Rocket r-35, 1988, (photo from the archive Sceptic-2,

P-6 Progress/SS-N-3C Shaddock

June 28, 2018

Quick Facts

Russian/US Designation P-6 Progress/SS-N-3C Shaddock
Role and Mobility Cruise Missile and Coastal Area Defense; Submarine-Mobile
Designer/Production NPO Mashinostroyenya Chelomey
Range 450 km
Warhead Type and Weight Conventional/Nuclear; 1000 kg
MIRV and Yield Unknown; 100 kt
Guidance System/Accuracy Terminal Active Radar Homing; Unknown
Stages/Propellant Two; Solid
IOC/Retirement 1959; 1990
Status/Number of Units Retired; N/A


In the early 1950s, it became clear that the US aircraft-carrier battlegroup represented the most significant threat to the offensive and defensive Soviet naval operations.[i] In defense, the Soviet Union developed the P-6 Progress or the SS-N-3 Shaddock that could defend the coastal regions of the Soviet Union and any land operations. The Progress is a submarine-based, supersonic, anti-ship cruise missile.[ii]  It can travel up to Mach 1.5 and has a maximum range of 450 km.[iii] There are three known variants of this missile, all designated SS-N-3 by NATO.


P-6 Progress: Original Submarine-Based Anti-Ship Missile with radar homing

P-5 Pyatyorka: Submarine-Based Variant with inertial guidance

P-35 Progress: Ship-Based Variant

All variants have since been retired and replaced by the P-500 Bazalt and P-700 Granit.[iv]

Strategic Implications

At the time of its deployment, the P-6 Progress was strategically valuable because it gave the Soviet Navy a long-range anti-ship capability for the first time.[v] The drawback of the Progress was that it originally required submarines remained surfaced for 30 or more minutes until the missile’s seekers lit up, creating a major vulnerability. Its heavy reliance on datalinks also provided opportunities for jamming.[vi] In order to combat these issues, the Soviet Union developed of an airborne surveillance and acquisition system to improve targeting and allow the submarines firing the weapons to re-submerge faster.[vii] Aspects of this new guidance system are still used in Russia today.

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    [vii] Ibid.

    Missile Threat and Proliferation