The Syrian Air Force actively uses unguided missiles against terrorists during the Syrian war.
Unguided missiles have become one of the main airborne weapons, used by the Syrian Air Force against terrorists. As famous Russian expert on the Syrian war, Yuri Lyamin, told the Vestnik Mordovii information website, the S-5 57-mm rocket weapon became the first unguided missiles, which has been to be used by the Mi-8/17 combat helicopters.
The S-5 unguided missiles were passed into service in 1955. Since this time, many versions of this weapon with various types of warheads have been created. There have been variants with fragment, shaped-charge, dual purpose, photoflash and dipole warheads. One of the latest versions of the S-5 is a modification, equipped with 1,000 flechette darts.
The length of the S-5 is only 882 mm. The weight is 3.86 kg. The speed is not more than 725 meters per second. The operational range is only 1,800 meters. In addition to the Mi-8/17 helicopters, the missiles are also used by the Su-22M4 fighter-bombers and the L-39 trainer aircraft.
The S-8 80-mm rocket weapon is currently the most common model of unguided missiles in the Syrian Air Force.
Depending on modification, the weight of the S-8 unguided missile ranges from 11.3 to 15.2 kg. The missiles can have various warheads: dual purpose, equipped with 2,000 flechette darts, in order to attack enemy’s manpower, volume-detonating, concrete-piercing, photoflash etc. The sighting range is about 2 km. Dispersal at the maximum distance is about 6 meters from an aiming point. The S-8 is used both by helicopters and military aircraft, including modern fighter jets, such as the MiG-29.
The S-24 240-mm rocket weapon, weighing 235 kg and having the length 2.30 meters, is the most powerful unguided missile, which has ever been used during the Syrian war. The weight of its warhead is 123 kg. The speed is 430 meters per second. The operational range is up to 2,000 meters. The S-24s are used mainly by the MiG-21.
According to some reports, the Su-22M4s have also used the S-13 unguided missiles against terrorists. The weight of this missile ranges from 57 to 68 kg. The warhead weight is from 21 to 32 kg. The launch range is up to 3 km. Some versions of this unguided missile are capable to break through a 3-meter earthen overhead protection or one meter of reinforced concrete.
Unguided missiles have proven themselves as a simple and reliable weapon. In addition to the Syrian Air Force, unguided missiles, such as the S-8, are actively used by the Russian Mi-35M, Mi-28 and Ka-52.