P-800 Oniks Anti-Ship Cruise Missile of Russia-SS-N-26 Strobile
P-800 Oniks Anti-Ship Cruise Missile of Russia. The missile has the NATO reporting codename SS-N-26 “Strobile”. Development officially started in 1983, and in the 1990s the anti-ship missile was tested on the Project 1234.7 ship.
The P-800 Oniks is one of the most deadly anti-ship missiles today. Its export version is know and Yakhont. Western designation of this missile is SS-N-26 Strobile. Despite this, there is little information to be had about this powerful weapon.
Development of the P-800 began in 1983. It became operational in the early 2000s. So far, it has been mostly used on land or in submarines, although some sources state that it is also mounted on certain naval vessels or airplanes as well.
There are several other operation versions of the missile. It is used in the mobile Bastion-P coastal defense missile system. Its design was also used for the joint Russian-Indian BRAHMOS cruise missile.
In 2017 the Oniks missiles were fitted on single Russian Oscar II class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine. It is planned that more of these Russian submarines will be refitted to carry Oniks missiles until 2020.
The P-800 has an effective guidance system. It is fire-and-forget, which basically means that the launch platform can run to safety after launching the missile. At the beginning of its flight, the P-800 uses satellite guidance, and towards the end, it actively tracks its target with radar. This guidance works so well that the P-800 has a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of just 1.5 meters.
The P-800 has two different ways to approach its targets. It can fly just above the sea the whole way, which decreases its range to 120 kilometers but reduces its radar visibility. Or, it can start out flying high and dive towards the target. This method gives the P-800 a maximum range of 300 km. Some sources also state that the Oniks, the non-export version, has a range of 600 km. However, there is no solid evidence for this.
The P-800 uses a powerful two-stage propulsion system. For the initial flight stage it uses a solid-fuel rocket booster, which the airflow ejects after it burns out. For sustained supersonic cruising it uses liquid-fuel ramjet. This propulsion system works very well. In fact, its maximum of speed of Mach 2.5 (3 062 km/h) may travel too fast for Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS).
The P-800 has a very high chance of hitting its target. Its supersonic speed gives it a good chance of avoiding CIWS and other shipboard guns. Also, it has excellent resistance to electronic counter-measures, which further improves its survivability.
This anti-ship cruise missile carries a powerful warhead. Weighing between 200 and 250 kilograms, this warhead could wreak enormous damage upon standard ships. In addition, it is believed that the P-800 can use either conventional or nuclear warheads, with the latter probably intended for US carrier groups in the case of a major war. Reportedly, this missile can also be used against land targets.
The Oniks can be used in conditions up to Sea State 7.
So far, the P-800 has seen no combat usage with the possible exception of the Annexation of Crimea, although it has been test fired several times. Operators include Indonesia, Russia, Syria (with the Bastion-P), Vietnam (also with the Bastion-P), and possibly Hezbollah. Plus, India uses the BRAHMOS variant (see below).
Variants of P-800
Bastion-P: is a coastal defense version of the P-800. It entered Russian service in 2010. The P-800 missile used in the Bastion-P remains essentially unchanged. Its launch platform is based upon a Belarusian MZKT-7930 special wheeled chassis. This gives the Bastion-P excellent mobility, including rough terrain. The Bastion-P launcher vehicle carries two P-800 missiles.
BRAHMOS: is a short range-range supersonic cruise missile based upon the P-800. Capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, this weapon was developed by BRAHMOS Aerospace, a joint venture established in 1998. The acronym BRAHMOS is abbreviation of two rivers, Brahmaputra of India and Moskva of Russia. The BRAHMOS entered Indian service in 2006, and is now deployed from land, sea, and air. With a range of 300 kilometers, 300 kilogram warhead, and fastest cruise missile speed in the world (Mach 2.8 or 3 430 km/h), BRAHMOS is currently among the most deadly of its kind, especially as it can attack a wide variety of targets. Currently, an upgraded version, the BRAHMOS II is under development. This new missile reportedly has a maximum of speed of Mach 7 (8 575 km/h)!
CX-1 is a Chinese anti-ship cruise missile. It seems that it is a copy either of the P-800 Oniks or the BRAHMOS.