The Russian industry continues to work on the creation of a promising multipurpose missile system "Hermes". In the foreseeable future, this complex in several modifications should go into service with different types of troops and improve their combat capabilities. The use of an original concept and a number of new technical solutions will contribute to obtaining such results.
The Hermes project has been developed by the Instrument Engineering Design Bureau (Tula) since the late nineties. At the beginning of the two thousandth, a new development was brought to testing; various events of this kind continue to this day. For various reasons, the Hermes complex is still not ready for adoption, and the timing of its appearance in the army has not yet been named.
According to known data, a multipurpose complex of a new type is being built around a universal rocket, with minimal changes suitable for use on different carriers. This is a two-stage supersonic solid-propellant product with inertial and command control, as well as with a seeker. The use of GOS of different types is possible. The total length of such a rocket reaches 2.98 m, the launch weight is 90 kg, depending on the configuration.
The maximum speed of the rocket on the trajectory can reach 1 km / s. The maximum range of the basic version is 100 km. It was reported about the development of a rocket with a different first stage, increasing the flight range. In some modifications, the range may be reduced due to objective limitations. The target is hit by a warhead weighing approx. 30 kg.
The Hermes complex is proposed for use in various types of armed forces and branches of the armed forces - for this, various modifications are being created. The base complex is intended for ground forces. In this case, the launcher for containers with missiles and controls must be placed on a vehicle chassis. Installation of a similar design is proposed for the Hermes-K ship complex.
For armament of modern attack helicopters, a variant of the Hermes-A complex is proposed. In this case, the necessary equipment is installed inside the vehicle, and the TPK with missiles is transported on an external sling along with other weapons. As part of "Hermes-A" can be used a modification of the rocket with a range of up to 15-18 km.
On the basis of the Hermes project, a new weapon model is already being developed under the name Klevok-D2. Using the existing developments, it is planned to create a hypersonic missile with wide capabilities. Such a product will become an even more effective means of attacking ground or surface targets.
The known information about the Hermes missile is of great interest. It shows that a prototype of a fundamentally new class of missile weapons is being created in our country. With certain reservations, this product will take an intermediate position between ground and aviation anti-tank systems and operational-tactical missiles, successfully complementing them and ensuring the solution of characteristic combat missions.
The main advantage of the Hermes rocket, on which its overall potential depends, is its high performance characteristics.The ground and naval versions of the missile system will be able to attack targets at distances of tens of kilometers, and a flight at maximum distances will take no more than 90-100 seconds.
For the aircraft modification of the complex, the launch range is significantly reduced. This makes it possible to lighten the missile and increase the ammunition load of the attack helicopter. At the same time, a range of 15-18 km is sufficient to attack targets from outside the enemy's air defense zone. In addition, at such distances, the helicopter will be able to independently perform target detection for a subsequent attack. Shooting at a greater distance will require external target designation, which is not always possible in battlefield conditions.
All versions of the rocket will receive a combined control system with inertial navigation and seeker, and it is possible to use different types of homing. In all cases, we are talking about the "fire-and-forget" principle, which has obvious advantages and expands the combat capabilities of the complex.
The use of a high-explosive fragmentation warhead weighing up to 30 kg is expected. Such a warhead will allow the missile to confidently hit stationary and mobile ground targets, incl. at a certain miss. In addition, such a warhead will be able to destroy small surface targets and cause serious damage to larger boats and ships.
The Hermes rocket in various modifications will be used with different types of launchers. So, in the past, the exhibitions showed images of a land mobile missile system, which included two combat vehicles. A launcher with a large number of TPKs was placed on one, and an antenna post and a control panel on the second.
Last year, a compact installation for six missiles was shown at the Army-2020 forum. Such a product is used in current tests as part of a complex based on three machines - a launcher and auxiliary equipment.
Placing the launcher on a vehicle chassis provides known advantages. Such a combat vehicle will show high mobility and will be able to carry a large ammunition load. Different installations can be used with different chassis, which allows the customer to choose the most successful configurations of the complex that meet his requirements.
The Ka-52 attack helicopter and some modifications of the Su-25 attack aircraft were initially considered as the carrier of the Hermes-A. Later, information appeared about the possibility of deploying new missiles on Mi-24 and Mi-8/17 helicopters - after their corresponding revision and installation of the necessary instruments.
In recent reports, "Hermes-A" is mentioned as weapons for the Ka-52 and Mi-28N (M). The reasons for this are simple: for the effective use of Hermes missiles, the carrier helicopter must have a radar or optoelectronic station with a viewing range of at least 18-20 km. It is the "Alligator" and "Night Hunter" who have similar means and can effectively use the new missile.
Of great interest is the issue of the deployment of the ship / boat modification of the "Hermes". In theory, the Hermes-K complex can be used on patrol and missile boats, as well as on small ships. Depending on the specific type of carrier, the new missile will complement the existing cannon-machine gun armament or join other type of missile systems
As a result of such modernization, the patrol boat or artillery ship will increase its combat capabilities, and the missile boat / ship's weapons complex will be more flexible. However, the specific types of ships and boats suitable for the installation of "Hermes-K" have not yet been named.
It is important that unified missiles with minimal differences from each other are offered for all complexes of the Hermes family. This will simplify the production and operation of both the missiles themselves and the complexes as a whole.In addition, it is possible to create interspecific methods of combat use, in which complexes of different types of troops will operate simultaneously.
Weapon of the future
For the Hermes multipurpose missile system, high tactical and technical characteristics and ample opportunities are declared. Due to this, such a system of weapons in different designs is of great interest to the ground forces, the air force and the navy. The appearance and deployment of the first production models will give our army certain advantages.
However, while the land and aviation versions of the "Hermes" are still at the testing stage. The current state and prospects of the ship modification are unknown. It is also unknown when all the necessary work will be completed and the new weapons will go to the troops. However, the necessary measures continue, and there is every reason to believe that the adoption of the complex for service is not far off. And along with them and the appearance of fundamentally new opportunities for the army.