Restoring Strategic Balance: Russia's "Invincible" Nuclear Weapons

  • Written by Zero Hedge
  • Published in Economics

Via Southfront.org,

On March 1, 2018, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin made his most important speech probably since the time of the 2007 Muenchen Conference. If 11 years ago he declared that Russia would not allow disrupting the strategic balance and losing great power status, in 2018 it was proven this has not happened and would not happen in the foreseeable future.

During his speech, Russia’s president introduced 6 high-tech weapons systems which were developed in order to preserve strategic parity that was being undermined by the US and NATO.

The core of the matter lies in the fact that, when Russia was weak, in 2002 the US unilaterally abrogated the ABM Treaty and then, pursuing the aim of neutralizing Russia’s nuclear deterrent, she began two large-scale programs.

The first was the global ABM system surrounding Russia and China. Land ABM bases were deployed in California, Alaska, Romania, and Poland, with over 100 GBI and Standard SM-3 missiles. Additional such facilities are planned for Japan, South Korea, and Qatar.

UN currently has the ability to intercept Russia’s ICBM warheads only during their terminal trajectories. However, the more modern SM3 Block II A and IB theoretically can accomplish boost-phase intercepts, before warhead separation. The US is also deploying a naval ABM component which at the moment includes 30 destroyers and 5 cruisers deployed in direct proximity to Russia.

in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, in the Sea of Japan, in the Pacific and Atlantic. These ships also carry SM3 missiles, no fewer than 150 of them. These launchers are dual-use, as they man launch not only SM3 but also Tomahawk SLCMs which are nuclear-capable.

The US also started pursuing the Prompt Global Strike (PGS) program, which seeks the ability to launch precision non-nuclear strike against any target on the planet within 1 hour.

PGS entailed the development of several hypersonic delivery vehicle types, including cruise missiles and gliding warheads.

Since these measures undermined the foundations of deterrence, namely Mutually Assured Destruction, Russia was forced to respond. It launched several weapons programs in order to nullify US and NATO superiority in that area.

Sarmat

On March 1, 2018. V. Putin presented the 5-th generation silo-based RS-28 Sarmat ICBM, a multi-stage liquid-fuel missile that will soon replace the Soviet-era R-36M2 Voyevoda (SS-18). While most of the missile’s characteristics are classified, it is known the 200-ton missile has a short active flight stage to make ABM intercept more difficult. The missile can reach the altitude of 100km and achieve speed of  Mach 7-10. While Voyevoda’s range stood at 11,000 km, Sarmat extends it to over 16-18 thousand, making possible strikes from different directions, including from over the Atlantic, Pacific, and also North and South Poles. It would force the target country to deploy a perimeter ABM defense around its borders that would be both very expensive and physically difficult. Experts believe two...

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