The SS-N-26 “Strobile” (P-800 Oniks)/Yakhont/Yakhont-M are Russian anti-ship cruise missiles developed by NPO Mashinostroyenia. There are three known variants of the missile. The ship-launched variant is known as the P-800 Oniks and has been designated the SS-N-26 “Strobile” by NATO.1 The export variant of the ground-launched version is known as the Yakhont. An air-launched variant was developed in 1999 and is known as the Yakhont-M. A sub-launched version has been proposed and is suspected to be fitted to Yasen-class attack submarines. 2 The Oniks can be ground-launched using two variants of Bastion launch system: the stationary Bastion-S, and the transportable Bastion-P.
P-800 Oniks/Yakhont/Bastion (SS-N-26 “Strobile”) at a Glance
- Originated from
- Possessed by
- Russia, Indonesia, Syria, Vietnam
- Alternate names
- SS-N-26 “Strobile”, P-800 Oniks, Yakhont, Yakhont-M, (Bastion-P,Bastion-S launch systems)
- Anti-ship Cruise Missile (ASCM)
- Air-, ship-, sub-launched
- 8.6 m for surface-to-surface missile (SSM) (8.3 m for air-to-surface missile (ASM))
- 0.67 m
- Launch weight
- 3,000 kg for SSM (2,550 kg for ASM)
- Single warhead
- HE submunitions, semi-armour piercing
- Solid propellant, Ramjet
- 300 km
- In service
- 2002 (2015 for Bastion systems)
The P-800 Oniks was first developed in 1993 by Russian defense firm NPO Mashinostroyenia. In 1999, they developed a ground-launched export version, the Yakhont, and an air-launched version, the Yakhont-M. Russia fielded its first Oniks missiles in 2002, fitting them on their Nakat-class missile ships. 3 In 2015, Russia began deploying the Bastion ground-launched Oniks systems.4
The Oniks design also became the basis for the Russian-Indian Brahmos cruise missile. In 1988, Russia and India formed a joint venture, Brahmos Aerospace Ltd, to produce Yakhont-derived missile. 5
This Oniks/Yakhont/Yakhont-M has a range of 300 km in its default trajectory and a range of 120 km in a low-altitude trajectory. After being accelerated by a rocket booster, the missile propels itself with a kerosene-powered ramjet motor. In typical flight, the missile can reach altitudes of up to 14 km and speeds of up to 750m/s (Mach 2.2). When approaching the target, the missile descends to a 10 – 15 m altitude to avoid detection. At low/terminal altitudes, the missile’s maximum speed is 680m/s (Mach 2).6
Oniks’ antiship variant is 8.3 m long, while the its surface-to-surface variants are slightly longer at 8.6 m. All variants have a diameter of 670 mm and a launch weight of 3,000 kg. The missiles have both an active and passive inertial navigation system and are equipped with either a 200 kg high explosive or 250 kg semi-armour piercing warhead.7 Improvements were made in 2002 in the form of updating the previous terminal seeker with an active radar seeker and imaging infrared seeker 8
Oniks Service History
The Yakhont is believed to have been purchased from Russia by Syria, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
In 2009, Syria purchased 36 Bastion launchers with 72 Yakhont missiles.9 Since 2011, Syria has displayed the missiles and has performed flight tests. In July, 2013, an Israeli airstrike on a Syrian warehouse successfully destroyed a significant number of Syria’s Yakhont systems, although it is believed that several of those missiles were removed prior to the attack.10
On November 15, 2016, Oniks missiles were launched from an unknown location within Syria using a Bastion land-based coastal missile launcher. The missile targeted Syrian rebel groups. It is unclear whether the missiles were launched by Russian or Syrian forces.11 It was the first known use of the Oniks in a land-attack mode.
On November 21, 2016, it was reported that Russia deployed two Bastion missile launchers to the Kaliningrad exclave bordering NATO allies Poland and Lithuania.12
- James O’Halloran, IHS Jane’s Weapons: Strategic 2015-2016, 2015, (United Kingdom: IHS), 190.
- Ibid, 190.
- NPO Mashinosroyenia, ”History”, 2016, http://www.npomash.ru/history/en/history.htm.
- GlobalSecurity.org, “3M55 Oniks/ P-800 Yakhont/ P-800 Bolid/ SS-N-26”, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/ss-n-26.htm.
- “Yakhont,” Rosboronexport, 2021, http://roe.ru/eng/catalog/naval-systems/shipborne-weapons/yakhont/.
- Sitakanta Mishra, Cruise Missiles: Evolution, Proliferation, and Future, 2011, KW Publishers PVT Ltd, p. 201; O’Halloran, IHS Jane’s Weapons: Strategic 2015-2016, 2015, (United Kingdom: IHS), 191.
- Ibid, 190.
- Ibid, 192.
- Michael R. Gordon, “Some Syria Missiles Eluded Israeli Strike, Officials Say”, The New York Times, 31 July 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/01/world/middleeast/syrian-missiles-were-moved-before-israeli-strike-officials-say.html?_r=0.
- “Russia Uses Aircraft Carrier for Big Attack on Syrian Rebels”, Reuters, November 15 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia-strikes-idUSKBN13A19Y.
- “Kaliningrad: New Russian Missile Deployment Angers NATO”, BBC, November 22 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38070201.