A few days ago it became known that our country is developing a promising long-range hypersonic missile for arming strategic missile-carrying bombers. So far, very little is known about this project, but even the published information is of great interest. From the available information, it follows that the project under the designation X-95 will be able to seriously affect the capabilities of long-range aviation and become one of the most important components of the strategic deterrence system.
The first message about a promising rocket appeared in an unexpected source. Recently a new issue of the military-theoretical journal of the Ministry of Defense "Voennaya Mysl" was published, in which the article "Factors of achieving victory in military conflicts of the future" was published by the head of the Military Academy of the General Staff, Colonel-General Vladimir Zarudnitsky.
The article discusses various issues of conducting hostilities with the defeat of the enemy, incl. on the example of specific events and products. And it is in this context that the promising Kh-95 missile is mentioned for the first time in the open press.
Dominance in the aerospace sphere is named in the article as one of the main conditions for the successful conduct of hostilities by sea and land groupings. V. Zarudnitsky points out that in order to solve such problems in our country, new models of equipment and weapons are being created and put into service, such as the modernized Tu-160M bomber or the Kinzhal missile system.
Attention is also paid to high-precision long-range airborne weapons. An example of such a development is the Kh-95 hypersonic missile. At the same time, no details are given, and there are no other references to such a rocket in the article, magazine or other sources.
On August 3, RIA Novosti responded to the publication of Voennaya Mysl. The agency managed to find a source in the military-industrial complex familiar with the X-95 project, and obtained some information from him. If it is true, the development of a new rocket has already advanced far enough.
The source of RIA Novosti claims that the X-95 missile is intended for use in long-range aviation. It will be carried by the modernized Tu-160M and Tu-22M3M aircraft. In addition, in the future, such a weapon will receive the Perspective Aviation Complex of Long-Range Aviation (PAK DA).
The project went through the early stages and came to trials. It is reported that testing of prototypes with an air carrier has already begun. The nature of such tests, the type of media and other features of the project are not disclosed again.
According to available data
Thus, at the moment, very little is known about the X-95 project. In fact, so far we are talking only about the very fact of its existence, about the approximate range of flight performance and about possible carriers. However, this also allows us to draw certain conclusions and imagine what a new rocket could be and how useful it will be for the Aerospace Forces.
The Kh-95 missile is intended for use by long-range and strategic bombers of existing and future types. Most likely, the new missile will be strategic. In this regard, it can receive a special warhead, although non-nuclear equipment is also possible. For our long-range aviation, unified cruise missiles with different warheads have already been created, and this concept has shown its strengths.
The class of the X-95 was not disclosed. It can be a cruise or aeroballistic missile. It is intended incl. for the PAK DA bomber, which is being built unobtrusively. Accordingly, the new missile should be placed in the internal cargo bay. From this it may follow that the dimensions of the X-95 will not seriously differ from the actual products X-55 or X-101. The Zircon ship missile demonstrates the fundamental possibility of performing hypersonic weapons in limited dimensions.
The future X-95 will be hypersonic, which indicates the possibility of acceleration to M = 5 or more. It should be remembered that domestic hypersonic systems, such as the aircraft "Dagger", also show a higher flight speed.
Perhaps it is the Kh-95 missile that the long-range thesis applies. Taking into account the adopted classification of weapons, it can be assumed that the range of the new product will exceed 1500-2000 km. It is theoretically possible to obtain even higher characteristics, incl. at the level of modern air-launched cruise missiles of the Kh-55 type.
The recent news about the tests that have begun on a promising hypersonic missile are generally not surprising. By now, our science and industry have gained a lot of experience in the field of hypersonic technologies, and now the creation of new weapons of this kind is noticeably simplified and accelerated. However, the nature of the tests carried out is unknown. These could be export flights, ballistic drops, or full-fledged launches.
Weapon of the future
Currently, Russian long-range bombers of the main types are armed with Kh-55/555 and Kh-101/102 cruise missiles. The introduction of the hypersonic aeroballistic "Dagger" was announced. Also in the future, the Kh-95 long-range hypersonic missile will enter service. Its appearance can seriously change the capabilities of long-range aviation and increase its effectiveness.
Upon receiving all the desired flight characteristics, the X-95 will become, with certain reservations, a functional analogue of the serial X-55. The new missile will be able to hit targets at strategic depth, launching from outside the zones of destruction of enemy air defense. The breakthrough of the defense will be ensured by a high flight speed, which will make interception more difficult and limit the time for its execution.
Obviously, the hypersonic X-95 will be disadvantageously different from the X-55 or X-101 in complexity and cost. For this reason, it can be made exclusively with strategic weapons, equipped only with a special warhead. With the help of this rocket, only those tasks will be solved for which a breakthrough of powerful air defense is required and the fastest possible strike. Non-nuclear subsonic missiles will remain for other operations.
In the uncertain future, Russian strategic aviation will receive its first long-range hypersonic missile. This product will complement existing missiles of various types, incl. X-101/102, adopted several years ago. Having a large selection of different missiles, long-range aviation will be able to more flexibly and effectively solve all the main tasks.
It should be borne in mind that simultaneously with the development of the range of weapons, the renewal of the aircraft fleet continues. Existing bombers are being upgraded. Also, the construction of Tu-160 aircraft has been resumed and a completely new PAK DA project is being developed. Obviously, new and modernized aircraft will become more efficient carrier platforms for all available missiles.
Thus, the development of long-range aviation and hypersonic direction continues, and is now being carried out together and within the framework of a common project. The timing of the appearance of the new X-95 missiles, their arrival in the troops and the achievement of combat readiness are unknown. But it is already obvious that such weapons, both alone and in combination with modern delivery vehicles, will become one of the most effective means of strategic deterrence.