In the 1980s approximately 60 Bear H aircraft were equipped with AS-15 Kent ALCM
were these AS-15 also capable of hitting naval targets like destroyers or frigates /
No they could only be flown to fixed coordinates with a nuke warhead.
The Kh-555 was a conventionally armed model of the same weapon (Kh-55) with terminal guidance and a shorter range, but even it was for fixed targets AFAIK.
Thanks ! What about the AS-4 kitchens carried by strategic aviation Tu-22M ? Could they be used for anti-shipping strikes ?
Primary role of the Backfires in Strategic Aviation was heavy SEAD with passive radar homing (ie anti radiation) and coordinate finding versions of Kh-22M... the latter having a nuke warhead as standard.
For naval use there were active radar homing missiles that could be fired at ships and mobile targets, and the anti radiation models could be used in heavy jamming environments.
Very simply the tactic would be the first enemy ships detected would be fired upon by active radar homing missiles... as they attacked the ships would know they had been located and would turn on their radar to improve their situational awareness... so then the Soviets would launch anti radiation missiles to home in on the radar signals, and likely a few nuclear armed missiles to the general coordinates.
so not just the naval aviation backfires but the strategic aviation AS-4 armed backfires can potentially be used for anti-shipping strikes ?
The strategic aviation backfires were armed and trained to attack major comms centres and major SAM sites with nuclear armed Kh-22Ms... they are unlikely to have gotten anywhere near any naval vessels and would not carry the correct model Kh-22Ms even if they did.
Yeah. they also can carry Kh-15S which is anti-shipping variant.
The Kh-15 Kickback is a nuclear armed anti radiation missile. There were plans for an anti shipping model but AFAIK it never entered service... it was purely used in the anti radar/anti SAM role.
The Kh-32 has similar speed but rather better range so it would be unlikely they would bother with the Kh-15 now.
Hypersonic missiles with scramjet motors promise even better performance for the near future.