I think it is pretty clear the main reason behind this sudden Granit replacement, is not a sudden realization in missile inadequacy, but something to do with missile life,
Oniks has been on the books for some time, if the Granit didn't work they could have replaced it a while ago.
The fact that they are changing now suggests stocks of missiles are getting close to expiry dates.
The news article above says the missiles will be fitted to existing launchers and that the upgrade will not be extensive but allow an increase in missile numbers. I personally think an increase of 50% in numbers would warrant it being called an increase in numbers. Tripling the number of missiles would warrant a comment about a large increase in numbers (300%).
It is not a matter of dimensions. Extensive refit will be required to install UKSKs no matter what the dimensions are.
The news report you posted said:
In this case he emphasized that for designers it was possible to place rockets in the same containers, in which are located the rockets of "Granit" , moreover without the alteration of housing, and even with an increase in the ammunition.
Sounds like a minimal refit using the same containers... if they were tripling the number of missiles would they say "...even with an increase in ammunition"? I would think they would mention ammo supply was tripled if it was.
Hell yes. 24 missiles was awesome during the eighties. It is so-so in 21st century terms. It is mediocre for a 20,000 ton vessel if massive land attack strikes are called for.
Massive land attack strikes are fairly unlikely first of all, and second... during the entire Libyan campaign the west fired a total of about 120 cruise missiles... a battlegroup with a single Kirov could carry 80, and the remaining 40 missiles could be launched from the 10-12 other vessels like destroyers likely to be in the group.
It is rather more likely the future use of the oscar will be how it has been used in the past... a deterrent to US carrier battle groups.
But don't fool yourself, the US Armed forces are just as a threat towards Russia as it was towards the Soviet Union...You know what the US aims are.
Indeed, but the Russian navy no longer needs to spread communism and for the next decade will likely focus on protecting Russias various oceans/ports.
In the 2020s they can expand the carrier fleet and start venturing out and expanding into the worlds oceans, but right now there are not enough small ships let alone big ships or even support ships to think about doing what NATO does.
You know, showing the flag means nothing in a shooting war.
In peace time, "show the flag" effect of a battlecruiser is the same wheter it has Granits or UKSKs.
The point is that subs are not much use in showing the flag as they spend most of their time not being noticed.
The advantage of the Kirov is that where Russia feels strongly about something, it means they can send the Kirov... to Syria for example. Now if Russia knew what NATO was doing in Libya it could have vetoed the no fly zone, which would have put the ball in NATOs court. They can choose to escalate or back down... escalating... say they declared a NATO mission to Libya that involved a nonUNSC sensured no fly zone, then Russia could react by sending a Kirov to Libyan waters on an official "visit". Then NATO will have to decide whether to start WWIII and fire on a Russian vessel, or back off.
I rather think in the case of Syria they will back off... it is a case of being able to show the other side you really mean business and you are drawing a line in the sand, without actually starting a conflict by shooting at anyone.
Imagine a Russian carrier group in the med during the NATO bombing campaign in Kosovo? It would have given Russia more say and likely led to a more balanced solution.
100% agreed. However, in the 21st century warfare, land attack is an extremely important mission and is a requirement for the Oscars (and submarines in general).
Russian and Soviet SSGNs have traditionally been anti ship with no capability against land targets. This might change or it might not. Anti ship missiles have been used successfully against land based targets... I remember an Indian attack with Soviet anti ship missiles that use IR seekers that hit large oil tanks in Pakistan... the oil had been heated by the sun during the day and were large enough for the anti ship missiles to get a lock on.
I am not assuming. The SM-315 are actually smaller than the SM-225A. They will fit in nicely without extensive refit. However, the current SM-315 can take Onyx only (no Kaliber), but I am sure they can solve that problem
The article you posted said they were using the existing launchers... perhaps they have modified the SM-225A to take Onix and Kalibr?
akhont, Onyx, Brahmos, Bolid and any other unknown offshoots are a family of missiles (just like the Klub).
It wasn't really a family. Bolid is Oniks, and Yakhont is Oniks with reduced range and smaller warhead that could be exported.
Brahmos is a modification of Yakhont that adds land attack capability and also vertical launch... Yakhont and Oniks were traditionally angle launched.
The Brahmos will not be used by the Russians who will use other members of the "Yakhont" family.
Yakhont is an export model of Onix... there is no Yakhont "family". Russian Navy officials will call their missile Yakhont or even Brahmos, but it will be Onix. The Russian Navy has no reason to use downgraded export Yakhont missiles.
The only advantage that Onyx (land attack version) has is superior speed that can better penetrate sophisticated air defenses. Apart from that, Kaliber can do the job at a lower price.
It has three times the speed of Kalibr only when flying high... it is slower at lower altitudes.
The point is that in 5-10 years there will be Oniks II that flies at mach 8... and including manouvering will be a much more formidible threat.
In another ten years, there will be at least as many Yasens as Oscars. Being more modern and quieter they will be assigned the more difficult and dangerous tasks such as neutralizing the oponent's naval battlegroups. While still having serious capabilities against taskforces, the older Oscars will be more inclined towards the land attack mode.
They will have a shortage of operational subs... any extra unit will be useful to them. Considering that in 10 years time even a Russian corvette will require something like Oniks to defeat it the more platforms carrying this weapon the better.
Oniks includes stealth in the design and has titanium armour instead of heavier steel armour used in the Granit.
Of course at high speed the Oniks will be easy to spot due to IR signature, but IR sensors are line of sight so flying very low limits their range. Radar can see further but low and fast make that problematic.
Onyx missiles are useless for that role. Akulas and Sierras will be fine for that kind of duties.
Operating near Russian SSBN bastions they could use Onyx missiles to stop carrier groups attempting a preemptive attack.
Now that they are getting old, I see the Onyx armed Yasens as their replacement. The Oscars will still participate in that role if necessary, but massive cruise missile land strikes are increasingly gaining importance, IMHO that will be their main role in the future.
Except that Oniks is anti ship... as is Yakhont. It is Brahmos that has land attack capabilities.
Perhaps you should ask yourself why they want to add Oniks AND Kalibr... Kalibr is what they call their domestic long range (2,000km) land attack Klub. If Oniks could attack land based targets why bother with Kalibr?
In a nuclear exchange, SLBMs will do most of the talking. However, ABM defenses are getting more and more significant. A mix of SLBMs and nuclear tipped cruise missiles (Kaliber/Klub and Kh-102) is a better deterent.
In a conventional scenario with a non-nuclear state....well, just rememebr the decapitating cruise missile strikes at the opening stages of the Iraqi and Libyan conflicts.
The real danger is the new ABM system as it is ship based, which makes it very mobile and very flexible.
Moving it from the Med and the Black Sea to the sea off greenland could be a real problem... moving half a dozen Oscars with Oniks could be a credible solution that does not require any weapon to be fired... your move counters their move, so they need to decide to escalate or withdraw... it shows you mean business rather than just words or rhetoric.
BTW this is just my opinion too... I would be quite happy to be wrong... if you look at the Granit launchers on the Kuznetsov they look much bigger than the picture you posted...