Munitions / Air to surface missiles / S-8

S-8

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Aerial rocket

  • ORIGIN
    USSR

  • NICKNAMES
    -

  • DESIGNED
    1970's

  • DESIGNER
    ?

  • PRODUCTION
    1984 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    Russia
    USSR

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Wide variety of warheads
    Better accuracy than S-5
    Unguided

Introduction

The S-8 is a family of unguided rockets of Soviet origin. The S-8 was developed in the 1970's as a response to the poor performance of the S-5 during Soviet use in Afghanistan. The S-8 is much more powerful and accurate while still small enough to allow the launch aircraft to carry a sizeable quantity. The S-8 is common on all late Cold War and modern aircraft in the ground attack role of Soviet/Russian origin.

Design

The S-8 can be considered an enlarged version of the S-5. The warhead and fuze are located at the front and the short burning rocket motor makes up most of the body. Each rocket has six folding fins that are retracted upon launch an provide stability in flight. The length and weight differ depending on warhead. S-8 rockets are unguided free flight rockets and do not feature any guidance. Targeting is achieved by pointing the launch aircraft in the direction of the target.

Firepower

The S-8 is much more effecive than the earlier S-5 rockets due to much higher accuracy and more powerful warheads. A wide variety of warheads is available which includes HEAT-Frag, anti-runway, thermobaric, illumination and others. Depending on the warhead the maximum range is 2 to 4.5 km. A 20 round rocket pod can be ripple fired in only a few seconds. A laser guidance kit for S-8 rockets has been developed, but is not in use yet.

Platform

The S-8 rockets are used on attack helicopters and ground attack fighters. On helicopters it is most commonly used on the Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter, but can also be found on armed versions of the Mi-8 Hip and the latest Mi-28 and Ka-50 attack helicopters. The Su-25 Frogfoot is the main fixed wing aircraft on which the S-8 is used, but it is also used on the Su-17 Fitter, MiG-29 Fulcrum, MiG-27 Flogger, Su-27 Flanker and Su-24 Fencer.

Users

The S-8 was in widespread use with Soviet forces at the later stages of the Cold War and replaced most S-5 missiles in use. The S-8 remains in widespread use and has been exported to various Warsaw Pact members and Soviet allies. The S-8 remains in widespread use today.

Variants

B-8M1

The B-8M1 rocket pod is the 20 round version for use on fixed wing aircraft. Compared to the helicopter version the B-8M1 is more streamlined resulting in much reduced drag. The rockets are arranged in two circles with an inner circle of 7 round and an outer circle of 13 rounds.

TypeRocket pod
PlatformAircraft
Length2.76 m
Diameter0.520 m
Weight160 kg empty
Armament20x S-8 rocket
Remarks250 mm lug spacing

B-8V20A

The B-8V20A rocket pod is the standard 20 round version for helicopter use. Unlike the B-8M1 it is not streamlined and it has the advantage of being lighter. The rockets are arranged in two circles with an inner circle of 7 round and an outer circle of 13 rounds. The B-8V7 is the latest rocket pod for the S-8. It is much smaller and lighter since it carries only 7 rounds. Unlike the other S-8 rocket pods it can be used on both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

TypeRocket pod
PlatformHelicopters
Length1.70 m
Diameter0.520 m
Weight123 kg empty
Armament20x S-8 rocket
Remarks250 mm lug spacing
TypeRocket pod
PlatformAircraft, helicopters
Length1.70 m
Diameter0.336 m
Weight40 kg empty
Armament7x S-8 rocket
Remarks250 mm lug spacing

Standard rounds

The S-8 rockets come in a large number of versions that differ in warhead type and effective range.

S-8KO: HEAT-Frag warhead for use against infantry, vehicles and normal buildings. Most common S-8 version.
S-8KOM: Improved version of the S-8KO.
S-8B: Concrete penetrating round for use against bunkers, runways and aircraft shelters.
S-8BM: Improved version of the S-8B.
S-8D: Version with thermobaric warhead for use against infantry.
S-8DM: Improved version of the S-8D.
S-8DF: S-8D with different type of thermobaric warhead.
S-8O: Version with illuminating flare.
S-8OM: Improved version of the S-8O.

TypeUnguided rocket
Diameter82 mm body, 384 mm wingspan
Length1.57 m
Weight11.3 kg
GuidanceUnguided, ballistic flight
WarheadHEAT-Frag, 3.6 kg warhead containing 0.9 kg explosive, penetrates 400mm RHA
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed610 m/s
Range1.3 to 4 km
Altitude-
Engagement envelope-
Remarks-
TypeUnguided rocket
Diameter82 mm body, 384 mm wingspan
Length1.54 m
Weight15.2 kg
GuidanceUnguided, ballistic flight
WarheadConcrete penetrating, 7.41 kg warhead, 0.6 kg explovies, penetrates 0.8 m reinforced concrete
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed450 m/s
Range1.2 to 2.2 km
Altitude-
Engagement envelope-
Remarks-
TypeUnguided rocket
Diameter82 mm body, 384 mm wingspan
Length1.66 m
Weight11.6 kg
GuidanceUnguided, ballistic flight
WarheadThermobaric, 3.8 kg, 2.15 kg explosives, equivalent to 5.5 kg TNT
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed590 m/s
Range1.3 to 3 km
Altitude-
Engagement envelope-
Remarks-
TypeUnguided rocket
Diameter82 mm body, 384 mm wingspan
Length1.68 m
Weight13.4 kg
GuidanceUnguided, ballistic flight
WarheadThermobaric, 5.5 kg, 3.3 kg explosives, equivalent to 6 kg TNT
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed500 m/s
Range1.3 to 4 km
Altitude-
Engagement envelope-
Remarks-
TypeUnguided rocket
Diameter82 mm body, 384 mm wingspan
Length1.63 m
Weight12.1 kg
GuidanceUnguided, ballistic flight
WarheadIlluminating, 2 megacandela flare for 30 seconds
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed545 m/s
Range4 to 4.5 km
Altitude-
Engagement envelope-
Remarks-

Special rounds

A wide variety of specialist rounds based on the S-8 have been developed. It is unknown if all versions listed are in service.

S-8T: HEAT version with tandem warhead for use against ERA and no fragmentation effects. Only effective against armored vehicles.
S-8P: Chaff round for radar distraction.
S-8PM: Improved version of the S-8P.
S-8S: Flechette round for use against infantry in the open.
S-8TsM: Target marking round with smoke effect.
S-8Kor: S-8 with laser guidance, not in use yet.

TypeUnguided rocket
Diameter82 mm body, 384 mm wingspan
Length1.7 m
Weight13 kg
GuidanceUnguided, ballistic flight
WarheadTandem HEAT, 6.6 kg incl 1.6 kg explosive, penetration 400mm RHA behind ERA
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed?
Range1.3 to 4 km
Altitude-
Engagement envelope-
Remarks-
TypeUnguided rocket
Diameter82 mm body, 384 mm wingspan
Length1.63 m
Weight12.3 kg
GuidanceUnguided, ballistic flight
Warhead4.5 kg chaff
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed545 m/s
Range2 to 3 km
Altitude-
Engagement envelope-
Remarks-
TypeUnguided rocket
Diameter82 mm body, 384 mm wingspan
Length1.612 m
Weight13 kg
GuidanceUnguided, ballistic flight
WarheadFlechette warhead, 2.000 flechettes in 5 bundles
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed?
Range1.2 to 3.5 km
Altitude-
Engagement envelope-
Remarks-
TypeUnguided rocket
Diameter82 mm body, 384 mm wingspan
Length1.605 m
Weight11.1 kg
GuidanceUnguided, ballistic flight
WarheadTarget marking warhead
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed?
Range1.3 to 2 km (helicopter)
1.3 to 3 km (plane)
Altitude-
Engagement envelope-
RemarksMarking smoke visible out to 6 km
TypeAir to ground missile
Diameter82 mm body, 384 mm wingspan
Length?
Weight15.2 kg
GuidanceLaser guidance
WarheadBM-8 6 kg warhead, 1.8 kg TNT equivalent, penetration 400mm RHA
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed480 m/s
Range2.5 to 8 km
Altitude-
Engagement envelope-
Remarks-

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