Russia for the first time has used its “top secret” KH-50 stealth cruise missile in a successful attack on an ammunition depot in Ukraine’s Zaporozhye region.
As per Ukrainian monitoring channels, an explosion at the military facility occurred at about 23:00 last night.
Very little is known about KH-50’s specifications since the project is shrouded in mystery, except that its latest product is a stealthy medium-range subsonic cruise missile. The KH-50 comes through as a miniaturized KH-101 – both missiles feature low-observable shaping, composite airframe for radar signature reduction, INS navigation with SATNAV/TERCOM (terrain comparison fixing, and Optical/IR target recognition.
In 2018, Russia modified a Tu-22M3 strategic bomber to be able to fire them.
While Russia has not revealed many details of the KH-50, Janes claims the Kh-50 is about six meters long and weighs around 1,600 kg. It’s powered by an OMKB izdeliye 37-04 (or TRDD-50B) turbofan engine.
The missile is estimated to have a range of over 1,500 km, a cruise speed of 700 kph, with a max speed of 950 kph.
The missile is estimated to feature a warhead weighing 450 kg.
The missile’s airframe features a flattened cross-section and faceted sides. The shape combines the requirements of low radar cross-section and the most efficient use of the heavy bomber’s weapon bay capacity when loaded on a six-round rotating launcher.
KH-50 is honed for low-altitude flight and features a defensive suite comprising EW and flare heat traps. Not only can the missile evade radar detection, but it can also protect itself from air defense and air-to-air missiles equipped with RF and IIR seekers.