Klub A Air-to-Surface Missile (photo : portierramaryaire)
Sputnik News 28/12, said Russia is ready to sell missile systems Klub-A 3M-54AE to equip Su-30MK2 fighter of the Vietnamese Air Force. 3M-54AE (Klub A) was air launched version of anti-ship missile of Klub missiles family.
Specifically, the two-stage rocket itinerary: stage 1 sea clinging to fly subsonic speed of Mach 0.8 and unexpectedly soared to Mach 2.9 when approaching the target, making the system of strategic defense enemy battleships have very little chance of interception. Klub-A semi-armor piercing warhead weighs 200 kg, while the weight of the missile is reduced to 1,950 kg to suit the vehicle to carry and a maximum range of 300 km reach.
Before declared ready to sell Klub-A, Sputnik said from Russian military sources revealed that Vietnam has in serviced with anti-ship missiles Kh-59MK to equip multirole fighter Su-30MK2.
Su-30MK2 tests fire Kh-59MK missile (photo : ausairpower)
Kh-59MK is anti-ship variant which was developped from the ground cruise missile Kh-59 Ovod (AS-13 Kingbolt), is used to destroy the water target type with a small radar reflector area regardless of day and night, in all weather and wave at sea state up to 6.
A special feature is that it's Kh-59MK carry 2 engines including solid fuel rocket motor placed in the tail and turbofan engine mounted under the fuselage, for subsonic speed of Mach 0.88. The missile weighs 900 kg, 320 kg heavier warhead, physically not enough to destroy large warships.
Kh-59MK attack warships with radar reflector area (RCS) 5000 m² from a distance of 285 km; destroy small lifeboat vessels (RCS 300 m²) from 145 km; smallest range of 5-25 km.
According to the manufacturer, the first self-guided ARGS-59E detected destroyers (RCS 5,000 m²) from 25 km, small ships (RCS 300 m²) from a distance of 15 km. Missile after launch will fly 10-15 meters from the water, when approaching the target 4-7 m lowered.
Su-30MK2 of the VPAF (photo : anh)
Therefore, which is more appropriate missile to equip Su-30MK2 fighters to Vietnam's? If we compare the basic parameters of the 3M-54AE proved superior than Kh-59MK complete range from the ability to fly flexible itinerary, although Klub-A warhead carrying smaller but still extra strength could fight a destroyer with 1 shot.
However 3M-54AE the drawback "deadly" is too heavy weight up to 1,950 kg, while the heavy pylons in the center of Su-30MK2 itself only tolerate a maximum of 1,500 kg. If you want to bring Klub-A, Su-30MK2 will have to undergo the process of reinforcing the chassis which is very complex. Similar to the Indian Su-30MKI is doing in order to carry BrahMos missiles.
Meanwhile, the Kh-59MK by relatively small than Su-30MK2 can be brought together to 5 missiles of this type. The ability to integrate Su-30MK2 up without any special requests made Kh-59MK to get huge advantage.
Therefore, after the appearance of information that Su-30MK2 of Vietnam has equipped with Kh-59MK missiles, it almost certainly 3M-54AE has no chance. 3M-54AE will be bought if in the future Vietnamese Air Force operates Su-30SM version with chassis has been reinforced enough to bear the weight of the missile.