Russian Navy Reforms Coastal Missile Artillery Forces

Last month, Defense Minister Shoigu announced that the Russian Armed Forces would undergo significant reform due to its combat experience in Ukraine. According to Russian state-owned media, the Russian Federation Navy has begun the process of overhauling its Coastal Troops, specifically the Coastal Defense Missile Artillery. It will now be named the Coastal Missile Brigades, dropping artillery from the name and phasing out the legacy artillery systems such as the 152-mm gun “Hyacinth.”

According to Russian media, the divestment of legacy artillery systems is mostly in name only, considering these troops have not been armed with traditional artillery in recent years. However, now Coastal Missile Brigades of the Russian Navy will train exclusively on the Bal and Bastion complexes to engage naval and ground-based targets in surface-to-surface mode.

Colonel Khamza Rustamov, commander of the coastal missile formation of the Northern Fleet, announced the renaming of one of the brigades earlier this month. However, this confirmation tells us that change must be reflected across the Russian Navy.

Russian military commentator Dmitry Boltenkov told Russian media: “Now the artillery unit is left in only one missile and artillery brigade on the Black Sea, where there is a battery of the Bereg complex. In all the rest, there has been no artillery component for some time. At the same time, the brigades are actively receiving and using the latest missile weapons – the Ball and Bastion missile systems. They are actively used against ground targets during the NWO.”

The Coastal Troops (Russian: Beregovyye voyska) are a service arm of the Russian Navy, designed to guard Russian fleets’ forces, troops, population, and seashore objects against exposure to enemy surface ships; to defend naval bases and other vital facilities of the Fleets from the land, including against amphibious and air assaults; to be landed and act in the course of amphibious and air assaults; to support the Russian Ground Forces in the course of defense against airborne and amphibious assaults; to destroy surface ships, boats and amphibious transport means within the fire envelope. (wiki)

The Coastal Troops are divided into the:

  • (Now) Coastal Missile Defense Troops
  • Motorized Coastal Defense Troops
  • Naval Infantry

In 2017, the total personnel across the Coastal Troops was about 35,000. However, after severe attrition of Naval Infantry units in Ukraine, that number has probably decreased as conscripted Russian troops are prioritized to refilling units of the Combined Arms Armies.

So, now that it is clear only the Bal and Bastion complexes will be used by the new Coastal Missile Defense Brigades, it is essential to review their capabilities.

Bal Coastal Defense Missile System

According to Military-Today, below is an accurate description of the Transporter Erector Launcher system shown above:

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

However, it is worth noting the primary missile that the Bal uses the Kh-35/Kh-35E missiles, which define this system as the SSC-6 Sennight. The characteristics of this active-radar anti-ship missile can be found below (from the Tactical Missiles Corporation). However, it is worth noting that this system has been modified in Ukraine to engage ground targets instead of its original sea-skimming capability of engaging ships.

Kh-35 Kh-35U
Length
Ship/Land/Heliborne
4.4 m (14 ft)
Aircraft-launched
3.85 m (12.6 ft)
Diameter
0.42 m (17 in)
Wingspan
1.33 m (4.4 ft)
Weight
Surface-launched
620 kg (1,370 lb)
670 kg (1,480 lb)
Aircraft-launched
520 kg (1,150 lb)
550 kg (1,210 lb)
Heliborne
610 kg (1,340 lb)
650 kg (1,430 lb)
Range
130 km (81 mi; 70 nmi)
7–260 km (4–162 mi; 4–140 nmi)
Guidance
Inertial, active radar
Inertial, satellite navigation, active/passive radar
Seeker range
20 km (12 mi; 11 nmi)
50 km (31 mi; 27 nmi)
Speed
Mach 0.8 (609 mph; 980 km/h)
Mach 0.8 – Mach 0.85 (609–647 mph; 980–1,041 km/h)
Flight altitude
Cruising
10–15 m
Terminal phase
4 m
Warhead
145 kg (320 lb) HE penetrator
145 kg (320 lb) penetrating HE frag

 

Bastion Coastal Defense System

According to Military-Today, below is an accurate description of the Transporter Erector Launcher system shown above:

Country of origin Russia
Entered service 2010
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 41 t
Length ~ 12.8 m
Width ~ 3 m
Height ~ 3.6 m
Missile
Missile length 8.6 m
Missile diameter 0.67 m
Missile weight 3 100 kg
Warhead weight 200-250 kg
Warhead type ?
Range of fire up to 300 km
CEP ~ 1.5 m
Mobility
Engine YaMZ-846 diesel
Engine power 500 hp
Maximum road speed 80 km/h
Range 1 000 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 45%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.6 m
Trench ~ 2 m
Fording 1.4 m

 

This system is referred to NATO as the SSC-5 Stooge and employs the P-800 Oniks Missile, which has the following characteristics:

  • Length: 8.9 m
  • Diameter: 0.7 m
  • Wingspan: 1.7 m
  • Weight: 3,100 kg
  • Speed at altitude: 750 m/s (Mach 2.6)
  • Surface speed: Mach 2
  • Engine: ramjet, weight 200 kg, 4 tons of thrust
  • Range: 120–300 km / 600 km for Russian ship/sub-deployed non-export model
  • for the combined trajectory (hi-lo) – 300 km
  • for low-altitude trajectory (lo-lo) – 120 km
  • Flight altitude of 10,000–14,000 m
  • Warhead: national version: 300 kg semi-armor piercing HE, thermonuclear; export version: 200 kg HE
  • Fuel: jet fuel T-6

Radar homing head

  • all-weather monopulse active-passive, with frequency hopping
  • Immunity: high, from active spoofing, dipole clouds
  • Range: 50 km active
  • Launchable sea state – up to 7 points
  • Warm-up time from power on: no more than 2 min
  • Current consumption at 27 V circuit: up to 38 A
  • Maximum angle of the target search: ± 45 °
  • Homing weight: 85 kg

As the war in Ukraine continues, it is vital to observe how or if the Coastal Defense Missile brigades are implemented into surface-to-surface strikes as the Russian Armed FOrces continue to deplete their long-range munitions.

 

 

 

 

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Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.
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