79M6 Kontakt - Russian 'Resurrected' Anti-Satellite Missile

Kontakt 79M6
Kontakt 79M6 Anti-Satellite Missile

Militarymedia.net - The United States' superiority in the anti-satellite missile segment cannot be matched by Russia, especially since the US dares to claim to be the only country that has successfully launched anti-satellite missiles and succeeded in destroying them while in space orbit. Even so, while Russia was still under the auspices of the Soviet Union, it had prepared a figure for a counter-satellite missile.

The anti-satellite missile in question is the 79M6 Kontakt which was developed in the 80s. Although it has never been tested against a satellite target, in January 1987, for the first time, it was seen that the MiG-31D Foxhound fighter jet carried Kontakt missiles on the centerline. The Kontact missile was designed by the Fakel Design Bureau OKB Vympel.

It is widely believed that the project was promoted in response to the US's ASM-135 anti-satellite missile system which was successfully launched from an F-15 fighter jet on September 13, 1985.

This air-to-air missile carries a three stage rocket construction with a power source from the solid propellant rocket developed by OKB-16 (Kazan Engine Design Bureau). The first and second stage rockets carry solid propellant, while the third stage rockets carry liquid propellant.

The 79M6 Kontakt missile is 10 meters long and 74 centimeters in diameter. This missile weighs 4.5 tons and can be launched from an altitude of 15-18 km above sea level. Speaking of firing range, this missile with a speed of 3,000 km per hour can hit targets in orbit at a distance of 120 to 600 km.

The Kontakt missile is designed to carry a 20 kg warhead with kinetic interceptor technology. The duration of this missile's flight lasts in the range of 100 - 300 seconds.

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1990, so did the anti-satellite missile project. It was only then that in the 2009-2010 period, there was news that an attempt was made to revive the Kontakt missile project which was upgraded to the 95M6. US intelligence said Russia's anti-satellite missiles may not be ready until 2022. These missiles are believed to be designed to target communications and reconnaissance satellites in low-earth orbit.

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