The Rationale of Cruise Missiles-II

Tara Kartha,Research Fellow,IDSA


Acquisition by Developing Countries: Problems and Opportunities

In the first part of this study, the development and use of cruise missiles were traced out, as well as their use in the Cold War and post-Cold War context. The cruise missile has since then, obviously carved a niche for itself (not a little due to the effects of prime time television visuals) in war-making. That the art of war-making--at both the tactical and strategic level--has changed considerably due to political as well as technological changes is to state the obvious. The "enemy" has changed, and, therefore, so has the weapon that was to deter/defeat that enemy. A glance at the military doctrine of the major powers shows that they expect to fight two or more wars simultaneously in far flung theatres. These "regional" conflicts might find the opponent armed with ballistic missiles and resisting the will of the "international community" (or that part of it that is prepared to fight or pay for the war). Given that such threats would be difficult to justify to home audiences as a threat to the security and integrity of the intervening state/states, it would naturally follow that casualties be kept at a minimum. Indeed, the war would preferably be fought at a "stand off" range, with the UN perhaps involved in the actual tasks on the ground. In such a scenario, the cruise becomes vital because of its

-- Accuracy and range.

-- Flexibility in armaments. The last point is particularly important, since cruises may be the favoured carrier to dispense submunitions at predetermined intervals, since no allowance needs to be made for survivability.

-- It needs no supporting aircraft (like ECM, CAP, etc.) and would be vital in the first few hours.

-- Collateral damage could be avoided, thus allowing a degree of "usability" withour fear of escalating the war (in other words, as a weapon of persuasion and seriousness of intent).

Regional powers with developing economies, may find additional benefits in the cruise. Given the relatively small size of Air Force, the cruise would be the ideal weapon against fixed high value targets, which are heavily defended by SAM sites. Some analysts also cite the relatively low cost of a cruise missile (as compared to a ballistic missile). But these are not readily comparable, since ballistic missile research may be part of a space programme. Among regional groupings, precision cruise capability also gives a mantle of power and prestige that would have diplomatic and political benefits.

However, the road to cruise acquisition is not a smooth one--apart from the restrictions on technology, there are a great many hurdles that developing countries would have to cross to acquire cruise missiles. Broadly, they have the following options:

-- Outright purchase

-- Indigenous development

-- Use of UAVs as TLAMs

-- Modification of existing platforms (like small aircraft)

These four paths are discussed here.

The Market

The first option is being increasingly tightened by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Guidelines of January 7, 1993, which apart from removing all payload definitions from the text, also call for particular restraint in the transfer of any missile whether or not covered by the Annexe, if the government judges that these may be intended for the delivery of WMD.1 However, there is an increasing number of countries offering cruise (short to medium range anti-ship) missiles on the market, which are obviously not candidates for WMD delivery. From the original Big Two, there are many more in the fray, and the figures broken down indicate eight developing countries, two major weapon producers (France, the UK) the two former superpowers, and three of the former states of the Soviet Union (Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus) (see below). It must be noted that designs are based on those of the major exporters—France, the USA and Russia followed by China (in that order). France's Exocet has been service in 29 Navies while the Harpoon is present in 21, Russia's Styx in 21 and the Chinese Hai Ying 1 and 2 (known interchangeably as Silkworm) have been supplied to at least six countries.2 While France and the US between them are estimated to have produced more than 8,000 missiles of these two types alone till early 1990, the Chinese, according to the Director of China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition said that his industry had developed 14,000 missiles of all types, as well as four series of cruise missiles of approximately 20 models.3 Thus, the almost universal spread of cruise missiles is hardly surprising, since these have been assiduously supplied by the major suppliers themselves. Now the fear among analysts is that having this "capability," countries would be able to develop their own versions.

Outright transfers like the sale of CSS-2 missiles to Saudi Arabia, after the US had turned down the request for Lance tactical missiles, may well be an isolated case, but the shrinking defence market has certainly led to a greater variety of weaponry now being offered off the shelf. Russia for the first time exhibited the AS-15, an air launched cruise missile, at the Abu Dhabi IDEX-93 with a conventional warhead and using stealth technology to reduce RCS. This version, weighing 1,250 kg armed with a 410 kg warhead and a range of 280 km4 interested foreign buyers (its strategic version is credited with a range of 2,500km). This technology is considered as obsolete in Russia, and new systems like the SS-N-24, and SS-N-21 are in service, and are considered the Russian equivalent of the Tomahawk. Whether these and other new designs will appear on the market is yet to be seen, but at present the commercially available cruises are only the short range variety (excluding the Silkworm) from an estimated 10 suppliers. The French "Apache" family is also to be marketed briskly, though again it will fall outside technology restrictions. North Korea's ambitions in this regard are yet unknown, but if efforts by developing countries like Iran (and previously Iraq) continue, the range of producers would certainly offer a more varied market.


Existing development efforts, which took off in the mid-1980s for very short range weapons, are now reaching out to longer ranges, using designs that were originally from the West or from China and Russia. From the coastal defence versions, designs are changing to land attack versions, though the Chinese are still concentrating on multi-launch anti-ship missiles with the Japanese going in for an air launched version. Analysts suggest several ways in which short cuts may be used to circumvent otherwise long and tedious development schedules.

One factor cited often is the increasing globalisation of the civilian aircraft industry, which allows short cuts to the indigenous manufacturer (without having to reinvent the wheel). However, the problem faced by developing nations is the lack of skills involved in integrating complex systems, which would need considerable aero-industrial expertise. Others note that the main factor that acts as a brake on development--that of compact efficient engines--could be circumvented (MTCR Guidelines notwithstanding)5 due to the availability of aeroengines on the open market that fall short of MTCR specifications, but are yet able to "do the job"6 (like the Noel Penny Turbines (NPT) of the UK whose turbojet engines are successfully used in unmanned aircraft) like the Israeli Delilah which uses the NPT engine, and the Argentine Bigua which uses French engines (TPS-18 turbojet).

A second alternative developmental path that is considered possible by proliferation enthusiasts is the conversion of existing anti-ship cruises like the Russian and Chinese Styx and Silkworm (the author also notes that modern ASCMs—like the French and UK designs--being densely packed would not be amenable to design modifications). The size of these missiles could be increased, while the autopilot could be combined with a satellite navigation receiver and inertial measurement unit. However, this alternative is not without difficulties and is discussed further below. Moreover, anti-ship cruises use active radar, which will not be effective in land attack roles because radar returns will not be accurate and difficult to identify.

The most direct route that the author suggests is the replacement of the HY-1 and HY-2s liquid fuelled engines with a suitable turbojet engine7 (which indeed is what powers the Chinese follow-on HY-4). Changes could also be made to the payload of a cruise to give it greater range or alternatively it could have its range increased by giving the missile a higher flight altitude for a portion of its flight even while retaining the original payload (and thus making it fall within the MTCR "danger" list).

The "Can-do" Cruise

A third alternative may be for countries to modify UAVs which are easily purchased, and are said to be the main proliferation scenario for the future. Many of these are capable of carrying heavy payloads of up to 500 kg and fairly long ranges are being attempted. Argentina, for instance, is reported to be involved in converting an Italian Mirach-600 recce drone into a land attack cruise missile known as the MQ-2 Bigua. The Mirach follow-on is also set to increase the range to 2,000km and a velocity of 1,100kmph.8

Increasingly at air shows there is a wide variety of sellers of RPVs and UAVs. At least 23 countries produce drones, RPVs or UAVs.9 Among the major arms producers, France and the US are major producers, while China, India, Israel and Syria are said to be the future sellers of advanced cruise missiles in an increasingly competitive market. Among the "proliferators" are South Africa and Israel, both of whom have been aggressively marketing their products.

The UAV received its present boost after the collapse of the Soviet Union which led to a downward slide in defence budgets, and the accompanying thrust towards finding cheaper solutions to the "new threats" from Third World missile proliferation and extended security perceptions. A second input was also the successful use of UAVs in recce operations during the Gulf War. The UAVs are seen as potential land attack missiles (like the Indian Lakshya). Essentially, this would mean that manufacturers would have to make the inevitable decision between payload capacity and range, where the quality of the engine used would be a primary factor. Broadly speaking, a turbojet or a ramjet capability would be essential, though a prop driven UAV could also be considered in areas where air defence capabilities of the target country are low (since they would be slower and prey to terminal defences). Other analysts are more cautious. They note that India, for instance, has not accomplished a great deal in spite of having a missile programme that was launched in the early 1960s.10 Production of powerful engines has been a brake in most Third World countries' aircraft programmes, with India still relying on foreign technologies in this area.

China, however, is in a different league. The country has over six institutes and associated facilities involved in UAV production (five in the vehicles and one in the power plant). It uses four different power plants for its UAVs. The Chang Kong series began in the late 1960s and was intended for use as a target for various types of missiles. The CK1C is able to make high manoeuvre flights at bank angles of up to 77 degrees; engines for the series were taken from retired J-6 (MiG-19) fighters (the WP6 Shenyang engine). On board autopilot stabilises flight in response to radio commands from the ground. A follow-on is the CK1C which is an extra low level variant. The Type 130 from CMIEC is also a ballistic target, but for low level air defence missiles like the HN-5A (equivalent to the SA-7). China already has a ramjet powered HY-3 SSM and the turbojet powered HY-4 and YJ-2 (SSM and ASM respectively). These capabilities put it far ahead of regional competitors. Notably, these missiles developed from coastal defence roles to the submarine and ship launched versions, with new weapons seeing a doubling in range. Guidance still seems to be a knotty problem and in this area (especially mid-course updating), China was reported to have approached South Africa and Israel. The Ying Ji 2 seems to employ inertial guidance with a monopulse active radar in the terminal phase, and descent controlled by radio altimeter. The increasing cooperation with Russia in aircraft production, missiles, and lately the UAV technology from Kazan11 may help rectify this.

A fourth alternative may be to use existing aircraft as an unmanned platform for carrying payloads. Cruise missiles in their early stages of development were essentially almost as large as a small aircaft. This will increase the payload, but the chances of detection are obviously higher (see Tables 1 and 2)

Table 1. Range and Payload Characteristics of Delivery Vehicles

Vehicle Range (km) Payload (kg) Type

MQ-2 Bigua 900 40-70 UAV

Sonerai II 560 560 small a/c

HY-2 Silkworm 95 500 Cruise

AS-6 560 1,000 Cruise

Scud-B 300 1,000 BM

Al-Husayn 600 190 BM

MiG-29 1,150 6-7,000 a/c

Su-24 1,200 8,000 a/c

Source: Kathleen Bailey ed., "Proliferation," Director's Series on Proliferation, UCRL-LR-114070-8.

Table 2. Some Cruise Development Programmes

North Korea tested a Styx/Silkworm variant in July 1994—range believed to be 160km.

China developed the Ying Ji-1 Exocet lookalike in the 1970s and the follow-on with a turbojet engine and increased range of 120 km is now under test (anti-ship, they may be launched from ground/ship/air/submarine). A longer range (180km) my also be in the pipeline (this latter version may need mid-course updating) while yet another at 600km is reported as a nuclear tipped air launched version.12

Iraq had what was essentially a lengthened Styx missiles designed to reach ranges of more than 180km. The Ababil ASM was a development programme based on the Italian Mirach 100 target drone. Its future is uncertain.

Iran is reported to be developing a longer range version of the Silkworm with North Korea and Syria.

Israel is developing a version of the famous Delilah UAV with a 400km range.

South Korea was developing a cruise of 180km in violation of an agreement with the US.

Japan's SSM-1A with a single warhead of 660kg will see an air launched follow-on with a longer range than the present 150km.

Taiwan is said to be developing the Hsiung Feng family of missiles since the 1970s (patterned on the Israeli Gabriel I in its first version, and later versions resembling the McDonnell Douglas RGM-84 Harpoon with an 80 km range). Present development is aimed at a range of 300km with the HF-3 incorporating both stealth and cruise technology.

India is said to have additional programmes to the Lakshya (a UAV with a range of 600 km) in the "Sagarika" which is a submarine/ship launched cruise with a range of 300km. Another is reported as the "Koral," believed to be an Indian version of the SS-N-22 "Sunburn" for fitting on destroyers.

South Africa has a longer range of its MUPWOW version (Modular Stand Off Weapon), identified as the H-3 which is for export. The latter is said to be of a class between the Apache and Tomahawk, while the H-2 is a extended range glide bomb which saw action in the Angolan War.

Syria and Iran are reported to have a joint cruise missile programme with North Korea and China. While this cannot be confirmed, Syria does have a drone (DR-3) as well as the SSC-1B cruise which has a range of 460km.

Development paths seem to indicate at the most simple level, efforts to increase range by increasing the propellant carried with the inevitable fall-out on payload (FAW series). Ramjet technology is proving difficult for countries that do not have the requisite aero-industrial capability, India included. Countries like China are attempting to improve the range of these engines for "true cruise" capability.

Some Hiccups for Developing Countries

The first and most obvious brake in developing countries moving ahead in either developing or adapting cruise technologies is that of developing an engine. At present, only China, Israel, South Africa, and India (which is yet on the developmental road) have any credible engine making capacity, outside of the traditional weapons producers. It is noteworthy, however, that China had been able to almost double the range of her cruise by converting from rocket powered to turbojet propulsion.

A second brake comprises adequate guidance technologies. Analysts cite the availability of cheap GPS receivers weighing under 5 kg, and costing less than $5,000. However, it must be noted that the civilian frequency, the Coarse/Acquisition (C/A code) is liable to be jammed. This code (with an accuracy of 20-30 m) has also been degraded due to national security considerations, with an artificial error introduced. The resulting signal is known as the SPS which provides accuracy of about 100m horizontally and 140m vertically (the encrypted PPS is said to give an accuracy of 21m and 29m respectively). The SPS signals may, however, be refined by using the method of differential GPS (which compares a known position of a site with the GPS position, and then calculating corrections). However, this method also requires the user to have extremely precise locational data and sophisticated surveying capability. Long range cruises of the future may use both the GPS and TV or radar terrain matching systems to correct any residual errors with which the missile approaches the selected target areas, resulting in accuracies of around 20 to 30m according to some analysts.14 While the GPS may suffer selective degradation, the Russian GLONASS should still provide a back up. Besides, few countries have to deal with the enormous distances involved in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) preparations for a Warsaw Pact attack. Therefore, the longer range provided by an ALCM for instance, as a stand off missile launched from the periphery, was never part of the strategic picture.

As regards basic aero-industrial capability, analysts have listed over 14 countries as having the capability to produce one or other type of aircraft and engine.15 Though this "capability" so far has not led to many developing their own engines or aircraft (witness the fate of the Israeli Lavi, the Japanese FX and the Indian LCA) which seems to indicate significant brakes in the ladder of licensed production to independent capability. South Africa, similarly, assembled the French Mirage, while North Korea assembled the components acquired from China in making a version of the MiG-21. The high costs of developing engines has led to the market being dominated by the weapons producers of the world, who are able to bear the R&D costs. However, the making of simple cruises that are rocket powered, and merely drift into a cruise mode in the terminal phase, with or without some guidance, would be well within the ability of most of these countries. Purely glide bombs (unpowered) could be effective upto 30 km. The ability of Third World countries to develop composite materials has undoubtedly increased in tandem with their thrust into the space industry, and also ballistic missile research. India, Taiwan and Israel have all progressed in this field as well as the making of radar absorbent material.

By and large, development by Third World countries has been low since the low technology first generation ballistic missiles could deliver a larger payload, and it made more sense to let follow-on research take the ballistic path, rather than the complete change-over to small engines and exotic fuels required in an air breathing missile. Secondly, there was no perceived requirement, since enemy air defences were not generally of a high order, requiring "stealth" and saturation. However, this scenario may be changing as air defence catches up in the developing world. It can be safely assumed that cruise technology is proving to be an attractive acquisition, and for countries wanting to take a short cut from the path of tedious and slow development, there may a brisker trade "underground", with its dissemination being made use of as a way to gain influence (and hard cash/diplomatic favour/oil, etc.) Given the interest in cruise technology and the quest for better range and materials, predictably there is a rash of "alleged" deals, of various kinds, with "suspect" powers credited with programmes of considerable technological capability. However, the fact remains that there occurs considerable technology sharing, which obviously emanates from the large producer countries. One one level, therefore, there is little that is "new" about this, except the awareness, and the fact that one more producer country has been added to the list of proliferators--China. However, the lack of controls in the former Soviet Union, the eagerness to encash knowledge by former missile aspirants, and indeed the behaviour of the new entrant, China, is certainly cause for a fresh look at a market that has always had its dark side.

"New" Sources of Proliferation: "Insider Trading"

A new source of proliferation concern according to some analysts, is the increasing cooperation among Third World nations in development. Analysts note that Chinese systems appear to be the basic design for Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Israel, undoubtedly the top dog in the avionics that go into a UAV, is suspected to have supplied China with sensitive guidance technology from its Star 1 anti-radiation drone programme (for the YJ medium and long range project). Israel's new cruise is said to be targetted for export, with a range of 397 km with a penetrator warhead for hardened targets.16 Similarly, Serbia is alleged to have signed a $30 million contract with Libya for technology transfer17 and South Africa is said to have offered the H-3 to Pakistan, which already has the Exocet and Harpoon. The possibility that China could fit a nuclear warhead to the HY-2 (Silkworm) was indicated by a US Defence Department Report in 1993,18 though it is unlikely that the warhead technology would be passed on to Iran or Syria, both of whom are identified as benefiting from Chinese technology. Similarly, Iran is assessed to have augmented her Silkworm units by buying more from Ukraine. It may also have acquired a number of C-601s (anti-ship, range 95km and payload of 500kg) from China. Iran is alleged to have sought to acquire more advanced anti-ship systems from North Korea and China, and the procurement of 19 Chinese-made FAC equipped with C-802s (95 km range, 165 kg payload) could give it a flexibility in defending against new threats. These are by no means "black market" deals in the sense of the word, but simply underline the new sources opening up. Once again, however, it is worth nothing that these are essentially defensive short range cruises. Meanwhile, China is reported to be building a new generation of land attack cruises with Russian technical assistance (medium and long range).

In another vein, and as yet to be fully mapped, is the greater movement in scientific manpower. For instance, Ukraine's Yuzmash facility for missile development which employed 10,000 designers in 1991, now has 5,000 on its rolls. Russian scientists have not only been accused of working in China but are also alleged to be working through the Internet in supplying data to countries like Iran and Iraq. One report also notes that 3,000 Russian experts are working for China at a salary of $2000 a month, plus housing, car, etc.19 While these are not hard figures, and indeed never could be, given the poor prospects for Russian scientists in their home country, such an eventually could hardly be disregarded.


With almost all cruise missiles in the hands of Third World countries supplied by the major producers, it is again these countries which are trying to restrict the ability of buyers to branch out on their own for obvious reasons: firstly, it would further shrink an already reducing defence market, and, secondly, further development could allow these countries the same options (if not extent of lethality) as developed countries in dealing with security threats. That this is a manifestly unreasonable attitude, however, has little to do with the nature of the technology regimes, and this has to be accepted and dealt with by missile aspirants.

Reaction to proliferation, primarily by the US, has been on three levels--technological, political and military. Each, in fact, complements the other, and is seen as such at all levels. Counter-proliferation indeed has become an all encompassing policy that embraces all levels of US policy, affecting all departments. The policy of tightening technology transfers begun in the 1980s has since been honed so that the guidelines of the MTCR have a strong presumption to deny transfers of any missiles which may be understood as WMD carriers. Additionally, analysts are calling for clear technology guidelines that will contribute to the range and payload of cruise missiles and UAVs--such as flight profile, system speed, type of guidance, and range/payload trade offs. Another suggestion is to treat stealth technologies as complete sub-systems subject to Category-1 controls. A third suggestion is to deny dual-use low observable technologies to cover missiles with ranges of 300km plus regardless of payload. While countries like Israel, Ukraine and China have declared themselves as "adherents" to the MTCR, they remain suspect in the eyes of non-proliferation enthusiasts. Certainly, there has been cause to regard China's protestations as insincere, even though China's leaders had assured US Secretary of Defence William Cohen that China would make no new sales, no transfers of technology, no technical cooperation to Iran that could give it ability to upgrade its current systems."20 Whether his assurance will be carried out to the letter (or transferred through North Korea) remains to be seen.

At the military level, the reaction to proliferation of cruises has led to emphasis on "low observables" in missile defences. This is far from being an easy task, especially in the case of land attack missiles. While many technological wonders have come to pass since the days of the V-1, the task of defence has hardly become easier. Complex radar still fails to detect a low flying cruise missile, and even an airborne radar may not always be able to identify it. Recently, the US military has been trying out tethered aerostats in exercises against these low observables. Additionally, ground based SAM sites would find it almost impossible to hit an incoming cruise since the minimum firing altitude would be too high. The new Russian SA-10s claim, however, to be able to defend sites even against these low flying threats. One possibility of defence is ironically, the low technology anti-aircraft gun, which could use saturation fire to hit an incoming cruise (always assuming that adequate warning was made available). Another being considered is to disrupt satellite communications where a GPS receiver would then be unable to transmit correct data.

Given that these defences are hardly inexpensive, it appears that the US military and others that are allied to it, take the proliferation threat seriously enough. One of the most comprehensive studies done to date notes that 72 countries possess cruise missiles, which is meant to underline the "threat" from cruise missiles. While it also points out that of these, only 10 Third World marauders have an RPV capability21 and 15 are capable of actually producing some type of cruise or attempting to, it fails to see the obvious conclusion, since of these 15, eight are major arms producers of the world,22 giving the result that the remaining 64 (except Japan which produces but is not among the arms exporters) are being supplied by these eight countries. This raises the question of whether the "proliferation" is another hyped up bug. Another point is that among the countries cited as having such a programme/possession are US allies like Israel, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, UK and France.

The question of "capability" is a sticky one and depends on the imagination of the reader, since few analysts are fond of explaining exactly what such a "capability" means. It could mean an intention to acquire or a full-fledged closed loop capacity for manufacturing nearly all the components that go into the making of it, so that outside agencies are powerless to stop such a programme. The US has consistently blurred the distinction between the two--development and possession--so much so that intelligence estimates can only be taken with a large pinch of salt. Thus, while Libya may be said to be "cruise capable," the near impossibility of Libya manufacturing her own chemical warheads in the near future to fit such a missile needs also to be recognised to present "the threat" in its correct perspective.

Another point is that at present nearly all cruises said to be in "enemy" hands are those used for coastal defence, and as such, hardly a "threat" to nations hundreds of miles away, unless they were to come calling with hostile intent. Even then, these are highly limited capabilities, though efforts to significantly increase their range are underway (especially in the UAV class).

However, hype apart, there is clearly a security threat to developing countries from the cruise missile due to, firstly, the willingness to use the missile (due to its low collateral damage) by major powers in humanitarian/peace-keeping/intervention scenarios. When backed by the appropriate agreement of the "international community," it gives such powers the ability to "punish," at little cost to themselves. Given the considerable control over the international media, and the fact that a pariah state becomes completely cut off from all international fora, the possibility of protest is dim indeed. Such countries that stand at risk, would naturally be advised to develop these and other capabilities.

Secondly, the threat--which as we have seen is limited to below 300-400km for the present--is viewed seriously enough to incorporate a range of counter-measures aimed at keeping US/European/Allies ships and armed forces safe from what are essentially defensive missiles in such a scenario. While it is true that the role of the military industrial complex is a significant input, what is more serious for regional powers is that these further erode their own defence capabilities. Even as they realise that the betting is still on the cruise getting through, the push for faster development would be considerable. Therefore, the third point is that as those entering the arena aim at better ranges and guidance capability, it creates an inherent instability in this region, as some powers surge ahead (e.g. China) while others are forced to buy off the shelf at considerable cost to themselves. If unavailable on the market, they must follow further the ballistic and nuclear path, or content themselves with a subservient position.

The "danger" from cooperation between developing world producers is rather ironic, since apparently little onus lies on the Franco-German cooperation in producing a follow-on to the Exocet, or indeed American assistance to Israel for the ATBM component of its missile programme and UAV technology. Proliferation, therefore, apparently lies in the eye of the beholder.

Moreover, it is surprising how many programmes owe their origin to Western designs rather than the fell hand of China or North Korea. As noted, both Taiwan and China have reverse engineered US designs, while France, South Africa and the UK have been actively cooperating in long range cruise technology23 with Kentron also cooperating with Vympel of Russia. France and South Africa also cooperate in drone technology with the MArula drone being purchased by SAGEM. The Exocet in turn was reverse engineered by China to produce the Ying Ji. This diffusion of technology is undoubtedly an additional factor even as China provides assistance to states in this region. Whether the "adherent" status of China to the MTCR will at all reduce this search for hard cash and influence is yet to be seen. Transfers in UAV technology and systems need to be monitored carefully.

National Intelligence Estimates of the US in 1996 observed that by 2005, several countries would acquire land attack cruises to support regional goals.24 While dismissing the threat to CONUS from ships off the coast, nonetheless, the remarkably even handed statement underlines that cruise development is proceeding apace (unlike the ICBM threat which is given a grace period of more than 15 years for a significant change from the status quo). Clearly, for regional powers, it is regional ambitions that are the threat. In that, the cruise plays a significant part in giving the modern equivalent to a "shot across the bows."

Technology and transfer of equipment seems on the face of it, aimed at an increasingly tightening vise on developing countries' options. Side by side are the Theatre Missile Defence programmes that seek to negate the defensive potential of even those missiles that are yet within inventories. Whether engaged in a "just war" or one that is simply predatory, this leaves most states very few options against a coalition of states well armed on their side with accurate cruises that use conventional armaments to their optimum. There seems to be little alternative to those states that choose to remain aloof from alliances but to extend their technological frontiers by dint of sheer effort.



ALCM-Air-launched cruise missile

ASCM-Anti-ship cruise missile

ASM-Air to surface missile

ATBM-Anti-tactical ballistic missile

CAP-Combat air patrol

CONUS-Continental United States

ECM-Electronic counter measures

FAC-Fast attack craft

GPS-Global positioning system

ICBM-Inter-continental ballistic missile

LCA-Light combat aircraft

RCS-Radar cross section

RPV-Remotely piloted vehicle

SAM-Surface to air missile

SPS-Standard positioning system

SSM-Surface to surface missile

TLAM-Tactical land attack missile

UAV-Unmanned air vehicle

WMD-Weapons of mass destruction


1. Missile Technology Control Regime Guidelines

2. Jane's Strategic Weapons Systems, Issue 12.

3. Beijing Review, 1/6/97, pp. 17-20.

4. Jane's Air Launched Weapons, ( Surrey, UK: Jane's Information Group).

5. According to paragraph 3 of the MTCR Equipment and Technology Annex, cruise missile engines are also subject to limitations: (i) light weight, fuel efficient turbojet and turbo prop engines; (ii) ramjet/scramjet/pulsejet/combined cycle engines including devices to regulate combustion. Qualitative limitations are also provided in thrust and fuel consumption.

6. For a discussion on this, see Gennady Khromov, "The Threat of Cruise Missile Proliferation Requires Urgent Coordinated Actions," The Monitor, Fall 1997/ Winter 1998.

7. Denis M. Gormley "On the Threat of Cruise Missile Proliferation," The Monitor, Spring-Summer 1998.

8. World Unmanned Aircraft (Jane's Publishing Inc. 1988).

9. Jane's Strategic Weapons Systems, Issue 7.

10. See Aaron Karp "Ballistic Missile Proliferation: The Politics and Technics" (SIPRI: Oxford University Press, 1996).

11. Cooperation with Kazan for the DAN UAV, powered by a turbojet, and equipped with an anti-radiation seeker or a millimetric wave radar and on-board altimeter was reported in Asian Defence Journal, December 1992.

12. Data is drawn from Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Jane's Defense Weekly, May 1, 1996; Ian O Lesser, Ashley J. Tellis "Strategic Exposure" Rand, 1996. (MR-742-A).

13. Kathleen C. Bailey ed., "Director's Series on Proliferation" Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, June 1, 1995.

14. See Jane's Strategic Weapons Systems, Issue 07. Also see Aviation and Space Technology, September 6, 1993, pp. 54-55.


16. Flight International,

17. Washington Times, December 11, 1996. Also see Times of India, January 21, 1998.

18. Aviation Week and Space Technology, February 1, 1993, pp. 26-27.

19. Wall Street Journal, October 14, 1993, p.A12.

20. Washington Times, January 21, 1998, p.A9.

21. Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia (?), South Africa, and South Korea. See Robin Ranger et. al, "Cruise Missiles: New Threats, New Thinking," Comprehensive Strategy, Vol. 14, pp. 255-275.

22. These 15 are China, France, Egypt, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK, and the US. Egypt is included for possessing nine types of imported ASCMs, n. 3.

23. Reportedly, an agreement was signed to release classified information on the conventional stand-off missile requirement to Kentron (which is the missile subsidiary of ARMSCOR), Flight International, June 12, 1994, p. 5.

24. Written statement by Richard N. Cooper, Chairman, National Intelligence Council, for Hearing of the House National Security Committee, February 28, 1996.