Ukraine unveils new supersonic air-to-surface missile program

Ukraine’s Yuzhnoye Design Office revealed that it is developing a new supersonic-cruising air-to-surface missile‭ (‬ASM‭) ‬called the‭ ‬‘Bliskavka’‭ (‬Lightning‭) ‬for the Su-24‭ ‬and Su-27 ‭. ‬
Yuzhnoye did not reveal the range‭, ‬total mass‭, ‬or warhead mass of the Bliskavka‭. ‬However‭, ‬it did disclose to the media that the‭ ‬Bliskavka will be able to cruise at a speed of Mach 3.5‭, ‬and have a longer range than the Russian Kh-31‭, ‬which can reach up to 110‭ ‬km according to Rosoboronexport‭ .‬
One of Yuzhnoye’s core design objectives with the Bliskavka is to ensure that Ukraine’s existing aircraft‭ ‬–‭ ‬notably its Su-24s and Su-27s‭ ‬–‭ ‬require minimal modifications to carry the new missile‭. ‬The Bilskavka is designed to carry fragmentation and penetration warheads ‭. ‬Thus‭, ‬it would not be surprising if the Bliskavka’s total mass is in the range of 1,000‭ ‬to 1,500‭ ‬kg‭, ‬which would enable the Su-24‭ ‬to carry at least one of these missiles alongside other equipment‭ (‬e.g‭., ‬fuel tanks‭) .‬
According to IHS Jane’s‭, ‬Yuzhnoye is developing three variants of the Bliskavka‭:‬
An anti-ship variant with an active radar-homing‭ (‬ARH‭) ‬seeker‭;‬
An anti-air defence version with a passive anti-radiation seeker‭;‬
And a precision air-to-surface version with an electro-optical‭ (‬EO‭) ‬seeker ‭. ‬

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