The Moskit

As The Frigid fingers of the Cold War gripped the world, The Soviet Union raced to grow its Arsenal of destruction. The United States and Europe rushed to assemble their own Armory to deter the likelihood of an enemy attack.

Soon almost every Warhead and launching system could fire nuclear weapons and conventional ammunition, drawing the world closer to a nuclear war.

During this time, the Soviets constructed A particularly Dreadful nuclear-capable cruise missile that NATO would designate as sunburn.

Concocted as an anti-ship missile, the supersonic Ramjet-powered projectile was a fearsome Seabourn weapon capable of obliterating entire enemy fleets.

By combining a sea-skinning flight pattern with Mach 3 speeds, the Soviet Warhead was virtually immune to interception, something that seriously Alarmed the powers of NATO.

But as the world-threatening technology was deployed for the first time, it would be suddenly challenged by the NATO allies and by the Soviet Union itself.

Birth of The Moskit

It was the 1970s, and the hands of the Doomsday Clock continued to draw ever closer to midnight. Across both sides of the Iron Curtain, the world’s superpower is prepared for almost any Warfare scenario imaginable, building terrifying weapons for every situation.

For one, the Soviet Union was concerned with a possible NATO amphibious Invasion through the Baltic or Black Seas, prompting them to design a new groundbreaking anti-ship missile capable of Defending Soviet lands and Overpowering the U.S Harpoon missile.

With such urgency in mind, the Soviet Engineers began developing The Moskit or mosquito missile, an ambitious and extremely powerful Warhead that would be utterly immune to any NATO attempted interception.

The Raduga design Bureau designed the missile system during the mid-1970s as a replacement for the p120 Malikite, also known to Nato as the siren. The siren had been created as a Submarine missile capable of launching even when the vessel was submerged.

However, a series of technical difficulties made its implementation slow and painful .soon the Soviets needed a new solution to face off against NATO fleets and their powerful new Harpoon missiles.

The resulting weapon was an engineering success that showcased outstanding tactical features and could cruise at 2300 miles per hour at high altitudes And 1688 miles per hour at low ones.

Such capability immediately made it three times faster than the American Harpoon missile. Additionally, the device showed outstanding agility, could perform intensive anti-defense evasion Maneuvers in minimal time and flew as low as 19 feet from the ocean’s surface.

The raw speed, maneuverability, and low altitude capabilities made the mosquito virtually Untouchable once it had been Launched.

 The raw power of The Moskit

The Moskit

The Moskit’s first units were deployed to the Soviet navy in 1984. The combat possibilities of what NATO would code the sunburn were endless.

The Moskit soon began to be integrated into Soviet destroyers and Corvettes as the ultimate anti-ship missile. In theory, it could engage entire carrier Battle groups piercing their significant air defense capabilities without the risk of being shot down.

 While using conventional payloads, the mosquito can carry 300 kilograms of explosives, and as the missile impacted an enemy ship, it would first pierce the armor with kinetic energy.

Once embedded deep within the enemy ship systems, the delayed impact views would be activated, detonating the payload.

Although the immediate sinking of a large carrier was improbable after a single hit, the Moskit would most likely disable the ship and prevent it from participating in the battle.

Moreover, things change when the nuclear capabilities of the weapon are considered. The exact nature of the nuclear warheads the missile can employ remain veiled in mystery.

However, NATO Specialists estimate that the platform is able to deliver tactical nuclear warheads with the potential of sinking entire fleets and causing measurable collateral damage.

As for its range, The Moskit has an effective operational range of about 90 kilometers, with the latest iterations of the missile reaching up to 120 kilometers.

Compared to other anti-ship missile systems, the effective range is Significantly lower. Still, the mosquito makes up for what it lacks in range with its Breakneck speeds and sea-skimming capabilities. Both of which can be maintained from launch until final impact.

Finally, The Moskit employs a radar Seeker with a passive and active home, and the capacity is to find its Target. The system lacks a secondary Optical seeker and uses inertial navigation to approach a Target area. 

As the missile cruises, Target location updates can be sent to the missile to correct its course. They are sent via data link from the ka25ts Airborne radar helicopter, Maritime Patrol aircraft, or even the legenda nuclear-powered naval reconnaissance satellite.

The layout of a warhead 

Design-wise, The Moskit is a long tubular missile powered by a Ramjet engine fed By four unique air inlets, which give the weapon its unique futuristic look.

The primary missile design was copied from the 3MB surface-to-air missile system developed in the early 1960s. To withstand the Heat and friction from flying at Mach 3 speeds, the missile’s air inlets, wings and body are made of reinforced titanium.

When it is launched, The Moskit is launched to initial flight speed by a solid propellant rocket engine located within the combustion Chamber of the Ramjet.

The boosting motor is then ejected as the Ramjet takes over during the cruising phase. Meanwhile, the Seeker is located within the radar transparent nose cone, followed by the guidance and radio altimeter unit, and the Warhead section is situated between the guidance unit and the fuel tank at the back of the missile.

Due to its many remarkable capabilities, the missile is considerably large and Heavy. It’s almost 10 meters long and weighs approximately 10 000 pounds, making it incompatible with many naval platforms.

In contrast to the Harpoon or Exocet Seabourn missile systems, the mosquito could not be universally carried by All Ships within their respective navies .as such, the main platforms for the missile were the project 956 Sarah class guided missile destroyer, the project 1241.1 Molniya class and the surface effect Project 1239 class Corvettes.

Operational use 

The Moskit

With its raw power, Mach 3 speeds, and sea skimming capabilities, The Moskit had all the features needed to outclass NATO’s Seabourn missile Solutions. On top of that, the system’s nuclear capabilities made it a fearsome threat to Western Naval powers and a weapon well ahead of its time.

Still, the missile was expensive to Produce and to be incorporated into Soviet ships. Just as the first units began to make their way to Naval platforms, the financial situation in the Soviet Union slowed production to a halt.

The Moskit was envisioned as a tactical Powerhouse and a financial Venture, as the Soviets had made detailed plans to sell the technology to China and Warsaw Pact members.

 However, as the Soviet Union began to Collapse in the early 1990s. The funds needed for international exports ran out, and their own Soviet navy retained only a small number of operational units.

With the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia sold some of the missiles it had to China. Still, with production halted, the ambitious and Powerful Moskit missile would never be built again.

To this day, many Moskit missiles remain in active service in the Russian And Chinese navies. Still, they are an expiring technology, a derelict remnant of what could have been.