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Little Missiles For Little Ships
by James Dunnigan
April 27, 2013

The Russian Navy has a new, lightweight (650 kg/1,430 pounds), short-range (5-6 kilometers) missile system (Gibkha 3M47) that uses the ship radar to detect incoming aircraft or missiles. The missiles are actually SAM-24 (Igla 9M39) shoulder fired missiles and eight of them are mounted (in their normal storage/firing tubes) on either side of the sensors. There are four missiles on each side of the visual (TV with zoom) detection system, which can track targets when they get within twelve kilometers. The Igla missile has a heat seeker and a proximity fuze that detonates when the missile passes within 1.5 meters (about five feet) of the incoming target.

Gibkha was first installed on the new Russian Buyan (550 tons displacement) and Buyan-M (950 tons) class corvettes. It will also be installed on the new Vladivostok Class amphibious ships (variants of the French Mistral). Gibkha is being offered for export to navies with small patrol ships that may need some better (than a machine-gun) anti-aircraft weapons. There are a lot of ships like that around the world.

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