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Russia allegedly deploys P-35 anti-ship missile in Ukrainian conflict

Russia reportedly deployed the historic P-35 anti-ship missile, marking its first use in this war. This information comes from a Defense Express report dated January 18, 2024.
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Russia reportedly deployed the historic P-35 anti-ship missile, marking its first use in this war. (Picture source: social media)

The P-35 missile, part of the Soviet Union's arsenal since 1962, is notable for its size, measuring 10 meters long and weighing 4 tons. Defense Express has published photographs illustrating the significant dimensions of the missile, with its distinctive wings visible among the debris. The publication asserts that its sources have confirmed the identity of the missile as the P-35.

Despite its age, the P-35 remains a functional component of the Russian military's armament. It plays a role in the coastal missile system known as "Redut." As of 2021, Russia was estimated to have around 8 launchers for this system.

The 4K44 Redut system, a coastal defense system from the early Cold War era in the Soviet Union, employs the P-35 missile. This system was designed to augment and eventually replace the older S-2 Sopka missile batteries (identified as SS-C-2b Samlet by NATO). The P-35 is also used on Soviet naval ships and is recognized in the West by its NATO designation SS-C-1 Sepal.

The 4K44 Redut system includes a radar and command vehicle, which oversees up to three launch vehicles. These vehicles are based on the ZIL-135K 8-wheel chassis. Due to the missile's large size, each 4K44 can carry only one missile per launch vehicle.

The P-35, even in its latest modified version (3M44), adopted in 1982, was already considered obsolete. Its range was up to 300 km (460 km according to some sources), with speeds up to 1800 km/h (2200 km/h according to other sources), and a warhead weighing up to 930 kg.

The missile's guidance system was typical for its time—an inertial system during the cruise phase and an active radar homing head for the terminal phase. The flight profile, affecting its range, could be at altitudes of 400 meters, 4 km, or 7 km, but the missile would descend to 100 meters before attacking a target.

The exact launch site used for the attack remains unknown. The use of such long-range weapons seems more like a desperate attempt to strike with whatever is available. However, some Russian sources suggest that this old missile might have been used to deceive Ukrainian air defenses.


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