19 September 2014
RMAF Kh-31P Anti Radiation Missile (photo : Kementah)
SHAH ALAM: A Sukhoi Su-30MKM of the RMAF is scheduled to fire a Kh-31P anti-radiation missile (ARM) within the next few days.
The supersonic missile will be aimed at a floating radar emitter target that “is being towed as we speak to the range located on the South China Sea,” RMAF Air Operations Commander Lt Jen Datuk Seri Ackbal Abdul Samad.
The target was contracted to Ikramatic Sdn Bhd while RMAF is solely responsible for firing the missile without any support from the manufacturer
Just last week, another Su-30MKM from the 11th Squadron fired the anti-ship version of the Kh-31A at another floating target as part of the integrated missile firing exercise, Ex Angsa 9/2014.
According to the Ackbal, the target for the ARM was located at a different area away from the Ex Angsa site as it needed to be anchored to the sea bed. “The Ex Angsa target is located a site codenamed Alpha while for the ARM the location is known as Bravo
Ackbal said the Kh-31A was the first missile fired at the target, which was followed by the RMN’s Sea Skua and Exocet missiles. The Sea Skua was fired a Super Lyxnx helicopter and Exocet by the frigate, KD Kasturi.
“We decided to fire the Kh-31A first as the Exocet is the bigger missile. However, post firing analysis showed that the Kh-31A made a bigger hole,” he said at the closing ceremony of Ex Angsa today.
Su-30MKM fire KH-31A on Exercise Angsa 2014 (photo : Perajurit)
He did not offer any explaination for the post firing analysis but I believed as the Kh-31A reportedly fly at its target at Mach 2.7, the higher kinetic energy of the impact will be greater than the sub-sonic Exocet.
Asked whether they detected any foreign planes and ships trying to spy on the exercise, Ackbal said they were quite concern about the possibility but they did not detect any such activities during the whole exercise.
Unfortunately, RMAF was only able to supply us with a low res picture of the Kh-31A being fired by the Sukhoi. Hopefully they will have other pictures of the Kh-31 missile the A or P version even of those being loaded on the Sukhoi.
According to SIPRI, 150 Kh-31A/Kh-31P were delivered to Malaysia between 2007-2009 as part of the Su-30MKM deal.
Wikipedia entry on the Kh-31 (AS-17 Krypton) (yes, I know its not the most definitive but hey its free!)
“Kh-31A – active seeker head for use as an anti-shipping missile against vessels up to destroyer size, range of 25 km–50 km (13.5–27 nmi; 15.5–31 mi). Missile is sea-skimming as it approaches the target.
“Kh-31P (Type 77P) – passive seeker head for use as an anti-radiation missile. Stays at high altitude throughout its flight, allowing higher speeds and increasing range to 110 km (60 nmi; 70 mi).