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KBP's Hermes of all trades.

KBP is introducing the Hermes, a new family of missile able to meet the needs of all three services and aimed at eventually replacing the Vikhr while providing longer stand-off ranges. The cornerstone of the variants is their common launcher and missile onto which various guidance elements and booster are grafted depending on the mission, which can be anti-armour, anti-ship and even air-defence against slow flying targets. For example the nominal 18 km range can be extended to 100 km with the use of a 210 mm diameter booster.

While the exact level of development reached by the different variants is still unclear, it appears that the missile itself was qualified in January 2004. It carries a 28 kg high explosive warhead and, for short-range missions (i.e. up to 18 km) relies on its own inertial guidance system. For longer ranges, a datalink is used with final attack performed by the semi-active laser seeker. The vehicle-launched Hermes will typically be able to engage targets at a range of 40 km and will use a radar and a radio datalink. In the airborne version, known as Hermes A, the inertial system is used to guide the missile to the area where the target will be locked-on by the seeker. Key here is for the launch helicopter to remain outside of the range of typical shorads units. This version carries no datalink.

The shipborne version, designated the Hermes-K, can be fired from fast patrol boat-sized platforms and uses both the inertial guidance system (for 15 to 18 km missions and, like the land version, a radio command system comprising a radar and a transmitter to deliver commands to the missile for 40 km missions. It will be able to reach out to 100 km with the 210 mm booster. According to KBP the Hermes K can engage surface targets of maximum 100 tons displacement with one missile and incapacitate it by destroying vital units (conning tower, reconnaissance devices, and storehouse for ammunition). It can also engage low-velocity air targets such as helicopters.
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Title Annotation:Digest
Publication:Armada International
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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