What will be the hypersonic missile system “Klevok-D2”

Launch of a rocket complex “Hermes”

It became known about the beginning of research work on the creation of a promising interspecific missile system with hypersonic ammunition. The project “Klevok-D2” is proposed by the Tula Instrument Design Bureau named after V.I. Academician Shipunov and provides for a deep modernization of the existing Hermes complex. Despite the earliest stages of work, the main features of the project are already known, which makes it possible to make the first predictions.

According to known data …

The first mentions of the Klevok project date back to the nineties. Subsequently, on the basis of the developments of this project, the interspecific missile complex “Hermes” was created. In various designs, it can be used on land and aircraft platforms. The first demonstration of the ground-based version of Hermes took place only a few months ago, and soon after that a new project, Klevok-D2, was launched.

The wave of publications about the Klevok-D2 complex in the domestic media began a few days ago after a corresponding article appeared in Izvestia. Referring to its sources and documents of the defense industry, the publication described the main features of the current research and development and requirements for the future missile system. Specialists’ assessments were also given.

It is curious that by this time some documents on the project were already in the public domain. So, back in September, information on two tenders of the Tula KBP was published on the State Procurement website. The enterprise asked for proposals for two studies with the code “Klevok-D2”. Requests were accompanied by terms of reference.


“Hermes” in flight, the starting engine is running

Purchase No. 32009541542 stipulates the conduct of an integral part of research work with the code “Klevok-D2-Caliber”. The topic is designated as “substantiation of the possibility of creating an interspecific extended-range missile through the use of a ramjet engine.” Purchase No. 32009541559 launches the Klevok-D2-Aircraft R&D midrange – “substantiation of the possibility of creating an extended-range interspecies missile by optimizing the aerodynamic characteristics of the sustainer stage with a ramjet engine”

Research “Caliber”

SCH R&D “Klevok-D2-Caliber” is carried out in order to determine the possibility of creating a new version of “Hermes” with a ramjet propulsion system. Having substantiated the possibility of solving such a problem, the contractor must work out the design of the sustainer ramjet engine. This should take into account the different requirements for the rocket and its components.

A missile with a ramjet engine must have a launch mass of no more than 150 kg and fit into a transport and launch container with an inner diameter of 207 mm. The product should consist of a sustainer stage and a 23Ya6 dumped starting engine, having a mass of approx. 67 kg. Payload – warhead length approx. 1.5 m and weighing 56.6 kg.

A possible general view of such a rocket is given in the terms of reference for the MF NIR. In the figure presented, the marching stage has a torpedo-shaped body with a combat load and control equipment. In the bow there are rudders that can be folded out in flight. The tapered tail section of the product carries a cylindrical casing – probably a ramjet engine. It is connected to a starting engine in a cylindrical housing with tail fins.


Possible appearance of the Klevok-D2 rocket in the launch configuration – graphics from the technical assignment for R&D Caliber

The ramjet engine for the Klevok-D2 rocket should consist of a gas generator and an afterburner. Its developers will have to determine the optimal design and select the most efficient fuel. The terms of reference stipulate research on the use of polypropylene as fuel. It is necessary to determine the parameters of its gasification and combustion, to investigate the possibility of starting self-sustained combustion, and also to study the operation of such a ramjet in different modes.

In the terms of reference on the topic “Klevok-D2-Airplane” it is indicated that the ramjet must carry a charge of fuel weighing 12 kg, sufficient to operate for 42 seconds. By the time the stages are separated and the propulsion engine is launched, the rocket should rise to an altitude of 610-650 m and develop a speed of 971 m / s (approx. 3495 km / h or 2.85 M).

Theme “Plane”

As part of the second component of the research work with the code “Airplane”, aeroballistic design of the sustainer stage with a ramjet engine should be carried out. It is necessary to find the optimal contours of the sustainer stage and the shape of the protruding parts, as well as to determine the rational flight paths for the maximum range.

The main stage glider needs to be made metal using serial alloys. Some elements that are bodies of revolution can be made of composites. The necessity of using folding rudders and empennage that fit into the internal dimensions of the TPK has been discussed. In flight, roll stabilization should be provided by aerodynamic rudders. They also provide trajectory hold and target guidance.


Main stage and starter motor separately

In the terms of reference for “Klevok-D2-Airplane” there is a drawing showing the possible appearance of the rocket and the principle of operation of its aerodynamic surfaces. Shown “product” outwardly does not differ much from the diagrams given in another document.

Development potential

The task of research work “Klevok-D2” is the further development of the results of the project “Klevok” / “Hermes” with the use of new technologies – to improve the main tactical and technical characteristics. At the same time, the exact parameters of the complex are still unknown, they will be determined in the course of future research and design work.

However, knowing the characteristics and capabilities of the Hermes complex, one can make predictions about the potential of the future Klevka-D2. According to known data, the two-stage rocket “Hermes” has a length of less than 3.5 m, a launch weight of approx. 125-130 kg and carries a 28-kg warhead. The product develops a maximum speed of 1 km / s (half the average) and flies 100 km. The flight to the target area is carried out using inertial navigation, after which an unnamed homing head is activated.

The Klevok-D2 missile with the same dimensions can be 20-25 kg heavier – such an increase in mass is provided by a new warhead of increased power. At the same time, it will fly faster and further. Already at the time of resetting the starting engine, the rocket speed should exceed 970 m / s, after which the ramjet engine will be turned on. It is obvious that the use of such a power plant makes sense at hypersonic cruising speeds of at least 1500-2000 m / s. The launch range should significantly exceed 100 km of “Hermes” – otherwise the project becomes impractical.

From project to troops

The hypothetical hypersonic missile system Klevok-D2 may be of great interest to the Russian army, both independently and in combination with the existing Hermes. Such systems will make it possible to deliver fast and high-precision strikes against various targets at a great depth of defense. The complexes are interspecific, which allows them to be used in the ground forces, in the Air Force and the Navy – in the appropriate configurations with various differences.


The expected appearance of the rocket from the terms of reference for “Klevok-D2-Airplane”

In terms of range and accuracy of fire, “Klevok-D2” will be able to surpass all existing samples of cannon and rocket artillery. At the same time, in terms of range, such a product can be compared with some operational-tactical missile systems, although it will lose to them in impact on the target. In general, the existing “Hermes” and the “Klevok-D2” under study are of great interest to the army, and we should expect the appearance of purchase contracts.

However, one should not be too optimistic for now. Klevok-D2 is at the earliest stages of research and development. The defense industry has to conduct the necessary research and determine the fundamental possibility of creating a missile system with given characteristics. Upon successful completion of this stage, it is possible to launch the design – if such an order is received from the Ministry of Defense.

It will take several years to carry out all the necessary work, and the overall complexity of the tasks set can lead to an increase in the required time. It is unlikely that a ready-made complex “Klevok-D2” will appear and will be tested earlier than the middle of this decade. Taking into account the further necessary work, it can be assumed that he will get into the army only by the beginning of the thirties. However, the result of this expectation will be the emergence of a fundamentally new weapon with the highest combat qualities among several combat arms.

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