This missile, a navalized version of the SA-17 Grizzly, is depending on how you look at it either an uprated version of the SA-N-7 Gadfly, or a clone of the American SM-2MR. Its capabilities are very similar to the SM2, employing inertial guidance with near-real-time midcourse updates (which constitutes a sort of command guidance) and terminal semi-active radar homing. Newer versions even include the secondary infrared homing capability of the Standard! Also, like Standard, it can engage ships, boats, surfaced submarines and some land targets in addition to its usual prey of missiles, airplanes and helicopters. It is launched from a slightly modified version of the SA-N-7 single-rail launcher (very much akin to the Mark 13 used on the USN's Perry class frigates). This launcher can also fire the SA-N-7, and they use the same guidance radars, Front Dome.

Unlike SM2, which has an effective range out to 75-80km, however, SA-N-12 is only effective to perhaps 60km against medium-altitude threats in optimum conditions. Against sea-skimming missiles or high-level bombers, its range is somewhat shorter, 45-50km. Its range against surface targets is unknown, but possibly longer in ideal conditions, due to the possibility of ballistic delivery. Top speed is estimated to be around Mach 3, again similar to Standard. Vertical-launch versions have been developed, but have not found any use as yet.

SA-N-12 is a rather new missile and is deployed on very few ships, currently only the three newest Sovremenny class destroyers and one refit. The Russian destroyers Nastoychivyy and Admiral Ushakov have the missile, the latter ship being a refit. Also, the two newer Chinese Sovremennys carry it, or at least the modified launcher, in addition to their improved CADS-N-1 CIWS. These two can also be identified by the missing aft 130mm mounting. (In contrast, the new Russian ship, Nastoychivyy, still has the aft gun.) In practice they may still employ the older SA-N-7 round, as several hundred were supplied with the first two DDGs sold by Russia.

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