Russian Navy 3M-54 Kalibr Cruise Missiles
Russian Navy 3M-54 Kalibr Cruise Missiles

Russian Armed Forces Attack Kharkiv Downtown with 3M-54 Kalibr Cruise Missiles

Russian forces attack Kharkiv downtown with 3M-54 Kalibr cruise missiles launched from Black Sea. According to Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Synyehubov, in total, the region has endured 44 attacks on March 24. The sea-launched land-attack Kalibr cruise missiles are being used by the Russian Navy to target Ukrainian cities. During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, several unconfirmed reports indicated widespread usage of Kalibr missiles in strikes against strategic and non-combat targets across Ukraine. The opening assault is said to have included about 30 missiles. Russian Ministry of Defense website reported that Russian ships have launched Kalibr cruise missiles to destroy Ukrainian military infrastructure installations in the evening of March 19 and the morning of March 20, 2022.

The 3M-54 Kalibr, (Caliber), also referred to it as 3M54-1 Kalibr, 3M14 Biryuza (Turquoise), (NATO reporting name SS-N-27 Sizzler and SS-N-30A), 91R1, and 91RT2, is a family of Russian cruise missiles developed by the Novator Design Bureau (OKB-8). There are ship-launched, submarine-launched and air-launched versions of the missile, and variants for anti-ship, anti-submarine and land attack use. Some versions have a second propulsion stage that initiates a supersonic sprint in the terminal approach to the target, reducing the time that target’s defense systems have to react, while subsonic versions have greater range than the supersonic variants. There are export versions of the missile designated Club.

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Russian Armed Forces Attack Kharkiv Downtown with 3M-54 Kalibr Cruise Missiles
Russian Armed Forces Attack Kharkiv Downtown with 3M-54 Kalibr Cruise Missiles

The missile is a modular system with five versions: two anti-shipping types, one for land attack and two anti-submarine types. The missile is designed to share common parts between the surface and submarine-launched variants but each missile consists of different components, for example, the booster. The missile can be launched from a surface ship using a Vertical Launch System (VLS). It has a booster with thrust vectoring capability. The missile launched from a submarine torpedo tube has no need for such an addition but has a conventional booster instead. The air launched version is held in a container that is dropped as the missile launches, detaching from the container. There are several claims about the maximum range of Kalibr land attack versions in use by Russia. The U.S. Department of Defense estimates its range at 1,400 km (870 mi).

Domestic variants are basic versions of this missile family; these are the 3M54 and 3M14. The export model is called Club (formerly Klub). There are two major launch platforms: the Kalibr-PL (export Club-S), designed for use from submarines, and the Kalibr-NK (export Club-N), designed for surface ships. 3M54K is a submarine-launched anti-shipping variant deployed by the Russian Navy. 3M54T is an anti-shipping variant deployed by the Russian Navy on surface ships. It is launched with a VLS, has a Thrust vectoring booster, and is 8.9 m (29 ft) long. 3M14K (SS-N-30A) is an inertial guidance land attack variant deployed by the Russian Navy. 3M14T is the inertial guidance land attack variant which is deployed by the Russian Navy. Kalibr-M is a new version of Kalibr with larger warhead and extended range to 4,500 km.

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