TechRussia unveils Ch-69. The Kremlin's secret missile steps into the limelight

Russia unveils Ch‑69. The Kremlin's secret missile steps into the limelight

Display model Ch-69
Display model Ch-69
Images source: © TASS

9:19 AM EST, November 13, 2023

Russia is set to unveil the previously confidential Ch-69 missile at the upcoming Dubai Airshow 2023, an Arabic showcase. Designed specifically for the Su-57 aircraft, this one-of-a-kind project has gained significant attention. The Dubai Airshow will take place from November 13 to 17.

Until now, the Ch-69 maneuverable missile had been kept a closely guarded secret, with rumors of its existence only circulating from 2022. The Kremlin remains reticent about sharing details regarding its weaponry due to the current conflict with Ukraine. The Dubai International Fair will mark the first instance the new missile is exhibited outside of Russia.

What can we look forward to?

The missile's unique square profile is the first thing that grabs attention. Specification details are largely unknown, but manufacturers assert its precision, adaptability in terms of target types, and discretion. Its design is reportedly tailored to suit the needs of the fifth-generation Su-57 fighter, but it's conceivable that it could also be deployed on the Su-35, Su-30MK, and Su-34 aircraft. All these aircraft models are currently in service during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The Ch-69 is a stealth-type missile, making it highly challenging to detect by adversary anti-aircraft defense radars. Russian sources contend that this is due to the missile's fuselage design and the radiation-absorbing shell covering it. There is a strong belief in the superiority of the Ch-69 over Ukrainian defense anti-aircraft systems.

Guidance systems for the Ch-69 allegedly draw from combined inertial navigation, GLONASS, GPS, and readings from the electro-optical head. The missile is reported to have an effective range of approximately 180 miles at speeds ranging from 435 to 621 mph. Weighing about 1697 pounds, the missile can carry a fragmentation-explosion or cassette warhead weighing around 661 pounds.

Will Russia deploy new missiles on the frontlines?

Despite no official announcement regarding the commencement of mass production, casing the sile at the airshow suggests that Russia could soon be gearing up for production. The Ch-69 is expected to boost Russia's exports while also addressing domestic needs amidst the ongoing conflict.

Industry experts reckon the Ch-69 is the Russian counterpart of the American AGM-158 JASSM missiles. Its versatility allows it to attack air, ground, and naval targets.

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