It's a missile designed to be retrofitted to both surface ships and submarines(As indicated by the ship launching the missile from a port normally reserved for torpedoes.) The ship obviously doesn't have a lot of anti-barbecue measures such as heat pads nor space around the torpedo launchers so they launched the weapon in a torpedo canister away from the ship to avoid the extreme heat from the exhaust.
Now why don't they launch the weapon like a regular missile? The concept of this entire weapon is that if you have torpedo tubes but no infrastructure for Anti ship missiles, you can still launch ASMs without having a separate ASM launching complex.
Last edited by Hisroyalhighness; 04-01-2012 at 03:48 PM.
It's the outcome of the onetime move to unify the armories of subs and surface ships. RPK-6 Vodopad, also known as PRK-7 Veter and SS-N-16 Stallion, is an ASW missile system, suitable for installation on both surface ships and submarines. RPK-7 is a submarine version, which consists of the 650 mm missile with either 406 mm compact ASW torpedo (which, in a pinch, could also be used against surface ships) or nuclear depth charge. It's normally ejected out of one of the sub's torpedo tubes, gets a target fix, then launches itself towards it, where it drops the warhead on a parachute. RPK-6 is a surface ship version, which uses the same principle, but because few surface ships, if any, had 650 mm tubes, the designers were forced to use 533 mm first stage, which limited the missile's range from 120 km to maybe 40. The strange logic of dropping the missile into the water first was used both to utilize the same parts from RPK-7 (the only difference between them is the 1'st stage diameter, and thus range — you can stuff much more solid fuel into 26" barrel than into 21") and to equip lighter surface combatants with at least some standoff weapon: a torpedo tube is generally a much simpler and more compact device than a missile launcher, as it doesn't need the proofing against hot exhaust etc.
I just read here that the RuAF is acquiring AT-802U counterinsurgency aircraft. The photo posted is claimed to be of one of those, but it depicts a narcotics eradication aircraft, as evidenced by the spray bar and ventrally mounted hopper. Is there any truth to the report?