Meet the Izdelie 305, a ruthless weapon that invalidates the Ukrainian counteroffensive, 07.29.2023.
Western military and media organizations are admitting that Russian helicopters armed with Izdelie 305 missiles had a considerable impact on the results of the Kiev counteroffensive. Sputnik explores this weapon in detail.
The Russian Ka-52M attack helicopters are equipped with a "new and very effective" long-range missile that poses a serious threat to the Ukrainian armed forces, according to the US media Forbes. The article cited the recent intelligence update of the Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom, according to which one of the main improvements of the Ka-52M is the integration of the multipurpose light guided missile — LMUR, according to its acronym in Russian.
In turn, the magazine indicated that this weapon "is in a different league" compared to others of this type and called it "remarkably deadly" and a "real escalation in the capabilities of helicopters" of the Russian army.
The LMUR has appeared in the Russian Armed Forces relatively recently, but it has quickly proved to be an effective weapon for all kinds of combat missions. Its main advantage lies not only in the ability to achieve different types of objectives, but also in a certain flexibility of use, since it can be equipped on several carriers and has multiple modes of use. Sputnik reveals to you some of the main features of the missile terrifying for the enemy.
Start of manufacturing
Of some interest is the fact that the LMUR was not originally planned for the Russian Armed Forces. The roots of the missile, which would eventually be named Izdelie 305, come from the special contract of the Russian Federal Security Bureau (FSB), which ordered its manufacture from the Kolomna Design Bureau to arm the agency's helicopters. According to the initial idea, the new product of the Russian military industry would have to be used against various long-distance targets and provide fire support to ground units.
The contract was agreed at the beginning of the 2010s, and already in the middle of the same decade the Izdelie 305 successfully passed state tests. Thus, the LMUR was recommended for service on corresponding structures.
However, it is especially this period, when the Russian Defence Ministry noticed high prospects of the missile and conducted its own tests with different types of air carriers. Already at that stage they began to consider for use the latest models and modifications of Russian attack helicopters, including those that had not yet entered service, which confirmed the high expectations that the LMUR military agency had.
Despite the fact that the first public demonstration of the Izdelie 305 did not take place until 2021, when all the main stages of development and testing had already been completed, the first combat use of the missile against various facilities and vehicles by the Russian Armed Forces was registered during its operations in Syria, before the open presentation. Today, the LMUR is applied to the framework of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, which was captured in a multitude of combat videos showing the great accuracy of the new weapon.
Main features of the LMUR
According to publicly available data, which at the same time are not official, the LMUR air-to-surface guided missile has a maximum range of about 14.5 kilometers (it varies depending on the altitude and speed of the helicopter at the time of launch) and weighs about 100-105 kilos, which is twice as much as the Ataka or Vikhr anti-tank guided missiles. At the same time, it has a warhead that weighs about three times more than those of these two projectiles: about 25 kilos, which gives it a considerable penetration capacity.
It has a solid fuel engine, with which it reaches speeds of up to 800 km/h. Its empennage and rudders are foldable for the convenience of transportation. The LMUR is less than 2 m long, has a body diameter of about 200 mm and a wingspan of no more than 600-700 mm.
The Izdelie 305 is equipped with an optical seeker head that has two operating modes. The first mode assumes that the target is captured before the launch and the projectile follows it automatically. The second involves the flight to the approximate area of the target under the control of the carrier, followed by the detection of the target by the operator, who is responsible for the capture and manual guidance.
The technological features of the missile include the interconnection of the guidance system with the communication equipment, which allows the transmission and reception of commands by video, including target acquisition. For helicopters, new types of launchers (APU, according to its acronym in Russian) were also developed, which are used with the Izdelie 305: APU-305 for one missile and APU-L for two at once.
At Russian FSB service.
Considering that the LMURS were originally ordered for the Russian Federal Security Bureau the first operators of the Izdelie 305 were the multi-purpose and transport-attack helicopters Mi-8MNP-2 and Mi-8AMTSH-VN of the FSB aviation.
However, it was necessary to ensure the compatibility of the Izdelie 305 with the equipment of the Mi-8, so carriers received an additional set of devices, including launchers.
After modernization, its maximum payload ranges from 6 to 8 LMUR missiles, depending on the task to be performed and/or the technical characteristics of a certain modification of the helicopter.
In addition, the FSB helicopters received an optoelectronic station with day and night camera and laser rangefinder, which is installed under the nose of the fuselage. An antenna device for two-way communication with the missile is placed on the exterior of the modernized aircraft. Among the latest improvements, which also responds to the objective, the unmanned aerial vehicle interface equipment stands out. New fire control devices are installed in the cabins along with the standards and a console to control the launch and flight of the missile in different modes.
In 2015-2016, the new configuration based on the Mi-8 variants had been tested and officially entered service.
At the Russian Army service.
However, the Russian Armed Forces opted for another way of introducing the LMUR into their service, that's why the set of improvements in the Army attack helicopters differs from those of the FSB.
Thus, the first carrier of the Izdelie 305 in the Army aviation became the Mi-28NM helicopter, which has four pylons under the wing, each of which can mount a launcher for LMUR. As a result, the maximum ammunition includes eight missiles, which, at the same time, is rarely applied, since it is usually used in conjunction with other weapons.
Target detection for LMUR is carried out with the standard means on board the Mi-28NM. After detecting the target, with the help of the optoelectronic system, its designation is issued to the head of the missile. The information from the radar and the optoelectronic system, as well as from the missile's guidance head, is displayed on the pilot and operator's screens. The control of the missile in flight can be carried out with the use of the devices of the unmanned aerial vehicle interface equipment, originally present on the helicopter.
The same system is applied to Ka-52 attack helicopters and their modernized version. Like the Mi-28NM, the Ka-52 carries up to eight missiles and does not require an upgrade of the complex on-board equipment, already equipped with corresponding radars.
The launch of the LMUR from Ka-52 or Mi-28NM is carried out in both modes: with the preliminary capture of the target or with the missile guided by the crew to the required point manually. Taking into account the prospects for the development of weapons and other equipment, the Ka-52M was also equipped with the devices of the unmanned aerial vehicle interface equipment.
Russian attack helicopters equipped with the Izdelie 305 are capable of detecting and escorting various ground objects at different ranges, while preserving the entire arsenal. This availability of various types of guided weapons with different flight characteristics makes it easier for them to successfully fulfill a wide range of tasks.
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