15:16 Dec. 21, 2016
Video was shot from the cockpit of a tactical bomber during the tests of modernized missiles
Unique footage of "air-to-surface" laser-guided Kh-25 ML missiles test launches, filmed from the cockpit of Su-25 tactical bomber jet, published recently on YouTube. The tests were carried out by 299th Brigade of Tactical Aviation (Kulbakine, Mykolaiv region) back in 2013 on Povursk testing ground in Kovel district (Volyn region, Ukraine), but video has only just became available.
According to open sources, currently the Ukrainian Air Force operates approximately 60 Su-25, Su-25UBs, and Su-25UTGs, which are operated by the 299th Tactical Aviation Brigade based at Kulbakine, Mykolaiv region. Up to 30 Su-25s are reportedly stored at the 4070th Reserve Base. Also, Ukrainian Air Force modernized two types of the Su-25, one of them is Su-25M1 and Su-25UBM1.
The Kh-25/Kh-25M (NATO recognition call sign AS-10 'Karen') is a family of Soviet lightweight air-to-ground missiles with a modular range of guidance systems and a range of 10 km. The anti-radar variant (Kh-25MP) is known to NATO as the AS-12 'Kegler' and has a range up to 40 km.
Kh-25ML, shown on the video, is a semi-active laser guided variant with tandem warhead that can penetrate 1 meter of concrete.
Kh25ML missiles on Su-25 of 299th Tactical Aviation Brigade of Ukrainian Armed Forces (diana-mihailova.livejournal.com)
At the time of collapse of the Soviet Union Ukraine obtained 1796 missiles Kh-25M of different models, military blogger Diana Mihailova says. The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine in October 2013 spent 2,52 million UAH on the renovation of guided bombs KAB-1500L-PR and "air-to-ground" aviation rockets Kh-25ML by the State Kyiv Design Bureau "Luch". Similar job was carried out in June 2014, when "Luch" got 3.384 million UAH only for renovating Kh-25MLs.
The missile entered service in 1981, but remains in widespread use by numerous countries. For example, Russia commenced numerous air strikes on US-supported rebels in Syria, used the Su-24 jet with Kh-25 laser-guided missiles.
Fixing missiles to a Russian jet at Latakia, Syria (Wikipedia)