New Russian Lightweight Air-Launched Missile Revealed

MMM ASP missile
Credit: Russian television

GDANSK, Poland—The Russian Navy displayed a model of a new small missile during a Jan. 9 meeting in Sevastopol attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Joint Small-sized Modular Aviation Weapon, (Mezhvidovoye Malogabaritnoye Modulnoye Aviatsionnoye Sredstvo Porazheniya, or MMM ASP), according to the descriptive plate on the model, is being made to defeat “fuel depots, manpower, various naval surface targets, strongholds, aircraft and helicopters at the base site.”

If the model displayed by Tactical Missiles Corp. (KTRV) was made on the same scale as the model of the Kh-35UE next to it, then the length of the MMM ASP could be estimated at 3-3.1 meters (10 ft.), with a body diameter of 230-240 mm (9 in.), and weight of 200-220 kg (440-485 lb.). This would make it the smallest air-launched missile in Russia, apart from helicopter anti-tank missiles. 

The most widely used tactical missile in Russia, the Kh-25M, has been in service since 1982. It has a length of 3.7 m and weighs 300 kg. 

Among the new generation of airborne missiles, the smallest is the Kh-38M, with a launch weight of 520 kg. It can therefore be expected that the MMM ASP (its other designations are unknown at the moment) may become a direct successor to the Kh-25M and a complement to the Kh-38M.

There is no information about the missile’s guidance system. Judging from the term “modular,” the missile seeker is interchangeable between active radar, passive radar and opto-electronic. An additional fairing under the seeker head is visible on the model. The Kh-58UShKE-IIR anti-radar missile presented at MAKS in 2015 was similar. It had an additional thermal imaging sensor to guide the missile to the heat source (for example, a ground radar station) at the terminal stage of flight.