On the sideline of the International Military-Technical Forum Army-2021 that opened its doors on August 22, Russia’s defense giant JSC Kalashnikov Concern unveiled a laser-guided version of the S-8 air-to-ground rocket.
Kalashnikov is showing off the S-8L precision-guided missile, apparently a modernized version of the S-8 rocket. The S-8L has a range of 6km and can be launched from existing B8V20 and B8M1 rocket pods for helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft. 7/https://t.co/bSzpzyiPoz pic.twitter.com/wU0QdEJ0VT
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) August 22, 2021
The light guided rocket, dubbed S-8L, was designed to engage single and group ground targets, both stationary and moving from a fairly long range.
“The S-8L guided rocket with semi-active homing head can be used by various carriers, including all types of helicopters or aircraft, as well as UAVs,” said Andrey Semenov, First Deputy of the Kalashnikov Concern.
The S-8L was equipped with a semi-active laser homing seeker and a high-explosive fragmentation warhead. The rocket has a range of up to 6 kilometers.
“Today, our group of companies is working together with the Strela Research and Production Enterprise to adapt the new S-8L guided rocket with a helicopter-type unmanned aerial vehicle,” Semenov told reporters.
A prototype of an unmanned combat helicopter equipped with an optical targeting system and armed with three S-8L was showcased at Army-2021.
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) August 23, 2021
The S-8L can be fired from existing B8V20 or B8M1 rocket launchers which means its integration on Russian warplanes will be easy. The light guided rocket will be especially useful in counter-insurgency operations as it can effectively defeat lightly-armoured targets.
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