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Russian Bal Coastal Missile system now has a 500 km range, and Onyx can hit surface targets

Bastion coastal defense missile system
Bastion coastal defense missile system. Image: TASS

Russia’s Bal coastal defense system, which along with the Bastion coastal defense missile system, initially meant for the Gulf of Finland, has now a range of 500 km. The Bal system deploys the Kh-35 and Kh-35U missiles with a firing range of 120 km and 260 km. An upgraded Kh-35E missile ranges up to 300 km and can be targeted by a drone. Bal is a low altitude missile defence system and can launch 32 rockets in a salvo with another 32 missiles in stock.

The Bastions are equipped with Onyx supersonic anti-ship missiles capable of hitting targets at ranges of up to 600 km. The complexes can receive target designation from aircraft and helicopters, surface and submarine ships, with which they are combined into a standard circuit.

These missiles can now target surface targets too, as per the designer NPO Mashinostroyenia. In fact, the Russian – Indian Brahmos missile originally was the design of 3M55 Onyx (SS-N-26 Strobile) ramjet-powered anti-ship missile. Brahmos has been modified for several other roles. As per the Russians, the missile is operated by Vietnam, Syria and Indonesia too.

In 2019, the Russian military-industrial corporation NPO Mashinostroyenia developed an improved version of the missile, the Onyx-M, capable of striking sea and ground targets at a distance of up to 800 km. In addition, the protection of the rocket from electronic warfare was enhanced.

According to reports, the Russian Army deploys the Bal and the Bastion coastal defense launchers for combat operations in Syria to strike ground targets.

Recently, Russia used its newest frigate of Project 22350 to destroy targets in the Arctic during a drill. This was done to simulate target destruction if a Frigate runs out of its missiles. A single frigate and the BAL or Bastion batteries can destroy a fleet, including the aircraft carriers.

A Bastion division consists of eight anti-ship missiles, and the DBK launchers can be quickly reloaded and dispatched.

This year, the Ministry of Defense held a series of exercises in the Crimea and the Baltic, where the combination of Bastion and Ball systems operated with drones. Targeting can be provided through aeroplanes and helicopters too.

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