“TheCeļotājs”
"Latvia" Former Soviet Union Military Bases
 
Vaiņode Former Soviet Union Aerodrome Army Air Force Base Aircraft
Armament
Aircraft Armament that could have been found at Vaiņode Former Soviet Union Aerodrome Army Air Force Base 
Lat: N56.41104, Lon: E021.89177
Vaiņodes muiža 7, Vaiņode, Latvia
 
Sukhoi Su-27S Armament
 
30mm GSh-30-1 Cannon "Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-301" 
 
      
                                                  Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-301
 
The Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1, the actual Russian designation is "GSh-301"; also known by the "GRAU Index" [See Appendix II] Designation "9A-4071K" is a 30mm Cannon designed for use on Soviet and later Russian military aircraft, entering service in the early 1980s. Its current manufacturer is the Russian company Izhmash JSC [See Appendix XX]. 
 
The GSh-301 is a single-barreled, recoil operated cannon weighing 46kg "101 pounds". Unlike many postwar cannons, it is linear action, not a revolver cannon or Gatling gun, with the Russians feeling that the reduction in rate of fire is compensated by reduced mass and bulk.
 
The GSh-301 has a rate of fire of 1,800 rounds per minute, customarily limited to 1,500 rounds per minute to reduce barrel wear. Despite that, its barrel life is quite short: 2,000 rounds. When firing a continuous burst of 100–150 rounds, the barrel is put under so much stress that it has to be replaced. The gun uses an evaporation cooling system to prevent the detonation of a high explosive round inside a heated barrel. This cooling system consists of a cylindrical water tank around the rear end of the barrel. The GSh-301 is equipped with a unique pyrotechnic mechanism to clear misfires: a small pyrotechnic cartridge is located to the left of the 30mm cartridge chamber. This pyrotechnic cartridge fires a small steel bolt through the side wall of the 30mm cartridge. The hot propellant gases following the bolt into the dud 30mm round ignite the powder charge of that round and firing continues.
 
The manufacturer "Izhmash Arms Plant, Izhevsk" says the gun's maximum effective range against aerial targets is 1,200 to 1,800m "3,900 to 5,900 feet". 
 
In combination with a laser range finding/targeting system, it is reported to be extremely accurate as well as powerful, capable of destroying a target with as few as three to five rounds. It has been deployed on several different types of fighter aircraft:  
  • Su-27, Su-30, Su-33 and Su-35: 1 GSh-301 in starboard wing root "150rds. ammunition load"
  • Su-34: 1 GSh-301 in starboard wing root "180rds. ammunition load"
  • MiG-29: 1 GSh-301 in port wing root "150rds. ammunition load"
  • Yak-141: 1 GSh-301 on the belly "150rds. ammunition load"
  • 9A4273 gun pod: 1 GSh-301 flexibly mounted, pod weight 480kg "150rds. ammunition load"
GSh-301 Cannon Specifications
 
    
 
R-27 Medium-Range R-27R, R-27ER, R-27T, R-27ET 
 
 
      
                                                                   Vympel R-27R "R-27 T" 
 
      
                                MiG 29 Firing a AA-10 Alamo Missile 
 
The Vympel R-27 missile with the [NATO] reporting name AA-10 "Alamo" is a medium-to-long-range air-to-air missile developed by the Soviet Union. It remains in service with the Russian Air Force and air forces of the former Commonwealth of Independent States.
 
The R-27 is manufactured in infrared-homing "R-27T", semi-active-radar-homing "R-27R", and active-radar-homing "R-27AE" versions, in both Russia and the Ukraine. The R-27 missile is carried by the Mikoyan MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-27 fighters, and some of the later-model MiG-23MLD fighters have also been adapted to carry it. The R-27 missile is also license-produced in the PRC, though the production license was bought from Ukraine instead of Russia. The Chinese versions have a different active radar seeker taken from the Vympel R-77 missile, which was sold to the PRC by Russia.
 
Variants
  • R-27R AA-10 "Alamo-A", semi-active radar homing. Launch range from Mach 1.4, 11km altitude: 60km "head-on" / 21km "tail-on". Minimum launch range under same conditions 2km "head-on" / 0.5 to 0.6km "tail-on". Up to 80km under      optimal conditions 
  • R-27T AA-10 "Alamo-B", infrared homing, passive homing using the Avtomatika 9B-1032 "PRGS-27" IR seeker head. Weight 248kg. Range is said to be 70km under optimal conditions. The R-27T missile does not possess a data link, which makes it useful only at much shorter ranges at head-on engagements, however. At tail-on engagements the longer physical reach can be fully utilized.
  • R-27ER AA-10 "Alamo-C", the semi-active-radar homing extended-range version, which is 70 cm longer and slightly wider. Range up to 130km under optimal conditions. Entered service 1990.
  • R-27ET AA-10 "Alamo-D", the infrared-homing extended-range version, which is 70 cm longer and slightly wider, range of 120km under optimal conditions using the Avtomatika 9B-1032 "PRGS-27" seeker head. Weight 348kg. Entered service in 1990. The R-27ET missile does not possess a data link, which makes it useful only at much shorter ranges at head-on engagements, however. At tail-on engagements the longer physical reach can be fully utilized.
  • R-27P AA-10 "Alamo-E", passive radar homing with a range of up to 72km.
  • R-27EP AA-10 "Alamo-F", a longer range passive anti-radiation missile with a range of up to 70nm "130km" 
Vympel R-27R Specifications
 
 
 
AA Missiles R-73 Short-Range Heat-Seeking Missile
 
      
                                                  R-73 HuAF
 
Other R-73 Missiles 
 
         
                                               R-73 in front of an R-77                                                                          73Ae, R-27R1(AeR1), R-27T1(AeT1) and Kh-59MAe
 
The Vympel R-73 [NATO] reporting name AA-11 "Archer" is a short-range air-to-air missile developed by Vympel NPO, that entered service in 1982.
 
Development
 
The R-73 was developed to replace the earlier R-60 AA-8 "Aphid" weapon for short-range use by Soviet fighter aircraft. Work began in 1973, and the first missiles entered service in 1982.
 
The R-73 is an infrared-guided "heat-seeking" missile with a sensitive, cryogenic cooled seeker with a substantial "off-boresight" capability: the seeker can "see" targets up to 60° off the missile's centerline. It can be targeted by a helmet-mounted sight "HMS" allowing pilots to designate targets by looking at them. Minimum engagement range is about 300 meters, with maximum aerodynamic range of nearly 30km "19 miles" at altitude.
 
The R-73 is a highly maneuverable missile and mock dogfights have indicated that the high degree of "off-boresight" capability of the R-73 would make a significant difference in combat. The missile also has a mechanically simple but effective system for thrust-vectoring. Altogether this prompted the development of the Sidewinder and other SRM successors like AIM-132 ASRAAM, IRIS-T, MICA IR, Python IV and the latest Sidewinder variant, AIM-9X, that entered squadron service in 2003.
 
From 1994 the R-73 has been upgraded in production to the R-73M standard, which entered CIS service in 1997. The R-73M has greater range and a wider seeker angle "to 60° off-boresight", as well as improved IRCCM "Infra-Red Counter-Counter-Measures".
 
An improved version of the R-73M, the R-74M features fully digital and re-programmable systems, and is intended for use on the MiG-35 or MiG-29K/M/M2 and Su-27SM, Su-30MK and Su-35BM.
 
The weapon is used by the MiG-29, MiG-31, Su-27, Su-34 and Su-35, and can be carried by newer versions of the MiG-21, MiG-23, Sukhoi Su-24, and Su-25 aircraft. India is looking to use the missile on their HAL Tejas. It can also be carried by Russian attack helicopters, including the Mil Mi-24, Mil Mi-28, and Kamov Ka-50.
 
Operational History
 
On 24 February 1996, two Cessna 337 of the Brothers to the Rescue were shot down by a Cuban Air Force MiG-29UB. Each of the aircraft was downed by a R-73 missile. 
 
During Eritrean-Ethiopian War from May 1998 to June 2000, R-73 missiles were used in combat by both Ethiopian Su-27s and Eritrean MiG-29s. It was the IR-homing R-60 and the R-73 that were used in all but two of the kills. 
 
 
    
                                                        AA-11 Archer Missile
 
Vympel R-73 Specifications
 
      
FAB-250, FAB-500 General-Purpose Bomb 
 
          
                                                     1946 Soviet FAB-250kg "250 Pound" Bomb                                                                                 1954 Soviet FAB-500 250kg "500 Pound" Bomb
 
A general-purpose bomb is an air-dropped bomb intended as a compromise between blast damage, penetration, and fragmentation in explosive effect.
 
Characteristics
 
General-Purpose "GP" bombs use a thick-walled metal casing with explosive filler typically "TNT", "Composition B", or "Tritonal" in [NATO] or United States service" composing about 50% of the bomb's total weight. The British term for a bomb of this type is "medium case" or "medium capacity", abbreviated to MC. The GP bomb is a common weapon of fighter bomber and attack aircraft because it is useful for a variety of tactical applications and relatively cheap.
 
General-Purpose bombs are often identified by their weight "e.g., 500 pounds, 250kg". In many cases this is strictly a nominal weight, or caliber, and the actual weight of each individual weapon may vary depending on its retardation, fusing, carriage, and guidance systems. For example, the actual weight of a U.S. M117 bomb, nominally 750 pounds "340kg", is typically around 820 pounds "374kg".
 
Most modern air-dropped GP bombs are designed to minimize drag for the carrier aircraft.
 
In low-altitude attacks, there is a danger of the attacking aircraft being caught in the blast of its own weapons. To address this problem, GP bombs are often fitted with retarders, parachutes or pop-out fins that slow the bomb's descent to allow the aircraft time to escape the detonation.
 
GP bombs can be fitted with a variety of fuzes and fins for different uses. One notable example is the "daisy cutter" fuse used on Vietnam-era American weapons, an extended probe designed to ensure that the bomb would detonate on contact "even with foliage" rather than burying itself in earth or mud, which would reduce its effectiveness.
 
GP bombs are commonly used as the warheads for more sophisticated precision-guided munitions. Affixing various types of seeker and electrically controlled fins turns a basic 'iron' bomb into a laser-guided bomb "like the U.S. Paveway series", an electro-optical guided bomb, or, more recently, GPS-guided weapon like the U.S. "JDAM". The combination is cheaper than a true guided missile "and can be more easily upgraded or replaced in service", but substantially more accurate than an unguided bomb.
 
Soviet Union / Russian General-Purpose Bombs
 
The Russian term for general-purpose bomb is "fugasnaya aviatsionnaya bomba", abbreviated "FAB" and followed by the bomb's nominal weight in kilograms. Most Russian iron bombs have circular ring airfoils rather than the fins used by Western types.
 
In 1946 the Soviet Union developed a series of freefall bombs in four sizes 250kg "550 pounds", 500kg "1,100 pounds", 1,500kg "3,300 pounds", and 3,000kg "6,600 pounds" and sharing a single nose and a single tail fuze. The bomb could be dropped from up to 12,000m "40,000 feet" and up to 1,000km/h "625 mph". The original, 1946-series bombs had poor ballistic characteristics at supersonic speed, and their construction was fragile. As an interim measure,
upgraded versions of the bombs were built with thicker walls and no nose fuze. The thick-walled version of the bombs were built until 1956.
 
The 1954 series of high-drag bombs was built in six sizes: 250kg "550 pounds", 500kg "1,100 pounds", 1500kg "3,300 pounds", 3,000kg "6,600 pounds, 5,000kg "11,000 pounds", and 9,000kg "20,000 pounds". The smaller "less than 3,000kg" bombs had a single nose and a single tail fuze, while the larger weapons shared a single nose fuze and two base fuzes. The FAB-9000 "9,000kg / 20,000 pounds" weapon was roughly comparable to the wartime Grand Slam bomb. It was used by Russian aircraft designers as a substitute for early nuclear weapons when determining the size and clearances of bomb bays.
 
In 1962 a new series of streamlined, low-drag bombs was introduced, designed for external carriage by fighter-bomber aircraft rather than in internal bays. They come in only two sizes, 250kg "550 pounds" and 500kg "1,100 pounds". Both bombs have a single nose fuze.
 
Both the 54 and 62 series designs remain in use. The most common of these are the FAB-100, FAB-250, FAB-500, FAB-750, and FAB-1000, roughly corresponding to the U.S. Mark 80 series. These have seen widespread service in Russia, Warsaw Pact nations, and various export countries.
 
Larger bombs with less streamlined shapes also remained in the Soviet arsenal, primarily for use by heavy bombers. In the Iran–Iraq War, FAB-5000 "5,000kg / 11,000 pounds" and FAB-9000 "9,000kg / 20,000 pounds" bombs were dropped by Iraqi Air Force Tupolev Tu-22 bombers, generally against large, fixed targets in Iran. In Afghanistan in the 1980s, Soviet Tupolev Tu-16 and Tupolev Tu-22M bombers used massive FAB-1500, FAB-3000 and FAB-9000
bombs to devastating effect during the Panjshir offensives.
 
Soviet Union RBK-250-275 and RBK-500 Multi-Purpose Cluster Bombs 
 
          
                                                                                                                 RBK-500 Anti-Runway Bomb
 
Development
 
The former Soviet Union was a pioneer of cluster bomb dispensers [See Appendix XXI], quite sophisticated designs being used as early as the 1930s. The RBK family of cluster bombs is of post-Second World War design, and in its earlier days was primarily used for delivering large numbers of anti-personnel fragmentation submunitions. However, in more recent years they have been adapted to carry various other types of sub-munitions, such as anti-material, airfield cratering and various types of anti-tank submunitions. The designation letters RBK stand for "razovaya bombovaya kasseta" meaning 'single-use bomb cassette'. The designation numbers refer to the bomb size category. Additional numbers indicate the actual weight in kilogram's, and any further letters signify special applications or types of submunitions/bomblets used. It is believed that the RBK-250-275 was originally designed to carry fragmentation bomblets designated AO-2.5. However, later versions carried 150 AO-1 SCh fragmentation bomblets, or 30 PTAB-2.5 anti-amour bomblets.
 
The designation letters AO stand for "aviatsionnaya oskolochnaya" meaning "aircraft fragmentation", PTAB stands for "protivo-tankovaya aviatsionnaya bomba" meaning 'anti-tank aircraft bomb'. Further development produced a larger version, the RBK-500 designed to carry more of the same sub-munitions. Details were released in the early 1990s of further improved versions of the RBK-500 cluster bomb, developed along with new sub-munitions for them. These were: RBK-500 AO-2.5 RTM an anti-personnel/anti-material cluster bomb, RBK-500 BETAB airfield cratering cluster bomb, RBK-500 PTAB-1M anti-tank cluster bomb, RBK-500 SPBE anti-tank cluster bomb, and the RBK-500 SPBE-D anti-tank cluster bomb. Although these were basically the same bombs, they are specialized.
 
All are hollow metal shells which split open after drop. They can be carried in supersonic flight "though with a significant drag penalty" and place no G-load limitations on the carrying plane. The maximum drop speed is 440kts and the drop altitude band varies with the payload, but is never less than 335’ and never more than 60,000’.
 
The weapons mount on standard Warsaw Pact 250mm lug pylons. Compatible aircraft are the MiG-19 “Farmer”, MiG-21 “Fishbed”, MiG-23/27 “Flogger”, MiG-29 “Fulcrum”, Su-20/22 “Fitter”, Su-24 “Fencer”, Su-25 “Frogfoot”, Su-27
“Flanker”, Yak-28 “Brewer”, Tu-22M “Backfire” and even the Tu-95 “Bear”. The Chinese-built A-5 “Fantan”, J-7 “Fishbed”, and Indian-built Tejas are also compatible.
 
The loadouts vary with type, for example a MiG-19 can only carry two of the medium variants, while a Tu-22M can carry seventeen heavy or thirty-three medium RBKs.
 
The weapon family was originally developed by the Soviet AF, in 1991 the patent passed to SRPE Bazalt and in July 2008 passed again to Rostekhnologia. It was also produced under license in Romania. 
 
As of 2011, only the RBK-500-SPBE-D, RBK-500-U, and RBK-500-Sh are still in production although all variants of all sizes remain in use.
  • Medium sized-variants:
    • With the exception of the 221lb RBK-100, these bombs vary in weight between 551lbs -607lbs, depending on the type
 
      
                                            Soviet Cluster Bombs  
  • RBK-100:
    • x10 PLAB-10K (Note: This is the only purely naval version. The submunitions weigh about 20lbs each and have a fuse that detonates either on impact or due to sea pressure. It is intended to give naval strike jets an ASW option
  • RBK-250:
    • x150 PFM-1 
  • RBK-250-275: 
    • x150 AO-1SCh "footprint of 168,000 sq feet at typical drop parameters" 
  • RBK-250-AD:
    • "This model carried chemical weapons submunitions. The details are not known" 
  • RBK-250-AO:
    • x60 AO-2.5RT 
  • RBK-250-PTAB: 
    • x30 PTAB-2.5M 
  • RBK-250-ZAB:
    • x48 ZAB-2.5SM 
  • RBK-250-AGIT:
    • x12,000 paper leaflets 
  • Heavy variants:
    • These bombs weigh between 827lbs-1103lbs, depending on the type. The RBK-500U is delivered empty and filled in the
 
      
             Soviet Soldiers Inspecting a Cluster Bombs  
  • RBK-500-375:
    • x30 AO-10SCz
  • RBK-500-AO:
    • x108 AO-2.5RT "footprint of 224,000 sq feet at typical drop parameters"
  • RBK-500-PTAB:
    • x268 PTAB-1M
  • RBK-500-RAP:
    • x108 RAP-2.5
  • RBK-500-Sh:
    • x565 ShOAB-0.5
  • RBK-500-SPBE:
    • x15 SPBE
  • RBK-500-SPBE-D:
    • x15 sensor-fuzed anti-tank weapons
  • RBK-500U:
    • x10 OFAB-50 or x75 PTAB-2.5M or x126 OAB-2.5RT or x352 PTAB-1M
  • RBK-500U-Sh:
    • x565 ShOAB-0.5
  • RBK-500-ZAB:
    • x117 ZAB-2.5SM
Summary of Submunitions used with this family  
  • AO-1SCh/SCz:
    • 2 ¾ lbs, 2”x6” with AM-A fuze, anti-personnel
  • AO-2.5RT:
    • 5 ½ lbs, 3 ½“x6”, pre-fragmented anti-personnel. Lethal radius of 50 yards. Fin-stabilized during fall.
  • AO-10SCz:
    • 19 ¾ lbs, general-purpose HE
  • OAB-2.5:
    • 5lb anti-personnel, few details known
  • OFAB-50:
    • 110lb HE bomb
  • PFM-1:
    • 2 ½ lb anti-personnel “butterfly bomblet”
  • PLAB-10K:
    • 23lbs, dual anti-ship/ASW
  • PTAB-1M:
    • 2lbs, 1 ½”x8”, HEAT anti-tank "will penetrate 9” of mild steel". Fin-stabilized during fall. If the PTAB-1 does not strike armor, it explodes on it’s own after 20-40 seconds on the ground.
  • PTAB-2.5M:
    • 5 ½ lbs, HEAT anti-tank "RDX synthetic chemical explosive". Fin-stabilized during fall. An effective anti-tank weapon.
  • RAP-2.5:
    • 5 ½ lbs, anti-personnel
  • ShOAB-0.5:
    • 1lb general-purpose
  • SPBE:
    • 30lb, 11”x10”x7”, anti-tank with explosively-formed penetrator "EFP" warhead. Drogue-stabilized during fall. The Russian Federation claims this weapon will destroy a M-1 Abrams MBT. 
  • ZAB-2.5SM:
    • 5 ½ lbs, 3 ½”x5 ¼”, incendiary "3 ¾lbs combustible compound".
S-8 Rocket 
 
      
                                   S-8 KOM 80mm HEAT/FRAG Rocket
 
The S-8 is a rocket weapon developed by the Soviet Air Force for use by military aircraft. It remains in service with the Russian Air Force and various export customers.
 
Developed in the 1970s, the S-8 is an 80mm "3.1 inches" rocket used by fighter bombers and helicopters. The system entered service in 1984 and is produced in a variety of subtypes with different warheads, including HEAT anti-armor, high-explosive fragmentation, smoke, and incendiary, as well as the specialized S-8BM runway-destroying munitions and the S-8DM fuel-air explosive variants. Each rocket is between 1.5 meters "4 feet 11 inches" and 1.7 meters "5 feet 7 inches" long and weighs between 11.3kg "25 pounds" and 15.2kg "33.5 pounds", depending on warhead and fuse. Range is 2 to 4 kilometers "1.3 to 2.6 miles".
 
The S-8 is generally carried in the B series of rocket pods, carrying either seven or 20 rockets.
 
S-8 Rocket Specifications
 
    
 
S-13 Rocket 
 
The S-13 is a 122mm caliber unguided rocket weapon developed by the Soviet Air Force for use by military aircraft. It remains in service with the Russian Air Force and some other countries.
 
The S-13 rocket was developed in the 1970s to meet requirements for a penetrating weapon capable of cratering runways and penetrating hardened aircraft shelters, bunkers and pillboxes, to fill a gap between 80mm and 240mm rockets and fulfill a role similar to the 127mm Zuni rocket. The S-13 is conventional in layout, with a solid rocket motor and folding tail fins that provide stability after launch.
 
The first trials were in 1973, but it was introduced only in 1983. S-13 rockets are shot from 5-tube launchers B-13L, that can be carried by most of Soviet and Russian attack and new fighter aircraft, like Su-17/20/22, Su-24, Su-25, Su-27, MiG-23BN, MiG-27, MiG-29. B-13L1 launcher is used by helicopters, like Mil Mi-24, Mil Mi-28, Ka-29TB, Ka-50, Ka-52.
 
S-13 Launcher Specifications
 
      
 
S-24 Rocket 
  
      
                                                                                    S-24 Rocket
 
The S-24 is a rocket weapon designed and used by the Soviet Air Force. It remains in use by the Russian Air Force. The name is based on the diameter of the rocket, 240mm "9.45 inches".
 
The Soviet Union was an early, enthusiastic user of rocket weapons, employing them as early as the 1930s. The S-24B is a very large, powerful unguided weapon and one of a handful of successors to the earlier world war II era BETAB-750DS rockets, and its contemporary, the U.S. Tiny Tim rocket.
 
The S-24B is 2.33 meters "7 feet 8 inches" long, with a launch weight of 235kg "518 pounds". It has a 123kg "271 pounds" blast-fragmentation warhead. Its range is about 2-3 kilometers "1.3 - 1.8 miles". The S-24B is carried individually on weapon pylons, rather than in pods.
 
The rocket is also license produced in Iran as the name of Shafaq. 
 
S-25 Rocket 
 
      
                                                                                    S-25 Rocket 
 
The S-25 is a Russian air-to-ground rocket launched from aircraft. It is launched from the O-25 pod which can hold one rocket.
 
Variants
  • S-25
  • S-25-O with Radio Proximity Fuze
  • S-25-OFM for use against hardened targets
  • S-25L Laser Guided Variant
S-25 Rocket Specifications
  • Type: Unguided Aircraft Rocket
  • Developed: Russia
  • Launch Weight: 480kg
  • Length: 3.31m
  • Body Diameter: 340mm
  • Warhead: 190kg TNT Equivalent
  • Speed: 700m/s
  • Range: 3km
  • Launch Platform: Sukhoi Su-25
 
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Revised: 01/30/2013 – 15:09:58