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P-500 Bazalt / P-1000 Vulkan
(NATO reporting name: SS-N-12 'Sandbox')
SS-N-12 missile launch tubes on the Kiev (1976).JPEG
Eight SS-N-12 launchers on the aircraft carrier Kiev
Type Sub- or surface-to-surface missile
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service Since 1975
Used by Soviet Union, Russia
Production history
Manufacturer OKB-52/NPO Mashinostroyeniya Chelomey
Produced 1970–1987 (P-500)

1985–1992 (P-1000)[1]

Weight 4,800 kg (10,600 lb)
Length 11.7 meter
Diameter 0.84 meter

Warhead High explosive or nuclear
Warhead weight 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) (P-500)
Blast yield 350 kt

Engine Liquid rocket
Wingspan 2.6 meter
550 km (300 nmi) (P-500)
700 km (380 nmi) (P-1000)
Speed Mach 2.5
Semi-active, terminal active radar
Echo II & Juliett submarines
Kiev & Slava class ships

Eight pairs of P-500 canisters are a distinctive feature of Slava class cruisers; the Varyag (pictured) may have been upgraded to the P-1000 Vulkan.

The P-500 Bazalt (Russian: П-500 «Базальт»; English: basalt) is a liquid-fueled, rocket-powered, supersonic cruise missile used by the Soviet and Russian navies. Its GRAU designation is 4K80[2] and its NATO reporting name is SS-N-12 Sandbox.


Developed by OKB-52 MAP (later NPO Mashinostroyeniye), it entered service in 1973 to replace the SS-N-3 Shaddock. The P-500 Bazalt was first deployed in 1975 on the Soviet aircraft carrier Kiev, and was later added to both the Echo II class submarine and the Juliett class submarine. A version of the P-500 Bazalt with improved guidance and engines is used on the Slava class cruiser. The sixteen launchers dominate the decks of the class.


The P-500 Bazalt has a 550 km range and a payload of 1,000 kg, which allows it to carry a 350 kt nuclear or a 950 kg semi-armor-piercing high explosive warhead. The P-500 Bazalt uses active radar homing for terminal guidance, and can receive mid-course correction from the Tupolev Tu-95D, the Kamov Ka-25B and the Kamov Ka-27B.

The missiles were intended to be used in salvos; a submarine could launch eight in rapid succession, maintaining control of each through a separate datalink. In flight the group could co-ordinate their actions; one would fly up to 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) and use its active radar to search for targets, forwarding this data to the other missiles which remained at low altitude. The missiles were programmed so that half of a salvo would head for a carrier target, with the rest dividing between other ships. If the high flying missile was shot down another from the salvo would automatically pop up to take its place. All of the missiles would switch to active radar for the terminal phase of the attack.[3]

P-1000 Vulkan

An improved version of the P-500 was installed on three Echo II submarines towards the end of the Cold War.[4] The P-1000 Vulkan (GRAU 3M70) flies faster (Mach 2.3–2.5)[5] and its range has been extended to 700 km.[5] It replaces steel components with titanium to reduce weight, and has an improved propulsion system. It appears to have used a similar fire-control system to the P-500, the Argon-KV and Argument radar.[4]

The P-1000 was ordered on 15 May 1979[4] from NPO Mashinostroyeniya Chelomey;[4] it first flew in July 1982[4] and was accepted for service on 18 December 1987.[4] It was installed on three Echo II submarines of the Northern Fleet between 1987 and 1993; the conversion of two units of the Pacific Fleet, the K-10 and K-34, was abandoned due to lack of funds.[4] Of the submarines that did receive the P-1000, the K-1 was decommissioned after a reactor accident in 1989, the K-35 was stricken in 1993 and the K-22 in 1995.[4] It is believed that the P-1000 has been installed on the Slava class cruiser Varyag,[6] and some sources report P-1000 missiles on her sister ship Moskva.[7]

Related developments

The P-700 Granit (NATO reporting name SS-N-19 Shipwreck) was partially based on the SS-N-12, but with a turbojet engine and a significantly modified airframe. The avionics, however, are very close.


Bazalt sketch




 Soviet Union

Fourteen Echo II submarines were upgraded to carry the P-500, and three of those went on to receive the P-1000 Vulkan.

See also


External links

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