Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The P-700 was designed in the 1970s to replace the SS-N-7 Starbright and SS-N-9 Siren, both effective missiles but with too short a range in the face of improving weapons of US Navy carrier battle groups. The missile was partially derived from the SS-N-12 Sandbox.
Build by Chelomei/NPO Mashinostroenia , the bulging 10 m missile has swept-back wings and tail, weighs around 4,000 kg and can be fitted with either a 750 kg HE warhead, a FAE warhead, or a 500 kt of TNT nuclear one. It is launched by two solid-fuel boosters before moving into sustained flight with a ramjet engine, the missile has a distinct annular air intake in the nose to power the engine. Maximum speed is believed to be around Mach 2.25, earlier NATO estimates posited a turbojet engine and a top speed of Mach 1.5. Range is estimated at 550 to 625 km. The guidance system is mixed-mode, with inertial, active terminal guidance with rader and also anti-radar homing. Mid-course updating is probable.
Initial deployment was aboard the cruiser Kirov (now the Admiral Ushakov) in 1980. It is currently in service with the Russian Northern Fleet on the Kirov-class Pyotr Velikhy (previously the Yuri Andropov) and as part of the larger guided missile submarines armoury (the Kursk carried 24 missiles). However, the size of the missile limits the platforms on which it can operate and it is being supplanted by the short-ranged but faster and more versatile SS-N-22 Sunburn or later missiles.
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