Metel Anti-Ship Complex

RPK-3 Metel
(NATO reporting name: SS-N-14 'Silex')

launcher with SS-N-14 missiles on a Udaloy class destroyer.
Type Anti-submarine/ship rocket
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1969current
Used by Russia
Production history
Designed 1960s
Weight 3,930 kg (8,660 lb)
Length 7.2 m (24 ft) (85R missile)
Warhead Various ASW torpedo or nuclear depth charge or ASW torpedo and 185 kg shaped charge warhead.

Propellant solid fuel rocket
10 90 km for 85RU/URPK-5 Rastrub [1](versus ship)
5 50 km (anti-sub with helicopter or other external guidance)
Maximum depth 20500 metres
Speed Mach 0.95, 290 m/s (650 mph)
Kresta II, Kara, Burevestnik 1 & 2, Udaloy I, Kirov

Metel Anti-Ship Complex (Russian: противолодочный комплекс «Метель» 'Snowstorm'; NATO reporting name SS-N-14 Silex) is a Russian family of anti-submarine missiles. There are different anti-submarine variants ('Metel') for cruisers and frigates, and a later version with a shaped charge ('Rastrub') that can be used against shipping as well as submarines.

The missile carries an underslung anti-submarine torpedo which it drops immediately above the suspected position of a submarine. The torpedo then proceeds to search and then home in on the submarine. In case with 85RU/URPK-5, the UGMT-1 torpedo is a multi-purpose torpedo and can be used against submarines as well as surface ships. The missile has been in operational service since 1968, but is no longer in production; it was superseded by the RPK-2 Viyuga (SS-N-15 'Starfish').


In the early 1960s the Soviet Union introduced the RBU-6000 and RBU-1000 anti-submarine rocket launchers, which worked on a similar principle to the Royal Navy's Hedgehog system of the Second World War, propelling small depth charges up to 5,800 metres (6,300 yd) from a ship. However this meant that a ship would still be in range of the submarine's torpedoes and missiles, and depth charges were less accurate than homing torpedoes. In 1963 the US Navy introduced ASROC, a missile that flew to the estimated position of the target submarine, and then dropped a torpedo into the water to destroy it. The SS-N-14 was the Soviet response.

In 1993, an upgraded version, designated YP-85, with a range of 250 km (130 nmi), was proposed for export.[2]


The missile is based on the P-120 Malakhit (NATO: SS-N-9 'Siren') anti-shipping missile. The missile itself is radio command guided and is powered by a solid fuel rocket motor. The later 'Rastrub' models of the weapon were "universal" carrying a UGMT-1 multi-purpose torpedo and in addition had 185 kg shaped charge warhead for use against ships guided by radio command and IR seeker. [3] In anti-submarine mode the missile flew at approximately 400 meters altitude, and when it was over the estimated position of the target submarine the missile was commanded to release the torpedo or depth charge. In anti-shipping mode the missile flies much lower, at 15 meters.[4]

Operational history

The URPK-3 entered service in 1969 on the Kresta II and Kara classes of cruisers.[2] The URPK-4 was introduced in 1973, and the anti-ship version URPK-5 Rastrub in 1976.[2] The URPK-4 has been used on the Burevestnik class frigate and the first batch of the Udaloy class destroyer; the Udaloy II carries the SS-N-15 'Starfish'. The system was installed on the Admiral Ushakov (ex-Kirov) but not on her sister ships.[2]

Of these the Krestas and all but two Karas have been retired, along with most of the Burevestniks and half the Udaloys; the Kirov appears to have been upgraded to the SS-N-16 'Stallion' at some point. 100 missiles are estimated to remain in service as of 2006.



 Soviet Union

Notes and references

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