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There’s Evidence That Russia Uses a Missile And a Cruise Bomb Hybrid Called Grom-E1

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The Grom-E1 missile / Illustrative photo from open sources
The Grom-E1 missile / Illustrative photo from open sources

Grom-E1 was created on the basis of the Kh-38 missile and did not belong to the weapons distributed in rusia, although its high and dangerous characteristics have been declared

The russia’s Air Force began to use glide bombs more often, in particular, the use of the UPAB-1500B has been already recorded, as well as unsuccessful launch of russia’s JDAM-ER analogue, which fell in Donetsk.

The wreckage of the Grom-E1, which is a hybrid of a gliding bomb and a missile, was also published today. It’s not known where exactly the wreckage was found and how long it had been there.

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The peculiar wings that open in the air say that in the photo is the Grom-E1 missile. At the same time, unlike conventional planing bombs, this munition with a total weight of 594 kg and a warhead of 315 kg has a jet engine that allows to increase the drop range. In particular, russian sources indicate that the Grom-E1 has a range of up to 120 km. For the version without an engine, called Grom-E2, this figure is up to 65 km, since it carries additional 165 kg warhead instead.

There’s Evidence That Russia Uses a Missile And a Cruise Bomb Hybrid Called Grom-E1, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Grom-E1 / Illustrative photo from open sources

Defense Express notes that the maximum drop range depends on the height and speed of the carrier, therefore the range of 120 km is covered when dropped from a height of 12 km and a speed of 1600 km/h. With lower flight performance, the range may be shorter, which is also indicated by the illustration for the Grom-E1 presentation, where the damage range is about 35 km when dropped from a height of 5 km.

There’s Evidence That Russia Uses a Missile And a Cruise Bomb Hybrid Called Grom-E1, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war

The Grom-E1 is guided by an inertial and satellite navigation system, and the target types include "vulnerable ground targets with known coordinates." In addition to the standard high-explosive part, development in a thermobaric design with the possibility of high-altitude detonation was also declared.

The first demonstration of the ammunition took place in 2015. As of 2019, it was reported that the Grom-E1 and Grom-E2 tests were completed.

The ammunition itself is based on the Kh-38 air-to-ground missile, which has been manufactured since the 90s with the following declared parameters combination: a range of up to 40 km and a maximum speed of Mach 2.2. This missile was put into service in 2013. After that the manufacturer declared its modernization with an increased launch range of up to 70 km.

There’s Evidence That Russia Uses a Missile And a Cruise Bomb Hybrid Called Grom-E1, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Kh-38ML with a laser guidance system / Illustrative photo from open sources

But given the small number of photos and videos of aircraft carrying the Kh-38, this missile remains rare in russia.

There’s Evidence That Russia Uses a Missile And a Cruise Bomb Hybrid Called Grom-E1, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Kh-38 during tests on the Su-34 aircraft / Illustrative photo from open sources

Nevertheless, it requires special attention that russia began active attempts to use gliding bombs, at a time when only the Kh-59 guided missiles were recorded as a long-range weapon.

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