The advanced Hermes (Germes) long-range anti-tank guided missiles, capable to independently find and destroy enemy tanks, field entrenchments and enemy fighters, will be used by the Russian Ka-52 combat helicopters in Syria.
The Ka-52 combat helicopters, which are on board of the Admiral Kuznetsov heavy aircraft carrier, heading to the Syrian shores, will use the Hermes newest long-range anti-tank guided missiles, the Izvestiya newspaper reported, citing an informed source in the Russian military-industrial complex.
The missiles are capable to hit targets at a distance up to 30 km, while this characteristic sign of the most effective anti-tank guided missiles for helicopters, such as the Ataka, the Vikhr and the Hellfire, does not exceed 10 km. According to experts, the usage of the Hermes in Syria would not only allow to test the unique missile system in combat conditions, but also demonstrate the new product to potential buyers, first of all to Egypt.
The newest long-range anti-tank guided missiles were developing and testing by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau since the mid-1990s. Despite the fact that the Hermes is officially called an anti-tank missile, it is a universal product, capable to hit a wide range of targets, including buildings, field entrenchments and enemy fighters.
“Currently, a small batch of missiles that should be tested on the Ka-52 helicopters has been prepared,” the sours told the newspaper. “Tests in a combat situation will help in a fine-tuning of the missile system, which should become a standard weapon for the Russian Alligator combat helicopters. Earlier, tests of the Hermes were planned to be carried out by the Ka-52 helicopters that are already deployed at the Hmeymim airbase. But there were some difficulties with finalization of the missiles. For this reason, now it was decided to test the Hermes in more complex ship-based conditions,” the source concluded.
According to editor in chief of the Militaryrussia informational website, Dmitriy Kornev, the Hermes newest missile is equipped with a combined guidance system, capable to detect enemy targets even in the most adverse weather conditions. He also noted that in the future the missiles can be also equipped with miniature radars that would provide a unique precision of the newest product.
According to the expert, the speed of the Russian guided missile is very close to hypersonic speed.
“The two-stage design of the Hermes is largely unified with the structure of the anti-aircraft missile of the Pantsir-S system,” Kornev said. “The mother missile boosts the missile and expels it to a target area, and then separates from the product. Then the warhead starts to work: it searches for a target and then destroys it. The main minus of such a configuration is a great weight of the missile. According to reports, the product weighs is more than 90 kg, while the Vikhr anti-tank guided missile weighs two times lighter.
Currently, only one anti-tank missile system, the Israeli Spike-NLOS, is capable to strike targets at a distance of several tens of kilometers. It was developed in the 1980s to fight massed tank attacks of the Egyptian Army and has long been the most secret weapon in the arsenal of the Israeli Armed Forces. Amid the decision of Egypt to buy the Russian Ka-52K ship-based helicopters, Cairo’s desire to get a decent analogue of the Israeli long-range anti-tank system is quite obvious.
“Therefore, the upcoming combat usage of the Hermes will not only be a test for Russian missiles, but also a demonstration of possibilities for potential buyers,” editor of the Arsenal Otechestva magazine, Viktor Murakhovski, told Izvestiya.