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Russian Kh-22 Missiles: In-Depth Analysis of the Long-Range Anti-Ship Weapon

The Russian Kh-22 (also known as AS-4 'Kitchen' by NATO) is a large, long-range anti-ship missile that has been a significant part of the Russian military arsenal. Developed by the Raduga Design Bureau during the Cold War, it was designed to target U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and other high-value assets.

Specification and Performance Data:

- Type: Anti-ship, land-attack cruise missile

- Weight: Approximately 6,000 kg (13,230 lbs)

- Length: 11.65 meters (38.2 feet)

- Wingspan: 3 meters (9.8 feet)

- Warhead: 1,000 kg (2,205 lbs) RDX, thermonuclear option

- Propulsion: Liquid-fuel rocket motor

- Operational Range: 300 to 400 kilometers (160 to 240 nautical miles)

- Speed: Mach 4.6

- Guidance System: Inertial navigation system, active radar homing

- Launch Platforms: Various Russian bombers like the Tu-22M

Operational History:

The Kh-22 was introduced in the 1960s as a way to challenge the naval power of the West. Its large size and unique design allow it to carry a significant warhead, making it a severe threat to large naval vessels. It was designed to be launched from high altitudes, descending towards its target at high speeds.

Several variants of the Kh-22 have been developed over the years, offering different range capabilities and guidance systems. The Kh-22N features a radar guidance system, allowing it to home in on targets with more precision. A variant designated Kh-22P is reportedly an anti-radiation version for engaging radar installations.

Strategic Importance:

The Kh-22 has been a symbol of Soviet and then Russian military might, being one of the few missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and threatening Western naval forces. Its capabilities have led to continued inclusion in Russia's military strategy, although newer systems like the Kh-32 have been developed to replace it.


The Kh-22 missile has played a vital role in the balance of naval power during the Cold War and continues to be a relevant part of Russia's military capabilities. Its large warhead and high speed make it a formidable weapon against naval targets, and its variants allow flexibility in its deployment and use. While gradually being replaced by more modern designs, the Kh-22 remains a significant missile in the history of Russian military technology.

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