(NATO reporting name: AS-20 'Kayak')
3M24 Uran (SS-N-25 'Switchblade')
3K60 Bal (SSC-6 'Sennight')
Kh-35E in MAKS-2009
Surface-to-surface missile
Cruise missile
Anti-ship missile
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service2003
Used byRussian Navy
Indian Navy
Vietnam People's Navy
Production history
ManufacturerTactical Missiles Corporation
Unit cost$500,000 (2010)[1]
Produced1996 for export, 2003 for Russia
Mass520 kg (1,150 lb)[2] (air version)
610 kg (1,340 lb)[2] (surface & heli version)
Length385 cm (152 in)[2] (air version)
440 cm (173 in)[2] (surface & heli version)
Diameter42.0 cm (16.5 in)[2]
Wingspan133 cm (52.4 in)[2]
WarheadHE fragmentation shaped charge
Warhead weight145 kg (320 lb)[2]

EngineR95TP-300 Turbofan[3][4]
360 kgf
130 km (70 nmi)
300 km (160 nmi) (upgrade version, 2015)[5]
Flight altitude10-15 m en route and about 4 m at terminal area
Maximum speed Mach 0.8 – Mach 0.85 (609–647 mph; 980–1,041 km/h)
inertial guidance and ARGS-35E X-band terminal active radar homing[6]
Tupolev Tu-142, Su-24, MiG-29M/K, Sukhoi Su-35, Su-27SM, Su-30MKI//Su-30SM, Su-34, HAL Tejas, Ka-27, Ka-28,[2][7] Ka-52, Su-57,[citation needed] also ships and boats, coastal, ALCM, TEL variants.

The Zvezda Kh-35 (Russian: Х-35 , AS-20 'Kayak') is a Soviet turbojet subsonic cruise[8] anti-ship missile. The missile can be launched from helicopters, surface ships and coastal defence batteries with the help of a rocket booster, in which case it is known as Uran ('Uranus', SS-N-25 'Switchblade', GRAU 3M24) or Bal (SSC-6 'Sennight', GRAU 3K60). It is designed to attack vessels up to 5,000 tonnes.[2]


The previous anti-ship missiles made in USSR were highly capable, but they also were large and expensive. Therefore, the Soviet Navy found that a similar, small and very low flying missile would be useful. This new system was planned as small, cheap, and easy to install missile for a variety of platforms. This new system, called 3M24 Uran (in western nomenclature, SS-N-25) was originally meant for small surface combatants such as frigates, like the Krivak, Gepard and Neustrashimy. It was the answer to western missiles like the US Harpoon. Informally, it was also known as 'Harpoonski', as it was broadly comparable, especially in appearance, with the American missile.[9]

The initial development started in Zvezda-Strela State Scientific-Industrial Center (GNPTs) group in 1972 or 1977, depending on the sources.[10] Zvezda received the official go ahead to begin work on the Kh-35 in 1983-1984 by a decree of the USSR Council of Ministers and the USSR CPSU Central Committee to arm ships of medium tonnage.[citation needed]

Test launches began in 1985, but there were several problems and failures with the miniaturized active radar system. It was first displayed in 1992 and listed as only being intended for export, when it was, in fact, not yet for production. In 1994 India ordered Uran missiles (the Kh-35E export variant). This led to the full development, and deliveries started to the Indian Navy in 1996. Russia adopted it only in 2003 (for ships), and 2004 (Bal, coastal system). The air-launched variant (originally made for Indian Il-38SD patrol aircraft) was completed in 2005 and later deployed on Russian Federation aircraft.

The KH-35 can be considered the successor to the SS-N-2 Styx missile, albeit much smaller and more modern. It boasts greater range than legacy missile systems, and is much cheaper than other contemporary anti-ship missiles like Kalibr or Oniks, costing an estimated $500,000 USD per missile.


Cross-section of the active radar homing head of a Kh-35E missile at MAKS 2005
Kh-35E model at MAKS 2009

The Kh-35 missile is a subsonic weapon featuring a normal aerodynamic configuration with cruciform wings and fins and a semisubmerged air duct intake. The propulsion unit is a turbofan engine. The missile is guided to its target at the final leg of the trajectory by commands fed from the active radar homing head and the radio altimeter.[2]

Target designation data can be introduced into the missile from the launch aircraft or ship or external sources. Flight mission data is inserted into the missile control system after input of target coordinates. An inertial system controls the missile in flight, stabilizes it at an assigned altitude and brings it to a target location area. At a certain target range, the homing head is switched on to search for, lock on and track the target. The inertial control system then turns the missile toward the target and changes its flight altitude to an extremely low one. At this altitude, the missile continues the process of homing by the data fed from the homing head and the inertial control system until a hit is obtained.[citation needed]

The Kh-35 can be employed in fair and adverse weather conditions at sea states up to 5–6, by day and night, under enemy fire and electronic countermeasures. Its aerodynamic configuration is optimized for high subsonic-speed sea-skimming flight to ensure stealthy characteristics of the missile. The missile has low signatures thanks to its small dimensions, sea-skimming capability and a special guidance algorithm ensuring highly secure operational modes of the active radar seeker.[citation needed]

Its ARGS-35E active radar seeker operates in both single and multiple missile launch modes, acquiring and locking on targets at a maximum range of up to 20 km.[11] A new radar seeker, Gran-KE has been developed by SPE Radar MMS[12] and will be replacing the existing ARGS-35E X band seeker.[13]

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

Operational history

The Kh-35 missile entered service with Russian Navy only in 2003. In July 2003, the system created by the "Tactical Missiles Corporation" passed the state tests and began to come into service of ships of the Russian Navy. Today it is generally accepted[by whom?] that in the criterion of "cost-effectiveness", "Uran-E" is one of the best systems in the world.[15] It has also been acquired by India.[16] The Bal coastal missile system showed excellent results in state tests in the fall of 2004, and entered service in 2008.[17] The tests of the upgraded Kh-35UE missile were completed as of June 2021.[18]

A Bal system has four self-propelled launcher vehicles each carrying eight missiles for a total of 32 missiles in a salvo, plus reloads for another wave. The launchers can be up to 10 km from the coast and hit targets at ranges up to 120 km (75 mi; 65 nmi).[19] Currently, the Bal system is equipped with an upgraded version of the Kh-35E increasing the range to 300 km (190 mi; 160 nmi).[20][21] At IMDS 2019, a new version of the Russian Bal-E coastal defence system was presented for the first time. The four-tube Rubezh-ME, dedicated to the export market, is based on a Kamaz 63501 8x8 chassis which is more compact than the MZKT-7930 of the original Bal-E.[22][23] As reported on October 19, 2021 by the TASS news agency, a new missile of the Bal coastal missile complex developed and manufactured by Tactical Missile Armament Corporation (KTRV) will allow hitting targets at a distance of over 500 km. The new capabilities of the complex made it comparable in range and the possibility of firing on the ground with the Bastion missile system using the Onyx supersonic missile, a source in the defense industry said.[24]


The KT-184 quadruple launcher mounted on Russian frigate Yaroslav Mudry


Map with Kh-35 operators in blue

Current operators

Failed bid

See also


  1. ^ "Annual Report", Tactical Missiles Corporation (2010), p.92.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Aerospace Systems Export Catalogue" (PDF). Rosoboronexport. p. 123. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2007.
  3. ^ "About". Aero-Engine Scientific and Technical Complex «Soyuz».
  4. ^ "ОАО "АМНТК "Союз" – Продукция – Авиационные двигатели". 2 February 2012. Archived from the original on 2 February 2012.
  5. ^ Ponomarev, Vadim (25 May 2015). "Новая ракета X-35: гроза американских эсминцев" [New X-35 missile: the terror of American destroyers]. Expert (in Russian). Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  6. ^ "ARGS-35E (Algeria), Airborne fire-control radars". Jane's. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  7. ^ "Kh-35U ASM enters Su-35S fighter jet weapon package". 24 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Kh-35 (AS-20 "Kayak") Anti-Ship Cruise Missile". Archived from the original on 22 June 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
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  10. ^ "Zvezda Kh-35". Archived from the original on 16 April 2022. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  11. ^ a b c "Tactical Anti-Ship Missile Kh-35E". JSC Tactical Missiles Corporation. Archived from the original on 24 May 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Радиолокационная Головка АРГС-35Э" [ARGS-35E Radar]. Radar-MMS (in Russian). Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  13. ^ "Russia: JSC Tactical Missile Arms Presents New Target Seeker". Naval Today. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Tactical Guided Missile Kh-35UE". JSC Tactical Missiles Corporation. Archived from the original on 21 October 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  15. ^ ""Уран-Э": рождение конструкторского замысла" ["Uran-E": the birth of a design concept]. Nezavisimaya Gazeta (in Russian). 20 January 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  16. ^ "Kh-37". Jane's Air-Launched Weapons. 1 August 2008.[dead link]
  17. ^ "Бал-Э» принят на вооружение" ["Bal-E" is put into service]. National Defence (in Russian). Archived from the original on 12 November 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  18. ^ "Глава КТРВ Обносов: мы разрабатываем новое морское оружие России".
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  24. ^ "Russia's Bal coastal defense system to strike targets at over 500 km with new missile".
  25. ^ ""Тактическое ракетное вооружение" за три года запустило в серию 14 видов ракет" ["Tactical Missile Armament" has launched 14 types of missiles into series in three years]. ТАSS (in Russian). 1 July 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
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  27. ^ a b "ОАО "Корпорация Тактическое Ракетное Вооружение"". Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  28. ^ Butowski, Piotr (2022). Ka-52 Hokum. Stamford, UK: Key Publishing. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-80282-269-4.
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External sources

Media related to Zvezda Kh-35 at Wikimedia Commons