Soviet Naval SAM Projects


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Some time ago I posted some material on abortive Soviet nuclear cruisers; the Project 63, 81 and 1126 designs which never left the drawing boards owing to the abandonment of the large ship under Khrushchev.

I've been going back over what information I have and I want to see if anyone here has any more information on the proposed long-range SAM systems that were to be developed for these ships but cancelled in 1961.

One proposal for Project 63 is armed with two twin SM-68 or SM-69 twin launchers for the M-3 system firing the V-800 missile. Normal missile load for this massive design was to be 10 missiles per launcher. I believe the missile probably would have been command guided like the M-1 (SA-N-1) and M-2 (SA-N-2) systems with the ability to guide 2 or 3 missiles at the same target. Guidance would to be provided by two 'Fregat' fire control directors and the system's range was to be approximately 55 kilometres. As for the missile itself it was about 20m long and probably armed with a blast-fragmentation warhead. See below for a scanned picture.

Another competing weapon system was the M-31 system firing a modified 2K11'Krug' missile, again using two twin launchers (type unknown but modified SM-68 or -69 launchers seem likely for the size of the missile). The missile, like its ground counterpart, would be a beam rider for mid-course control with semi-active radar homing in the terminal phase. The liquid-fuelled ramjet with four strap-on wrap-around solid-fuel boosters probably wouldn't be altered but I'd expect some changes to the fins to allow for vertical relaoding and easier stowage below decks and to better fit a twin-rail launcher. It would probably share the same 150 kilogram blast-fragmentation warhead and have a range of 50 kilometres. Given the Krug-A (the second main production variant of this missile) had much better low-altitude performance than that expected of M-3 this might have been the better weapon and has the better guidance system. As was the V-800, this is a bulky missile and 10 rounds per launcher is probably a reasonable expected load. One fire control radar could guide two missiles at the same target but some designs have four radars and four rails which enables a much more flexible system.
Either of these long-range missiles would be supported by two M-11 'Shtorm' systems using the V-611 missile (SA-N-3 'Goblet').


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The Fakel history from 2003 by Vladimir Korovin (Rakety Fakela) had a water-color illustration of the missile on its launcher, here below. Not a lot of detail on the system as presumably Altair or one of the other bureaus was assigned to that task. I don't think Altair has ever published a bureau history.


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interesting that the boosters are wrapped around the forward end of the missile, Seaslug style...

How would the missile have been stored? With the apparent positioning of the boosters I would guess it would have to be stored inverted - a la SAN4.

The big Shirokorad book on Soviet missiles and his Tekhnika i Vooruzhenie special on Soviet naval missiles state that the launcher was designated as SM-68 and developed by TsKB-34. The Project 63 and 64 warships were supposed to be fit with 2 launch systems, 20 V-800 missiles and 2 Fregat fire control systems; Project 81 was supposed to have 40 V-800 missiles. There are no descriptions of the missile stowage and no illustrations. The Nevskiy Bastion booklet on the S-300 system provides rough cross-sections of the ships, but the detail is not especially good so it's not possible to figure out the stowage. This website has those drawings along with some of the sketches of other early naval SAMs:
I thought I was pretty much up to speed on Soviet weaponry, but I've never heard of this in relation to Soviet warships - HIVUSAN.

It is mentioned in a 1978 paper on VC10 tankers and HIVSAN posed a threat to antiship Buccaneers (and forthcoming Tornados).

Anybody have any idea what it is?

Interesting. I take it NASR 1226 is Sea Eagle? Could it simply be, given the context, High-Value Unit Surface-Air (Naval)?
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I'm not sure I would buy that specific breakout either, but I agree with Minnow that a term like HIVUSAN is likely to be a category of systems rather than one specific weapon system. And I think the last part might well be right, given the use of SA-N-X in NATO codenames for Soviet naval SAMs.

It's likely that the long form without the initialism attached is lurking somewhere in the full paper, IMO.
To throw in my two pennies, I've already suggested to Chris that the HIVUSAN is probably the S-300F Fort system given the date of the file (1978) which had entered trials aboard the modified Kara-class Azov the previous year.

Given that it would only be fitted to large ships, it is possible that it means High Value Unit SA-N i.e. a SAM for high value units. Presumably it's a brief stand-in acronym until SA-N-6 'Grumble' was allocated?
Thanks for your conjecture but I am looking for something more... definitive.

If they were discussing the missile, would it not just be 'SA-X-N' or variation thereof?



I did suggest High AltItude Vertical LaUch SA-N or High-speed Interception Vertical LaUch SA-N or HIgh Velocity SA-N (no idea where the 'U' goes here though) which again would fit SA-N-6.
All sound torturous though as acronyms. The MoD wallah who wrote this could have just said "long-range SAMs" and be done with it...

I've been through a 100+ page acronyms guide from the 80s/90s that I found online a while back and had no success.
To throw in my two pennies, I've already suggested to Chris that the HIVUSAN is probably the S-300F Fort system given the date of the file (1978) which had entered trials aboard the modified Kara-class Azov the previous year.

Given that it would only be fitted to large ships, it is possible that it means High Value Unit SA-N i.e. a SAM for high value units. Presumably it's a brief stand-in acronym until SA-N-6 'Grumble' was allocated?
I'd be strongly inclined to agree with this hypothesis.

After having a look at various databases (not all publicly available) for a couple of obvious variations on HIVUSAN, I've come up with nothing. I don't know how the English language got tortured to get there, but I'm guessing it's some variation on what's already been suggested. Probably filtered through at least one poor-quality phone line.
True, but as you say, why not just write 'new Soviet SAM' or 'SA-X-N'? Could this refer to a completely new Soviet integrated air defence system ie radars, guidance system, CIWS.

My MoD glossary of such things doesn't mention it.
To avoid endless games of 'SPF does Countdown' or a Fr Todd Unctious situation


I now suspect that HIVUSAN is a typo.

In DEFE 19/226 two instances of a similar term appear (all of which support previous suggestions)



There is also mention of 'Soviet Seawolf and Improved Sea Dart' in the same file.

Typo? There's plenty of those in the same file eg 'tap up' rather than 'top up', unless football player transfer terminology was in use in 1976.

Who typed the memos? Were they dictated? Its possible an unfamiliar term got slightly garbled.

High Value [Unit] SAM, HIVU SAN, HVU SAM could all be interpretations of the same acronym read aloud.
Yes HIVUSAN seems to be a typo/garbled HVU SAN I think.

Given the dates of the other samples, 1976, I am wondering if this is more of a conceptual system?
S-300P (SA-10 'Grumble') began trials in 1975 and wasn't operational until 1978. The US/NATO seemed pretty well informed about Soviet developments, but the first question is - when did NATO become aware of S-300?

The implication of the 1976 documents seems to be that planners were assuming that whatever S-300 was, it would appear on ships. Which of course it did from 1977 as S-300F for trials and ultimately appearing in 1984.

In 1979 Jane's makes no mention of SA-N-6 and indeed assumes the "Sovietsky Soyuz" [Kirov as we know it, Jane's Kirov-class was what we would today know as the Slava but at the time was thought to be a cruiser with a 180mm gun system] would have SA-N-3 'Goblet', and of Azov (the S-300 trials ship) it says "Azov is reported as being the trials ship for the new SAM system designed for the eighth and subsequent ships of this class." Then follows a curious passage; "In Petropavlovsk and Tashkent a new missile system, possibly SA-N-10 and similar to that in the "Kashin" class Provorny is mounted just forward of the bridge. This is reported to be a Mach 6 missile designed to combat cruise missiles." Provony's new system is not identified in this edition but was the 3S90 Uragan (in reality designated SA-N-7 'Gadfly') which certainly does not fit Jane's description although it does fit the S-300 aboard Azov!
This shows the state of confusion, Petropavlovsk and Tashkent had bog standard 'Goblets' and the Uruagan and Fort systems seem to be mixed up.

But in 1980 Jane's described SA-N-6 as "The introduction of the SA-N-6 missile with a ceiling of about 100,000ft, a range of between 6 and 50 miles, a 200lb warhead and a speed of Mach 6 has proved a formidable new anti-aircraft missile defence." Much more concrete information had appeared within a year given the confusion of 1979.
In reality S-300F used the 5V55RM missile with an engagement altitude of 82–82,000ft), range of 4-56 miles, speed Mach 4. It wasn't until the S-300FM (SA-N-20) of 1990 that Mach 6 was attained and a ceiling of 88,000ft, so the initial estimates of the time were very optimistic.

All this leads me to believe the HVU SAN is a conceptual Grumble-esque naval development, a very fast and very high altitude missile. Given that Sea Eagle had a max range of 68 miles I can see why the MoD and RN would be worried.

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