Country of origin
Missile launch weight
3 100 kg
200 - 250 kg
Nuclear or conventional
Range of fire
up to 300 km
~ 1.5 m
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
P-800 Oniks missiles were fitted on single Russian
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
P-800 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
The P-800 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).
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
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.
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.
Article by The Tiger
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