MOSCOW --- The land attack capability of the K-300P Bastion (NATO reporting name: SS-C-5 Stooge) mobile coastal defense system’s P-800 Oniks (SS-N-26 Strobile) missile has been demonstrated for the first time during the massive air and missile attack on the Russia-banned Islamic State and Jebhat al-Nusra terrorist groups on November 15, 2016.
At the Defense Ministry and defense industry leaders’ meeting chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that at 1030 hours Moscow time on November 15, the Russian Armed Forces launched a massive missile and air attack on terrorist targets in Idlib and Homs governorates.
According to him, the Project 11356 (Grigorovich-class) Admiral Grigorovich frigate, which launched three 3M-14 (SS-N-30A) cruise missiles of the Kalibr (SS-N-27 Sizzler) system against pre-reconnoitered targets, and K-300P Bastion mobile coastal defense missile systems, which attacked land targets deep inland in the Syrian Arab Republic, took part in the operation.
On the same day, Shoigu reported to Putin that multitier defenses had been established in Syria. He mentioned, inter alia, the deployment of S-400 (SA-21 Growler) and S-300 (SA-20 Gargoyle) surface-to-air and Bastion coastal defense missile systems at Khmeimim air base and the Russian Navy’s logistic support facility in Tartus.
According to the defense minister, the Bastions cover virtually Syria’s entire coast against naval and land threats. Shoigu added that the type’s range stood at 350 km for enemy ships and almost 450 km for threats on land.
Later, the Russian Defense Ministry uploaded onto YouTube a video showing a K-340P self-propelled launcher on the MZKT-7930 Astrolog chassis, launching two P-800 Oniks missiles.
Proceeding from the Russian Armed Forces’ mission to eliminate high-value terrorist targets, it is very likely that the November 15 strikes included P-800 Oniks missiles fitted with the monopulse dual-mode active/passive seeker using the wideband coherent signal in active mode. The seeker has the frequency-hopping capability, immunity to active and passive countermeasures and adaptability to countermeasures and environment. The advanced homing head uses the solid-state amplifier instead of the traveling-wave tube and is of modular design (antenna, transmitter, receiver, data processor).
The recently modified software package of the Bastion system’s guidance system allows strikes against stationary land targets using preprogrammed target coordinates. The missile dives onto its target even if the latter sits in an accident of the terrain. The novelties had been tried on Russian-Indian missile BrahMos (a derivative of the Oniks) in India during the test launches in mountainous terrain. The seeker is programmed for a sea radio-contrast target or a land target prior to launch.
Granit-Electron Corporation Director General Georgy Korzhavin said at the MVMS 2015 International Naval Show in St. Petersburg in August 2015 that the seeker designed for a new air-launched version of the BrahMos missile was fit for full-rate production. As of mid-2015, the sophisticated homing head under development by Granit-Electron was afforded new operating modes, and the development of its software package continued. The corporation enabled the BrahMos to handle the missions expected of it.
As was reported in the press, the Russian Defense Ministry is intent on converting its coastal defense missile units to advanced materiel before 2021. Two Bastion systems were fielded with the Northern and Pacific fleets in 2015, with five more due into the Navy’s inventory in 2016. Then, the fleets will be receiving four systems a year each. The Pacific Fleet’s coastal defense units have fired their new Bastion for the first time in July 2016, with the system placed on alert duty in August.
In addition, Bal (SS-C-6 Sennight) and Bastion systems are to be deployed to the Kuril islands of Iturup and Kunashir before year-end. The Russian president’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on November 23 that the deployment of missile systems to the Kuril Islands was justified but was not expected to impact the talks between Moscow and Tokyo, including the peace deal negotiations.
The K-300P Bastion mobile coastal defense missile system is equipped with P-800 Oniks antiship missiles and designed for eliminating surface ships operating both solo and as amphibious landing forces, strike groups and convoys within the 300-km range. It is effective against land targets as well. The Bastion battery comprises four K-340P self-propelled launchers, one or two command vehicles, an alert duty support vehicle and four transporter-loaders. The system is in service with the Russian, Syrian and Vietnamese militaries.
The Bastion entered service with the Russian Armed Forces in 2010, and three battalion-size sets of hardware were fielded with the 11th Separate Missile Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet near Anapa. Bastion batteries were deployed on the Crimean coast in 2014. In September that year, the missile fired by a launcher of the K-300P system during an exercise took out a practice target at a range of 90 in the central part of the Black Sea. The Bastion was developed by the NPO Mashinostroyenia.
The special composites used in the Bastion’s launcher slashed its radar signature by 15-20 times. The body of the K-340P self-propelled launcher is made of layered composite panels shaped so that they absorb radar signals in several key wavebands in the electromagnetic spectrum. Radar signal absorption is maximized in the wavebands used by enemy space and airborne radar and electronic intelligence assets. This has increased the launcher’s radar stealth by 15-20 times and, thus, reduced the enemy’s ability to detect it by far.
There also is a stationary silo-based version of the Bastion, which the Rosoboronexport Corporation is promoting on the export market. The stationary coastal defense system features high survivability and effectiveness in the face of heavy electronic countermeasures and fire and the complete self-contained operating capability of its Yakhont antiship missile (an export variant of the Oniks). In addition, the silo-based Bastion is not too demanding in terms of target designation owing to the top-notch performance of the Yakhont’s seeker.
The Bastion’s stationary version comprises protected silo-based launchers, a control module, a protected command post, a communications module, an automated fire control system, and maintenance equipment.
The silo-based version of the coastal defense missile system is hard to pinpoint by the enemy and it denies reference points to enemy ‘smart’ weapons. The silos protect the missiles against small-caliber munition attack.
The silo-based Bastion denies the enemy’s amphibious assault forces access to a maritime area of 150,000 sq. km and a 600-km-long stretch of the coast and can defend the approaches to a political/administrative district as part of the latter’s joint defensive system.