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Bal

Coastal defense missile system

Bal coastal defense missile system

The Bal system uses Kh-35 anti-ship cruise missiles with a range of up to 260 km

 
 
Country of origin Russia
Entered service 2004
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight ~ 40 t
Length ~ 12.8 m
Width ~ 3 m
Height ~ 3.6 m
Missile
Missile length 4.4 m
Missile diameter 0.42 m
Wing span 1.33 m
Missile weight 620 - 670 kg
Warhead weight 145 kg
Warhead type HE-FRAG
Range of fire 130 / 260 km
Mobility
Engine YaMZ-846
Engine power 500 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Range 1 000 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 45%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.6 m
Trench 2 m
Fording 1.4 m

 

   A Russian Bal coastal defense missile system was designed as a successor to ageing Soviet Redut (Western reporting name SSC-1 or Sepal) and Rubezh (SSC-3 or Styx) coastal defense missile systems. It was adopted by a Russian military in 2004. Its Western reporting name is SSC-6 or Sennight. This system is also being proposed for export customers.

   The Bal coastal defense system uses Kh-35 anti-ship cruise missiles. The launcher vehicle is based on an MZKT-7930 heavy high mobility chassis with 8x8 configuration and carries 8 cylindrical containers with Kh-35 anti-ship cruise missiles.

   The Kh-35 is a sea skimming missile. It is also referred as 3M24. It has broadly similar performance to that of the French Exocet and Franco-Italian OTOMAT anti-ship missiles. In terms of range and destructive power the Kh-35 slightly looses to a US Harpoon missile.

   It carries a 145 kg High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) warhead. It was designed to pierce horizontally through the bulkheads and compartments prior to exploding inside the ship. This missile was designed to defeat vessels with a displacement of up to 5 000 t. So it should be efficient against frigates and smaller destroyers.

   The Kh-35 has inertial navigation system with active radar homing on the terminal stage of its flight. This missile travels 10-15 meters above the surface at subsonic speed. In the terminal stage of the flight the missile descends to 3-5 meters above the surface in order to overcome hostile defense systems. This missile travels at subsonic speed of 950-1 010 km/h. However it is estimated that due to its subsonic speed this anti-ship missile can be intercepted rather easily, especially by advanced naval defense system.

   Initially the Bal coastal defense system was offered with a baseline Kh-35 missile, that had a maximum range of 130 km. Its active radar seeker had a range of 20 km. However in around 2015 the Russian military adopted an improved Kh-35U missile, which is a current production version. It is fitted with more powerful engines and carries more fuel. As a result it has range of up to 260 km. That's twice the range of the baseline Kh-35. The Kh-35U also has improved guidance systems with satellite navigation update and a more sensitive seeker with a lock-on range of 50 km.

   The Kh-35 is efficient out to a Sea State 6. It is a relatively inexpensive weapon, that costs around $500 000 per missile. Russian military also operates a similar Bastion-P coastal defense missile system, which was adopted in 2010. It carries more capable P-800 Oniks missiles, but only 2 missiles per launcher vehicle.

   The Bal coastal defense system launches its missiles at a fixed angle. Missiles can be launched with short intervals of several seconds between the launches. Also missiles can be launched up to 10 km from the sea.

   Prototypes of the Bal were based on a MAZ-543M heavy high mobility chassis with 8x8 configuration. Though production version is based on a newer Belarusian MZKT-7930 chassis. It is powered by a YaMZ-846 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 500 hp. It is mated with a 6-speed manual transmission. Vehicle has a full-time all-wheel drive and is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. This vehicle has good cross-country mobility and can travel off road.

   The launcher vehicle is operated by a crew of 3, including commander, operator and driver.

   A typical Bal battery includes up to 4 launcher vehicles with missiles, up to 4 associated reloading vehicles and up to 2 command posts. All of these components are based on the same MZKT-7930 chassis and can be briefly redeployed. It takes 10 minutes to prepare the launcher vehicles for firing from a new position. The launcher vehicles receive targeting data from the dedicated command post vehicles, or alternatively, from external sources.

   A battery of Bal can launch up to 32 anti-ship cruise missiles. This is sufficient to disrupt operations of a large hostile battlegroup.

   Reloading vehicle is fitted with a crane and carries a full set or reload missiles. The launcher vehicle is reloaded within 30-40 minutes.

   Components of this coastal defense missile system can be airlifted by military transport aircraft, however these have to be as large as An-124 or An-22.

 

Variants

 

   Bal-E is a downgraded export version. It uses Kh-35E missiles with a range of 130 km, or newer Kh-35UE missiles with a range of 260 km.

   Rubezh-ME is a lighter, less expensive, but also less capable version of the Bal. This coastal defense system was developed specially for export. A launcher vehicle is based on KamAZ 8x8 military truck chassis and carries 4 Kh-35UE missiles. It was first publicly revealed in 2019.

 

 

Bal coastal defense missile system

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Bal coastal defense missile system

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Bal coastal defense missile system

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Bal coastal defense missile system

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Bal coastal defense missile system

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Bal coastal defense missile system

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Bal coastal defense missile system

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Bal coastal defense missile system

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