Meteorit missile system


I look at pictures all day
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24 January 2006
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I've seen two definite and two possible photos of Meteorit. Have any other images surfaced? I'll post what I have tonight after I get home. Also, was the ground-launched missile ever tested? From what I know the Meteorit was fired from a converted Yankee SSBN and from a Tu-95MA. There was supposed to be another version that was ground launched, and this might actually have been two separate missiles; one a cruise missile for land strike, one a cruise missile for coastal defense.
Someone called? ;D

The ground launched Meteorit (Meteorit-N) is something of a mystery to me. I've only seen it mentioned on a few Russian web pages, plus there is the SSC-X-5 ____-designation. (Someone more knowledgeable may fill in the correct abbreviation.)
Before air and submarine test launches the missile was tested from ground stands, and I suspect it could be possible that the Western intelligence took that as an indication of the development of a GLCM variant. This would also nicely have been similar to the Kh-55/RK-55/S-10 missile family. Regarding a coastal defense version, could it be a case of misinterpreting the 'SSC'-designation?
What I would really like to know is the TEL for the ground-launched version, if it really existed. We have even seen TELs for missiles like Kurier and Skorost, but nothing for the Meteorit-N.

I'll comment further when SOC has posted what he has.
I thought Meteorit-N was the naval one? At any rate there doesn't actually appear to have been an SSC-X designator; I think there might have been at one time, but right now SSC-X-5 and SSC-X-6 are Yakhont and Uran/Bal (in that order). At any rate, I'll post again later on tonight when I'm at home.
The larger cruise missile is being developed as a sea-based system that has been designated the SS-NX-24. A newly converted YANKEE Class nuclear-powered cruise missile attack submarine (SSGN) will be the test platform for the SS-NX-24. A ground-based variant of this missile may be in development. The SS-NX-24 could be operational within the next two years, and the ground-based version sometime after that.

Soviet Military Power, 1985


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I cut this out from the background.

Second pic is from Aviation Week.


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That last one looks like it should be Meteorit, but it doesn't have the right tail section. My current theory is that that one is the sub-launched variant.
Matej's picture is the original I based my cutout on. I find it easier to appreciate the shape on a plain background.
If you ask me the odd picture is missing the very end section, the part with the three tail surfaces on it.

For completeness:


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Well you guys have already posted all the photos I have. Guess that means no more have surfaced yet. Here's some of the info I have:

-Meteorit was conceived as a result of the 1968 Ekho study which resulted in a 1976 requirement for a new weapon. The Kh-55 was developed to meet the same requirement, but Chelomei's Meteorit was a far more advanced design.

-Meteorit was apparently conceived as the same kind of system as the Kh-55, whereby it would fill multiple roles (surface/sub/air launched).

-The initial DoD designation was BL-10, as the weapon was tested (?) at Barnaul.

-The Meteorit was conceived as a weapon for external carriage by the Tu-95; it was associated with the Tu-160 by the DoD as it was revealed to them in 1988 when Carlucci was shown a Tu-160 at Kubinka.

-Meteorit-A was air launched, Meteorit-M was sub launched, and Meteorit-N was ground launched. The missile was called Kh-80.

-The first air launch was 20 May 1980, first sub launch was 26 December 1983. By 1984 over twenty had been fired and only one managed to reach the design range of 5,000 km due to a troubled and unsuccessful trials program. Meteorit was apparently cancelled as an active project in 1984 but work may have continued in some form.

-Raduga's GELA (Kh-90) began trials in 1994 and may have used technology or some components from the Meteorit program.

-A low-cost version of Meteorit was proposed in 1998 after being developed.

-The Meteorit or GELA may have been used to trial the "Marabou" plasma stealth system.

-Meteorit was designed to carry twin 90 kiloton nuclear warheads able to be ejected at targets 100 km apart. Max range was around 3,000 km (shorter than the design range?) and the missile flew at 70,000 feet at Mach 3 before performing a steep terminal dive to the target.
3M-25 meteorit (P-750)
the strategic universal rocket

In the middle 70s V. N. Chelomei it returns to the idea of the creation of strategic cruise missile. At the end 50- X OF THE USSR and USA already forewent this undertaking in favour OF MBR, since KR, flying at a high altitude, could not overcome PVO - AIR DEFENCE of enemy.

On 9 December of 1976 g. left the decision S about the development of the universal strategic cruise missile of 3M-25 Meteorit in TSKBM. By the same PSM was assigned the development of subsonic KR Kh-55 in BAR “Raduga”.

Was created the fundamentally new class of sea strategic armaments - supersonic (M 2.5-3.0) KR with the distance of more than 5000 km the selection of distance was determined by the tendency to avoid the approach of the underwater of boat- medium into the zone of the active antisubmarine defence OF THE USA. Furthermore, it was necessary to destroy the territory of enemy at the sufficiently large depth.

Rocket had to be launched from the above-ground launchers, the nuclear-powered submarines 949M and strategic bombers Tu-95 and Tu-160.

The universal strategic OF KR “Meteorit” had to have a cruise speed and a flight altitude practically the same as KR 1950s - “Navaho”, “Burya”, “snow-storm”. But in contrast to them the inertial system for control was augmented by the radar system of correction on read area relief. With the creation of rocket were found many original technical decisions, which ensure endurance flight KR at height more than 20 c.c. with the velocity of more than 3500 km/h. Rocket had a complex of overcoming PRO. Large sizes determined significant EPR, but defence KR had to become not only velocity and the height, but also the special equipment, which created after the winged missile the long tail of ionised air, which impedes the exact induction of surface-to-air missiles (Plasma Stealth technologies).

The preliminary design of complex developed in 1977 g. as the media it was intended to use the submarines of Pr.949, modernised on the rest of 949M. However the design studies, which executed LPMB “ruby” together with TSKBM, they showed that for positioning the rockets of 3M-25 in the launch cannisters of missile complex “Granit” is necessary a radical change of constructing the rocket in view of its large length, but it will be necessary to increase the length of ship on 5-7 m. of a attempt at the creation of the standardised equipment for both complexes by success they did not crown for the installation of the second set of equipment for control.

Structurally rocket was executed according to canard configuration. March step had the swept folding wing and well-made vertical tail assembly. It is equipped with the sustainer turbojet engine of development KB of Ufa motor-building strategic formation. The air duct of sustainer engine is placed below fuselage.

The sea and surface versions of the rocket “Meteorit” were additionally equipped with two starting liquid boosters, but air version “Meteorit-A” did not have them.

The missile-firing distance “Meteorit-A” composed to 5000 km the height of sustained flight - 22-24 km with the velocity of approximately 3000 km/h.

The first test starting “Meteorit” from the ground stand took place on 20 May of 1980 g. rocket it did not move out the container and it partially broke. Those following 3 startings were also unsuccessful. Only on 16 December 1981 g. rocket flew about 50 km.

Here, what writes about the flight tests of cruise medium-range missile “meteorite” Yu. Of [mozzhorin] - whereas with the first testing, at the moment of the squad of the boosters, cruise missile overturned and fell. All data about aerodynamics of rocket put out TsAGI. Reason for accident - neglect of influence on the behaviour of the rocket of the jets of the low powder runners, which discharge from it the worked out boosters. The jets of runners distorted the nature of flow it was wing rocket, causing the strong moment of its listing.
The ship tests of complex initially it was intended to conduct with one of the submarines of Pr.675, but subsequently, at the sentence OF LPMB “Ruby”, was made the decision to re-equip for this purpose one of RPK STHENE Pr.667A, deduced from the composition of the strategic forces by agreement OF OSV-1, keeping in mind not only carrying out on this PL of tests, but also the subsequent operation of boat as combat unit. For the reequipment isolated PL K-420 (head of №432), on which rocket compartments were cut out and annihilated and the associated repair was executed. Construction plant was designated [Sevmashpredprijatie].
Engineering design of reequipment APL the rest of 667A for missile complex “Meteorit-M” (Pr.667M) LPMB “Ruby” developed in 1 quarter 1979 g. by project it was provided for the arrangement of 12 launch cannisters with the rockets of 3M-25, located [pobortno] out of the durable corps - in the [mezhdubortnom] space at angle of 45”. For this it was necessary to form the new average unit of the corps of the instead of cut out rocket compartments of base [PL], to increase the length of ship approximately on 20 m and width to 15 m, which led to a change in the architectural configuration [PL] after reequipment. In the new compartments was accomodated the equipment for prelaunch servicing procedure and starting “clover”, equipment for control of the ship systems of daily and prelaunch maintenance (AU KSPPO) “Hawk-44”, pneumo-hydraulic system [KSPPO], and also habitable and public- everyday crew compartments.
A certain recomposition they produced also in the central station in connexion with the installation of the new system for control of the complex of rocket weapon “Andromeda”, new navigation complex “TOBOL- AT”, the complex of radio communication equipment “Molniya-LM1” and the hydroacoustic complex “Rubikon”. With the target of the retention of boat in the starting corridor with the volley aire they installed the system of control “Bohr”.
Work on reequipment and repair [PL] conducted [Sevmashpredprijatiem] by exceptionally rapid rates. Thus, on 18 June of 1980 g. boat was supplied to covered slip, narrower than on 15 October of 1982 g. completely formed [PL] went down to the water, and from 1 November of 1982 g. through 4 August of 1983 g. it was past tie-down and plant road tests. Official tests were passed from 16 August of 1983 g. through 1 November of 1983 g., but without the complex of rocket weapon because of its lack of preparation to the flight design tests aboard ship. The report about the termination of the reequipment of boat for the carrying out of joint testing of complex was designed according to the results of State tests.
The performance of rockets by starting from the ground stand (firing range Of kapustin steep bank) and plavstenda PSK in the Black sea occurred in parallel with the reequipment of ship. In all according to the program of flight design tests from the stands in 1982-1987 yr. were carried out more than 30 launches of the rockets of 3M-25. Although already on 27 December of 1983 g. in the Barents sea were begun the flight design tests of complex with PL, they continued at 1986 g. inclusively (one starting in 1984 g. and one starting in 1986 g.).
The reasons for so prolonged a performance of complex there were several, but the large number of fundamentally new technical decisions, accepted in the project, was, perhaps, principal: “wet” underwater start of cruise missile under the starting- starting step, inertial guidance system with the correction on the radar actual charts area, multifunctional complex of defence and all other these progressive decisions required thorough experimental performance, which led to the repeated repeated tests and, correspondingly, to the multiple transfers of the periods of delivery.
The as a result joint (official) tests of complex “Meteorit-M” began only in 1988 g., first from the ground stand (4 starting), and then with PL (3 of starting). Unfortunately, the number of successful starting in all stages of tests approximately corresponded to the number of unsuccessful, since complex was not nevertheless brought to “the mind”. This circumstance, and also need for building the special-purpose media, led to the fact that on the joint decision of industry and VMF of work on the complex “Meteorit-M” at the end 1989 g. they ended. The ship unit of complex they transmitted to the critical storage to personnel PL, and they put boat itself in 1990 g. to fleet in the torpedo version.
For the tests of aviation version series Tu-95MS №04 was modernised into the carrier aircraft two KR “Meteorit-A”. Rockets were accomodated on the special pylons under the wing, which left free bomb bay. In it, in the limits of the stipulated loads, it was possible to place six antiradar missiles OF THE Kh-15P.
The first starting Tu-95MA on 11 January 1984 was unsuccessful. Rocket flew entirely “not to that steppe” and to 61-[j] to second it was self-liquidated. The following air starting Tu-95MA took place on 24 May of 1984 g. with the same result. Again it was necessary to self-liquidate rocket. At the end 1984 g. of work according to the aviation version “Meteorit” were ended. KR X -55 by this time has already been carried out in series.

Surface strategic complex “Meteorit” (SSC-X-5) it was found in the development.Those developed for the complex “Meteorite” of Stealth- technology was further developed.

Developer TSKBM
Designation the complex “Meteorit-A” P -750 “Meteorit-M” “Meteorit”
the rocket 3M25A 3M25
Designation NATO AS-X-19 SS-NX-24 “Scorpion” SSCX-5
First starting 11 January 1984 26 December 1983 20 May 1980
Type [GSN] inertial and radar with the system of correction on area relief
Geometric and mass characteristics
Length, m 12,8 (12,5-13)
Span of wing, m
Diameter, m
Launching weight, the kgf with the boosters 12650
without the boosters 6300 (4500) 6380
Type of the warhead special
Mass BCH, kgf 1000
Power plant
Sustainer engine TRD TURBOJET ENGINE
Thrust, kG (kN)
Flight-performance data
Velocity, km/h (V=) 3000 (2,5-3) 3500
Launching range, km 5000 (3000) it is more than 5000
Duration of flight, 1h
March flight altitude, m 22000-24000

Information sources:

“The history of air armament” A. B. Of Shirokorad, 1999/
“Tu-95” s. Moroz
“So this was…” Yu. Mozzhorin
“Rocket weapon 1947-2000” M. A. Pervov
Cruise missile “thunder” A. V. Karpenko, “Bastion”
Re-equipment of the missile-carrying atomic submarines of the project of 667A submarine fleet OF THE USSR and Russia
RPKSN the project of 667A, 667AU, 667AM (“navaga”, “burbot”) and their modification. TTKH
Project of 667M
Submarine K-420. the historical information
Battle for the skies M. Kalashnikov

From (
Oh yeah, almost forgot. SSC-X-5 STOOGE (3M55 Yakhont), and SSC-X-6 SENNIGHT (3M24 Uran/Bal) are the correct designators. I have a new spreadsheet I need to send to Andreas so he can update his website (I'm the guy that created the spreadsheet on the Russian page).
“The history of air armament” A. B. Of Shirokorad, 1999"

I have this, Meteorit is described on pages 317/318, will post tomorrow what it says. It does not mention Meteorit-N designation.
Strategic universal rocket “meteorite”

At the end 1950- X yr. in THE USA and THE USSR were created intercontinental ground-launched cruise missiles “[Spark]” and “Navahos”, “snow-storm” and “storm”. They had to fly with supersonic speed at the high altitude (from 18 km and above). Exclusion was subsonic rocket “[Spark]”. But the creation of intercontinental ballistic missiles and high-altitude air defence systems it buried this undertaking, and intercontinental cruise missiles so were not accepted for the armament.

However, in the middle 1970- X yr. Chelomei returned to by this idea it it decided to create universal strategic cruise missile “meteorit”. Moreover cruise speed and flight altitude “meteorit” were almost the same as in “Navahos”, “Buran” and “Burya”. Difference was only in control system rocket. In rockets 1950- X yr. of — is inertial with the system of celestial correction, in Chelomei— inertial with the radar system of correction on read area relief. Thus, from the very beginning the idea of the creation “Meteorit” was vicious.

Nevertheless on 9 December of 1976 g. moved out the decision S about the development of the universal strategic cruise missile OF 3M-25 "Meteorit” in KB Chelomei. Rocket had to be launched from the above-ground launchers, the nuclear-powered submarines of Pr.667 and strategic bombers Tu-95.

Structurally rocket was executed according to canard configuration. March step had the swept folding wing and the folding tail assembly:. the air duct of sustainer engine it was placed below fuselage.

The sea and surface versions of rocket “Meteorit” had a booster stage with the liquid propellant rocket engine, but air version “Meteorit-A” did not have it.

The length of rocket “Meteorit-A” composed 12,8 m, launching weights 6,3 T. the weight of special warhead of approximately 1 T. the range of fire of — to 5000 km the cruise speed of flight of approximately 3000 km/h. March flight altitude of 22—24 km.

From the very beginning tests all versions “Meteorit” pursued failures. The first surface launch “Meteorit” took place on 20 May of 1980. Rocket it did not move out the container and it partially broke. Those following 3 startings were also unsuccessful. Only on 16 December 1981 rocket flew about 50 km.

For the tests “Meteorit-M” (sea basing) the nuclear-powered submarine K -420 of project 667 was re-equipped into the project of 667M. on the boat they placed 12 inclined guides and equipment “Andromeda”.

The first starting “Meteorit-M” with K -420 took place on 26 December 1983 in the Barents sea.

The first starting “Meteorit-A” from the carrier aircraft Tu-95MA on 11 January 1984 was also unsuccessful. Rocket flew entirely “not to that steppe” and after 61 seconds it was self-liquidated. The following air starting Tu-95MA took place on 24 May 1984 with the same result. Again it was necessary to self-liquidate rocket.

Finally, work according to all versions “Meteorit” was ended. Nevertheless almost, until now, Chelomei hope for the resuscitation this project.

A. B. Shirokorad, “The history of air armament” 1999"
Proof of the existence of an SSC-X-5 designation for a Meteorit GLCM. Third line from the top.

I can't think of any other cases where a designation would have been reused for a different missile. Could this mean something about the "Meteorit-N"?


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SSC-X-5 was reused after Meteorit was offed, just like SA-2 and SA-5 were reused as well.
The SA-2 GAFFER was the name applied initially to the V-400 SAM. SA-5 GRIFFON was the 5V11 Dal SAM. GAFFER has also been attributed to the V-1000 ABM. When none of these entered service, various numerical designators (SA-2, SA-5) were reassigned, but they came up with new codenames.

At MAKS 2007 they will show the secret supersonic rocket

At the airshow MAKS 2007 will be demonstrated supersonic cruise missile “Meteorit”, ITAR-TASS reports.

The cruise missile, which has the index of 3M25, was developed in Chelomei in 80th years of past century in three versions - ground-based, sea and aviation and it up to now remained top secret. For the tests of rocket was re-equipped the missile-carrying atomic submarine of the project of 667A and bomber Tu-95.

Rocket was not launched into a series in view of the incomplete refinement of the project, however, in the opinion of specialists, taking into account the progress in the field of electronics, at present the project can be resuscitated.

“Meteorit” differs in the concept from the majority of other strategic cruise missiles 70- of the 80th of the years, which flew to the purpose at the low altitudes and with subsonic speed. It had to overcome PVO of enemy at a altitude of 22-25 kilometers, with a speed of about a kilometer per second. Furthermore, rocket is equipped with the special equipment, which creates after the winged missile the long tail of ionised air, which impedes the exact induction of surface-to-air missiles (Plasma Stealth technologies).
Interesting, there'd been rumors that plasma stealth may have been associated with Meteorit. Someone needs to go to MAKS and get us some photos!
Will make walkaround and upload. Anyone will be here at MAKS, too (except Paralay)?
1st pics of Meteorit from MAKS 2007


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That's pretty cool looking. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Russians must run their military equipment past the art department to make sure it looks cool enough before they put it into production. :D
Any idea what the third picture is showing? Looks like a combination solid-booster attachment point / bypass duct.
Definitely an attachment point for something. It looks quite odd - from above it doesn't look like the same missile design at all somehow. Looking at it you'd think it was designed to fly at LOW level, with the intake and tailfin on the bottom for lower RCS. Unless its been mounted upside down of course...
Looking at the way the wing folds - could it be an attachment point for the wing?

I'll bet it's a wing restraining mount/bypass duct for dumping air overboard. You'll notice there appears to be a kind of vent system there.
I'll try to look from the inside.
Where's the back end? I'm thinking this might be one of the sub-launched versions, with the attachment points being for rocket boosters designed to get it up to speed before engine ignition. Those attachment points don't seem to be present in the images showing the air-launched version.
SOC said:
Where's the back end? I'm thinking this might be one of the sub-launched versions, with the attachment points being for rocket boosters designed to get it up to speed before engine ignition. Those attachment points don't seem to be present in the images showing the air-launched version.

I thought that's what they might be too but they're located up by the intake, I have no idea what the booster configuration is, and with the way the wing folds I'd think they'd need some form of restraining system when folded.
Well, only the ground and sub launched versions had a booster rocket stage, so that's where my idea comes from. No idea why the air-launched version would have an extra tail section, though, seeing as how it's apparently not a booster stage. Maybe it was a later model of the missile designed to deal with some controllability issue? - all I did shoot...could/wanted to shoot today...uncut/unsorted
Air launched version is shown at a short talk with group of NPOMash veterans mystery was solved - this stuffie is bypass duct, attachment points is for cover that jettisoned after missile reaching specific conditions of flight.
Walkaround pics. Thanks flateric...


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If that is in fact the air launched version, then what happened to the back end?

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