Raduga Kh-15
(NATO reporting name: AS-16 'Kickback')
AS-16 Kickback 2008 G1.jpg
Raduga Kh-15
TypeAir-launched ballistic missile
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1980
Used byRussia
Production history
ManufacturerDubna Machine-building Plant
Mass1,200 kg (2,650 lb)
Length478 cm (15 ft 8 in)
Diameter45.5 cm (17.9 in)
Warheadconventional or nuclear
Warhead weight150 kg (331 lb)
Blast yield300 kt

Enginesolid-fuel RDTT-160
Wingspan92 cm (36.2 in) maximum
300 km (160 nmi)
Flight ceiling40,000 m (130,000 ft)
Maximum speed Up to Mach 5[1]
inertial guidance, active radar homing, or anti-radiation missile
Su-33, Su-34, Tu-95MS-6, Tu-22M3, and Tu-160[1]

The Raduga Kh-15 or RKV-15 (Russian: Х-15; NATO: AS-16 "Kickback"; GRAU:) is a Russian hypersonic aero-ballistic missile carried by the Tupolev Tu-22M and other bombers. Originally a standoff nuclear weapon similar to the U.S. Air Force's AGM-69 SRAM, versions with conventional warheads have been developed.

As of early 2019, it was uncertain whether the Kh-15 was in service, with rumors that it had been retired or placed in storage.[2]


In 1967, MKB Raduga started developing the Kh-2000 as a replacement for the Kh-22 AS-4 'Kitchen' heavy anti-shipping missile.[1] Development of the Kh-15 started some time in the early 1970s.[3] The sophistication of the design made it suitable for other roles, and a nuclear-tipped version was developed in tandem with the conventionally armed variant.[1] An upgrade under development was cancelled in 1991, but reports in 1998 suggested an upgraded Kh-15 might be fitted to Su-35 (Flanker-E) tactical aircraft.[3]


The Kh-15 climbs to an altitude of about 40,000 m (130,000 ft) and then dives in on the target, accelerating to a speed of about Mach 5.[1]

Operational history

It entered service in 1980. It can be carried by the Su-33, Su-34, Tu-95MS-6 'Bear-H', Tu-22M3 'Backfire C', and Tu-160 'Blackjack'.[4]


  • Kh-15 (RKV-15) - the original version with nuclear warhead and inertial guidance
  • Kh-15P - passive seeker for anti-radar use
  • Kh-15S - active radar seeker for anti-shipping use[1]




Similar weapons

  • KSR-5 (AS-6 'Kingfish') - heavy anti-surface missile carried under the wings of Tu-22M
  • Kh-59 (AS-13 'Kingbolt') - ASM for tactical aircraft, up to 285 km range
  • Kh-37 (updated version of AS-20 'Kayak') - land attack version of subsonic Kh-35 Anti-Ship missile, 250 km range
  • AGM-69 SRAM - 1000 kg US missile with up to 170 km range

Photo Gallery


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Kh-15, RKV-15 (AS-16 'Kickback')", Jane's Air-Launched Weapons, 2008-08-01, archived from the original on 2019-10-18, retrieved 2009-02-03
  2. ^ Kristensen, Hans M.; Korda, Matt (4 March 2019). "Russian nuclear forces, 2019". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 75 (2). doi:10.1080/00963402.2019.1580891.
  3. ^ a b "Kh-15 (AS-16 'Kickback'/RKV-15)", Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, 2008-09-02, archived from the original on 2019-10-18, retrieved 2009-02-06
  4. ^ "АО "Корпорация Тактическое Ракетное Вооружение"". Archived from the original on 2014-08-06. Retrieved 2016-08-25.


  • Gordon, Yefim (2004). Soviet/Russian Aircraft Weapons Since World War Two. Hinckley, England: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-188-1.
  • Healey, John K. (January–February 2004). "Retired Warriors: 'Cold War' Bomber Legacy". Air Enthusiast. No. 109. pp. 75–79. ISSN 0143-5450.