Russia Develops New Patent on Rocket Launcher

  • The new patented technology is based on a cold launch.
  • The cold launch is not new and myriad of the Russian weapons do have the same.
  • Russia claims it is safer than the US technology, but there is no evidence to suggest such.

Russia posted a new patent pertaining to defense technology and the vertical launch of a rocket. In may 2020, the US Navy tested the AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER), designed to destroy enemy missile defense systems.

Khimki is a city in Moscow Oblast, Russia, 18.25 kilometers northwest of central Moscow. Its estimated population is 250,688.

During tests, the f/A-18E Super Hornet carried the AGM-88 GEAR G MER prototype. The missile can engage relocatable Integrated Air Defence (IAD) targets and other targets equipped with shutdown capability. The purpose of the tests is to check the joint operation of the aircraft and missile systems. The tests were conducted at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

Furthermore, the new Russian patent RU 2705387 will allow safer mortar launch of the guided air missiles, anti missiles and other ammunition, when launched froth vertical launchers. Launching missiles from a vertical launch container in a mortar  assumes that the missile will be ejected from the launcher without turning on the engine, i.e. with the aid of a bouncing charge.

The rocket starts its engines at a safe distance from the carrier. Hence, it would  compensate for the pressure from the incoming air flow according the patent.  To note, there is a suggestion to use stabilization engines in the nose of the missiles. However, it is common for Russia to use cold starts. They are used in the myriad of Russian ICBM systems.

Naval Air Station Patuxent River (NHK) also known as NAS Pax River, is a United States naval air station located in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of the Patuxent River. It is home to Headquarters, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, the Atlantic Test Range, and serves as a center for test and evaluation and systems acquisition relating to naval aviation.

The method of vertical air launch of missiles includes a vertical launch of a rocket from a launch container placed on an air carrier.” An excerpt from the patent that the developers, KB “Fakel,” entered into the database of the Federal Institute of industrial property.

MKB “Fakel” ( P.D.Grushin Machine-building Design Bureau) is a Russian government-owned aerospace defense corporation located in Khimki. MKB Fakel was created in 1953 specifically to facilitate development of guided surface-to-air missiles. The necessity came from the Soviet-US stand off, which later turned into full blown Cold War.

Moreover, the patent holders developed their technology in response to the US AGM-88G. KB Fakel’s head engineer believes that US technology is unsafe and it will not be successful. That can’t be determined as of yet, since the US is in testing phase of the new technology. Also, since Russia and US are rivals, it is plausible the comments do not hold as high value.

It is expected that Russia will use this technology. Russian warplanes in the future may receive vertical launchers for missiles, the launch of which will be made by mortars. At this time, there are no announcements pertaining the proposed dates of the utilization of this technology. However, it is highly likely it will be some time before 2025.

Russia has been focusing on its defense systems modernization and new weapons, including the area focus given on the counter hypersonic weapons. The weapons race between the USA and Russia continues. The US still remains number 1 in the world. Nevertheless, Putin continues to forge ahead with the new technologies. Russia continues to hold solid number 2 spot at present.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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