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Bal-E missile system to defend Russia coast of Caspian Sea

December 02, 2011, 9:38 UTC+3
The coastal missile system is capable of hitting targets at ranges up to 120 kilometres at any time and under any weather conditions
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MOSCOW, December 2 (Itar-Tass) – The Bal-E modern coastal missile system (CMS) has entered service in the coastal missile unit of the Caspian Flotilla formed this year.

Spokesman for the Southern Military District Colonel Igor Gorbul told Itar-Tass that “specialists of the Kaluga-based Typhoon plant are currently tuning the radar equipment and consolidating the entire system of the complex control into a single network.” “During 2011 part of the battalion’s officers underwent training at special courses at the plant,” he said.

The Bal-E mobile coastal missile system with the X-35 type antiship missile was developed on the order of the Russian Navy in the late 1990s and adopted for service in 2008. The system consists of a self-propelled command control and communications centre, self-propelled launchers, a transport and reloader machine and communications vehicle, a total of- up to 11 special vehicles.

The coastal missile system is capable of hitting targets at ranges up to 120 kilometres at any time and under any weather conditions. The time of deployment after a march - 10 minutes, cruising range - 850 kilometres, ammunition - 64 missiles, the number of missiles in one salvo - 32.

The firepower of a Bal-E squadron is able to foil the fulfilment of a combat mission of a major naval strike group, an amphibious unit, or a potential enemy convoy. The squadron’s launchers can be set at hidden positions at a distance of 10 kilometres from the coast.

“During the 2012 training year the rocketeers of the Caspian Flotilla will perform at least three rocket launches on sea surface targets imitators,” Gorbul said.

The Bal-E mobile coastal missile system is designed: to control straits and territorial waters; to protect naval bases, other coastal installations and infrastructures; to defend coastline in probable landing approach areas. The missile system can conduct combat actions, providing fully autonomous after-launch missile guidance in fair and adverse weather conditions, by day and night, under enemy fire and electronic countermeasures.

The Bal-E CMS is a mobile weapon system, based on the MAZ 7930 chassis, comprising: up to two self-propelled command, control and communications (C3) posts; up to four self-propelled launchers with the Kh-35E (3M-24E) type anti-ship missiles in transport-launch containers (eight TLCs on a standard launcher); up to four transport-reload vehicles intended for preparing the next salvo.

The C3 post provides target reconnaissance, designation and optimal distribution between launchers. Active and passive high-precision radar channels allow the system to implement flexible target acquisition strategies, including covert ones. The launchers and transport-reload vehicles can be deployed in covered positions in the depth beyond the coastline. In this case neither covertness of their combat positions nor man-made and natural obstacles in the direction of fire will limit combat employment of the system.

The system can conduct both single and salvo fire from any launcher, with the capability of receiving current information from other command posts and external reconnaissance/target designation data sources. A salvo can include up to 32 missiles. One such salvo can thwart a combat mission carried out by an enemy naval attack group, a landing force or a convoy. The system can fire the next salvo in 30-40 minutes thanks to its transport-reload vehicles. Combat management of the Bal-E assets is based on digital data transmission, automated communications, message processing and ciphering with guaranteed security.

The system is equipped with night vision, navigation, survey and positioning aids enabling it to rapidly change its firing positions after completing the assigned mission, and relocate to a new combat area. The system can be deployed in the new position within 10 minutes. An integrated coastal defence system combining the Bal-E CMS, offshore patrol vessels with the Uran-E ship-borne missile systems and missile-carrying combat aircraft armed with the Kh-35E (3M-24E) unified anti-ship missiles, would be able to perform diverse operational and tactical tasks at minimal costs thanks to a single missile maintenance and repair system.

The system’s structure and exact numbers of the C3 posts, launch and transport-reload vehicles are defined according to customer requirements. The MAZ-7930 self-propelled chassis can be replaced with other types of chassis (it can also be proposed for the light-configuration Bal-E CMS with enhanced agility and off-road capacity).

The Bal-E CMS has a considerable potential for upgrading. Employment of additional target designation assets, such as radar picket helicopters or remotely piloted aerial vehicles, allows the system to increase its target detection range and precision. The Bal-E CMS can be equipped with passive interference systems to considerably enhance its invulnerability to enemy guided weapons in duelling situations. Other upgrading options are also considered.

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