New Delhi: Russia has been testing its latest weaponry during the massive naval drill in the Caspian Sea and as part of the exercise, a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter fired the Kh-31 supersonic air-to-surface anti-ship cruise missile at a ship and blowing it to smithereens.
The Russian Navy conducted the exercise in the last week of July and according to SputnikNews, several top fighters including the Su-30, Su-24, Su-25 and Su-34 along with at least 10 Russian warships took part in the drill to practice targeting ships in the sea. A video released by the Russian Ministry of Defence shows the Su-34 launching a Kh-31 missile (NATO codename: AS-17 Krypton) to hit a ship which explodes and then sinks.
According to the ministry 50 aircraft including fighters and bombers took part in the exercise.
All the ships which took part in the drill belonged to the Caspian Flotilla that is the maritime element of Russia's Southern Military District. The Caspian Flotilla is stationed in Astrakhan and consists of several brigades and divisions of surface ships and units of coastal troops.
But the Russians have not disclosed which variant of the Kh-31 supersonic cruise missile was used but in all probability, it was the Kh-31A. The Kh-31A version is an anti-ship missile with an active radar seeker and can engage vessels displacing up to 4,500 tons. The missile can penetrate cohesive and layered air defence of a large group of ships.
The Russian MiG-29K, MiG-29M, MiG-29SMT, MiG-29UBT, MiG-31, Su-24M, Su-25T, Su-30MK, and Su-35 aircraft can carry the missile. The Kh-31 A is derived from the Kh-31P medium-range supersonic anti-radiation missile, which can counter enemy air defences. The Kh-31P has a high supersonic speed and uses a scramjet with a built-in booster for propulsion.