May 9, 2021

Near Missile Launch Disaster on Russian Frigate


The video here and above shows the potentially disastrous failed trial of a Kalibr-NK (export Club-N) cruise missile designed for ship launch. The launch was from Russian frigate/destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov late April 2021.

That attempted launch of the missile was extremely dangerous for the ship's crew. This is because the missile could have immediately cork-screwed back onto the ship - rather than starting to corkscrew 1.5 seconds after launch and falling into the sea dangerously close by. 

Of the Kalibr's short trajectory, there may be at least three possibilities:
1.  t
he Russian Navy may have had no automatic safety system that would destroy such an erratically flying missile, or
2.  10 seconds into the video the missile appears to break into two (the rocket booster has accidentally, or by electronic signal, been separated from the Main Body (jet stage and non-explosive dummy warhead) or
3.  the missile remained so close to the ship that a ship's officer intentionally triggering the missile's destruction could have damaged or disabled the ship.

Even without an explosive Kalibr warhead the kinetic energy +  unspent jet/rocket fuel in the missile booster could have set Marshal Shaposhnikov ablaze.

Warships hulls are more likely to burn (giving off poisonous fumes) these days due to increasing use of lighter, often stronger, plastic/composites, rather than non-burnable steel.

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