500 kilograms and has a maximum range of 250 kilometers. It is capable of carrying 300 kilograms and 150 kilograms of thermonuclear bombs with an explosive strength of 120 kt of TNT.

It attains a speed of 3 Mach and is equipped with a thermally active navigation system and radar. Most aircraft that launch missiles from the air are Su-27 and Su-33 models.

4. Kh-101

Kh-101 is a secret Russian project that the public learned about in the 1990s. The main goal of this missile was to replace the Kx-55, which had already been taken out of service and was the fourth most dangerous Russian cruise missile we knew about.

Russia's Top 5 Deadliest Cruise Missiles
KH 101

The Kh-101 has an average warhead weighing between 400 and 450 kg and 2,200 and 2,400 kg. The missile’s range is between 4,500 and 5,500 kilometers, including integrated electronic systems for trajectory correction, video, and thermal guidance. It can fly at a maximum height of 6 km.

Although the Kh-101 has not yet entered service with the Russian military, preliminary reports indicate that state tests have been completed and serial manufacture has begun. Assumes the Russian military will begin using the rocket in 2023. Tu-160s and Tu-95MSMs will be used as missile transporters.

5. 3M-54 Kalibr

The rocket that takes the first position on our list deserves that spot. The 3M-54 Kalibr is a cruise missile developed in Russia that, depending on the variant, can be fired from surface vessels, submarines, and aircraft. However, the maximum supersonic speed that this rocket can achieve is between 2.5 and 2.9 Mach.

Russia's Top 5 Deadliest Cruise Missiles
3M-54 Kalibr

It runs on a turbocharged engine and is equipped with advanced navigational aids such as an inertial navigation system, active thermal radar, and a Digitized Scene-Mapping Area Correlator (DSMAC). Depending on the model, the missile’s effective range varies from 50 km to 2,500 km.

Its mass production began in 1994. Multistage and solid fuel powered, Kalibr is a rocket with multiple stages. Either a thermonuclear or conventional warhead weighing up to 500 kilograms can be carried by it. The Russian market has five Caliber variations, whereas eleven are available internationally. Russia, Algeria, India, Vietnam, China, and Iran all use it. 

The Russian Air Force has extensively used it in the Syrian civil war since 2015. Moreover, the Libyan National Army and pro-government troops in Libya deployed the Kalibr in their conflicts last year.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Russia’s missile industry boasts a state-of-the-art technology that includes both combat and space transport missiles. While advancements in space forces have been limited, the cruise missile program has seen a resurgence.

The article examined the top five most lethal Russian cruise missiles, including the P-700 Granite, Kh-55, P-270 Moskit, Kh-101, and 3M-54 Kalibr, analyzing their range, precision, warhead, and operational history.

These missiles have been used in various conflicts, and some have been exported to other countries. With ongoing development and production, the future of Russia’s missile industry appears promising.