80mm S-8


80mm S-8 rockets being fired

Russian army helicopter firing S-8 rockets from B-8V20A rocket pods.

Source: Vladimir Karnozov - © Copyright lies with original owner

Soviet Union
Aerial rocket
Entered service
Early 1970's
In service
Late 1960's - 1969 (design project)
1971 (Soviet state trails)
Soviet Union - OKB-16
Early 1970's - present
Soviet Union



The S-8 is a family of unguided rockets of Soviet origin. The S-8 was developed in the 1970's as a response to the poor performance of the S-5 during Soviet use in Afghanistan. The S-8 is much more powerful and accurate while still small enough to allow the launch aircraft to carry a sizeable quantity. The S-8 is common on all late Cold War and modern aircraft in the ground attack role of Soviet/Russian origin.


The S-8 can be considered an enlarged version of the S-5. The warhead and fuze are located at the front and the short burning rocket motor makes up most of the body. Each rocket has six folding fins that are retracted upon launch an provide stability in flight. The length and weight differ depending on warhead. S-8 rockets are unguided free flight rockets and do not feature any guidance. Targeting is achieved by pointing the launch aircraft in the direction of the target.


The S-8 is much more effecive than the earlier S-5 rockets due to much higher accuracy and more powerful warheads. A wide variety of warheads is available which includes HEAT-Frag, anti-runway, thermobaric, illumination and others. Depending on the warhead the maximum range is 2 to 4.5 km. A 20 round rocket pod can be ripple fired in only a few seconds. A laser guidance kit for S-8 rockets has been developed, but is not in use yet.


The S-8 rockets are used on attack helicopters and ground attack fighters. On helicopters it is most commonly used on the Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter, but can also be found on armed versions of the Mi-8 Hip and the latest Mi-28 and Ka-50 attack helicopters. The Su-25 Frogfoot is the main fixed wing aircraft on which the S-8 is used, but it is also used on the Su-17 Fitter, MiG-29 Fulcrum, MiG-27 Flogger, Su-27 Flanker and Su-24 Fencer.


The S-8 was in widespread use with Soviet forces at the later stages of the Cold War and replaced most S-5 missiles in use. The S-8 remains in widespread use and has been exported to various Warsaw Pact members and Soviet allies. The S-8 remains in widespread use today.


List of standard warhead types for S-8 rocket

HEAT-Frag warhead for use against infantry, vehicles and normal buildings. Most common S-8 version.
Improved version of the S-8KO.
Concrete penetrating round for use against bunkers, runways and aircraft shelters.
Improved version of the S-8B.
Version with thermobaric warhead for use against infantry.
Improved version of the S-8D.
S-8D with different type of thermobaric warhead.
HEAT version with tandem warhead for use against ERA and no fragmentation effects. Only effective against armored vehicles.

The S-8 rockets come in a large number of versions that differ in warhead type and effective range. Furthermore, a wide variety of specialist rounds based on the S-8 have been developed. It is unknown if all versions listed are in service.

List of special warhead types of S-8 rocket

Version with illuminating flare.
Improved version of the S-8O.
Chaff round for radar distraction.
Improved version of the S-8P.
Flechette round for use against infantry in the open.
Target marking round with smoke effect.
S-8 with laser guidance.

S-8 rockets

A stack of S-8KO aerial rockets.
Source: forum.valka.cz - © Copyright lies with original owner

Rocket pods for the S-8


The B-8M1 rocket pod is the 20 round version for use on fixed wing aircraft. Compared to the helicopter version the B-8M1 is more streamlined resulting in much reduced drag. The rockets are arranged in two circles with an inner circle of 7 round and an outer circle of 13 rounds.


The B-8V20A rocket pod is the standard 20 round version for helicopter use. Unlike the B-8M1 it is not streamlined and it has the advantage of being lighter. The rockets are arranged in two circles with an inner circle of 7 round and an outer circle of 13 rounds.


The B-8V7 is a recent rocket pod for the S-8. It is much smaller and lighter since it carries only 7 rounds. The B-8V7 is meant for use on helicopters.


The B-8S7 is a seven round rocket pod for the S-8. It differs from the B-8V7 in heaving a more areodynamically shaped nose.


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Mil Mi-24V

The 80mm S-8 was introduced as one of the new armament systems on the Mi-24V over the earlier Mi-24D.