Reconnaissance and attack helicopter Ka-52 “Alligator” during testing of guided missiles “Whirlwind”.
The Kalashnikov group of companies together with the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Ministry of Defense, KBP JSC, and NCV Mil and Kamov JSC have successfully completed flight tests of the modernized Vikhr guided missiles. During the tests, 22 missile launches were made from the Ka-52 Alligator reconnaissance and attack helicopter at the training ground of the Russian Ministry of Defense. The tests were shown in the video in full detail and from different angles. The manufacturer claims that the launches have confirmed the effectiveness of improvements to the improved ammunition.
It is reported that as part of the modernization, the probability of hitting a target during short-range launches was increased, and stability in flight was increased. All these qualitative changes were achieved without changing the tactical and technical characteristics of the rocket. Earlier it was reported that work was carried out to assess the possibility of high-precision destruction of targets at ranges of up to 10 kilometers. The company reports that the work on improving the rocket was carried out on an initiative basis. At the same time, it is not specified whether work on the rocket has been completed or whether its improvement will continue.
Work on the modernization of the Vikhr aircraft guided missile was reported in February this year. The work was planned as part of the program for the unification of the armament of the Russian Ka-52, Mi-28N “Night Hunter” and Mi-28NM attack helicopters. Initially, the missile was intended for Ka-52 helicopters and front-line attack aircraft Su-25.
The 9K121M Vikhr-M missile system with the 9M127-1 Vikhr-1 missile was developed at the end of the eighties at the Tula Instrument Design Bureau, was officially adopted in 1992, but mass production began only in 2013, when it was signed a contract for the production of missiles in the amount of 13 billion rubles. Active rearmament with a new missile system was carried out in the period from 2013 to 2015. It was reported that in 2021 the Russian Ministry of Defense received a batch of Vikhr-1 anti-tank missiles from the Kalashnikov group of companies ahead of the state defense order plan.
A tank blown up by a Vikhr guided missile during tests at the Russian Defense Ministry's training ground.
Opportunities and goals
The complex includes a 9M127 supersonic missile guided by a laser beam, an APU-8 or APU-6 launcher, and the I-251 Shkval missile guidance and flight control system. The 9M127 rocket is made according to the Duck aerodynamic design with a folding wing.
The main purpose of the missile is to defeat enemy fortifications, as well as armored vehicles, including those with active armor. The Whirlwind is considered one of the most effective anti-tank weapons in the world. The tandem cumulative warhead penetrates 750 mm of homogeneous armor (this is cast armor, which has undergone a processing process in a special squeezing mechanism) behind ERA. The missile is capable of destroying air targets at speeds up to 800 km / h. The launch height is up to 4000 meters, and the maximum firing range is 10 kilometers. The speed of the rocket is 2196 km / h, the supersonic flight speed of the rocket is provided to reduce the time spent by a helicopter or aircraft in the zone of influence of air defense systems and, accordingly, to increase its survivability.
The production of Vikhr guided missiles has recently become the largest export and domestic direction in the production activities of the Kalashnikov group of companies. To speed up the production of these missiles, the staff was increased by 30 percent, and production was switched to work in three shifts. In April 2016, it was announced that a two-year contract was signed for the supply of Vortexes for an unnamed foreign customer. This happened after the conclusion of a contract with Egypt for the supply of 46 Ka-52 attack helicopters. In parallel with this, a three-year contract was signed with the Ministry of Defense to continue the production of these missiles.