Russia’s Strategic Response

As we have shown in the previous article of this issue –Part 1-, Russian President Putin began to respond to Washington’s Eurasian strategy of surrounding Russia, by developing and deploying counter-measures against Washington.

Moscow’s military muscle shows

On December 26, as most of the West was distracted in Holiday cheer, the Russian military activated a new fleet of Topol-M missiles. The new generation weapon is capable of fitting a nuclear warhead, as well as changing trajectory to foil an enemy interception device such as the current generation of US anti-missile defense weapon.

This was no small act of macho bravado. General Nikolai Solovtsov, commander of Russian Missile Forces, simultaneously announced the mobilization of a new battalion for the Topol-M missiles. The missiles have a 1 megaton impact, some 75 times the Hiroshima A-bomb of 1945.  The Russian general announced that the Topol-M was, ‘capable of piercing any missile defense system,’ and was immune to electromagnetic blasts used by current US missile defenses. For military experts that is impressive.

Russia announced it has also formed 20 new nuclear missile units, its largest increase of nuclear spending since the 1962 Cuba Missile Crisis.

The fanfare in Russia around the Topol roll out is the greatest since the Soviet-NATO confrontation around the Soviet SS-18 missiles and the NATO Pershing II’s in the 1980’s. The recent flood of petrodollars into Moscow Treasury accounts has allowed the military to significantly upgrade defense technology for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990.

In September 2005, Russia also successfully tested a submarine-launched version of Topol-M, called Bulava, from the White Sea. That missile successfully hit its target 30 minutes later on Kamchatka on the Far East side of Russia, an extremely impressive feat not lost on Pentagon strategists.

In its 2003 Budget, the Russian government made funding of its SS-27 or Topol-M single-warhead missiles a ‘priority.’ And the Defense Ministry resumed test launches of both SS-27 and Topol-M.

In December 2006, Putin told Russian journalists that deployment of the new Russian mobile Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile system was crucial for Russia’s national security. Without naming the obvious US threat, he declared, ‘Maintaining a strategic balance will mean that our strategic deterrent forces should be able to guarantee the neutralization of any potential aggressor, no matter what modern weapons systems he possesses.’

It was unmistakable whom he had in mind, and it wasn’t the Al Qaeda cave-dwellers of Tora Bora.

Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Ivanov, announced at the same time that the military would deploy another 69 silo-based and mobile Topol-M missile systems over the following decade. Just after his 2007  Munich speech Putin announced he had named his old KGB/FSB friend, Ivanov to be his First Deputy Prime Minister overseeing the entire military industry.
Russia’s elusive TOPOL-M Missile is Scary as Hell

The giant TOPOL-M road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile is one frightening creation of mankind. It can hide in cities, forests, or even nuclear-attack hardened bunkers. It’ll travel at over 24,000 kph while taking evasive action and pumping out decoys on the way to its target.

TOPOL-M, known by NATO as the ‘Sickle-B,’ was the first ICBM created by Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.

The TOPOL-M missile was designed to penetrate an American anti-ballistic missile shield by leveraging high-speed, a relatively small infrared signature during its boost phase, advanced decoys (as many as ten carried on a single missile), maneuvering mid-course capability, and maneuvering independently targeted re-entry vehicles, of which it can carry up to six.

The missile’s high speed shortens the time anyone can react to it, and every second matters when it comes to ballistic missile defense. The rocket motors were designed for a short, very powerful boost stage so that American space-based infrared detection satellites (SBIRS, DSP) have less time to detect and track it. Its decoys make it hard for radar to adequately track the correct target, and its countermeasures are said to have been upgraded to fool infrared tracking systems, which are used for mid-course interception. The missile and re-entry vehicles’ ability to dynamically manoeuvre outside of their ballistic track makes producing an effective kill solution, or even predicting the TOPOL-M’s target, problematic. All these features come together to make a missile that is probably outside of America’s missile defense capabilities today, and the sheer number of them that exists makes the idea of defending against anything but a limited barrage totally invalid.

It can reach out to about 10,000 km. Its three stages are solid fueled, so it can be ready to launch at a moment’s notice, and can remain ready to fire for long periods of time.

The TOPOL-M is so powerful that it can also be used to put up to medium-sized satellites into low-earth orbit Not only is the road-mobile TOPOL-M hard to hit once it is in the air, or at the edge of space for that matter, it is also very hard to find on the ground as they can hide pretty much anywhere. The TOPOL-M is now out of production, and in its place is an improved missile that carries ‘at least’ four MIRVs. This new system is known as the RS-24 ‘Yars’ and features an even higher speed than the TOPOL-M, and has a smaller CEP of only about 150 feet. More advanced decoys and countermeasures are also said to be fielded with this new missile, as well as enhanced mid-course and terminal phase manoeuvering, all of which were developed specifically to counter anti-ballistic missile defense systems that have become operational in the US and that will soon be operational in Europe.

Russia is also working on deploying the RS-24 on trains as well as road-mobile TELs, something it stopped doing under the START II treaty by the end of the last decade. The new START III treaty, signed in 2011, does not limit train-based ICBMs, thus Russia is quickly developing such a system. o sleep tight knowing there are hundreds of TOPOLs, TOPOL-Ms, and now RS-24s, prowling the Russian countryside, and soon to be clacking along Russia’s never-ending railways as well, just waiting for the order to end the world as we know it.

Whereas America has its nuclear ‘trident’ consisting of silo-based, submarine-based and air-launched nuclear weapons, Russia has a four pronged approach with its road-mobile ICBMs that operate in a similar fashion to SSBN submarines. By dispersing a portion of its land-based nuclear arsenal throughout its great wilderness, Russia makes it very hard for the US to hit all of its nuclear emplacements during a ‘first strike’ scenario. This greatly enhances Russia’s land-based nuclear arsenals deterrence factor. Just the threat of a second-strike ability, not just from Russia’s SSBN submarine force that America works very hard to track, but from road-mobile ICBMs, and very capable ones at that, makes Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) a continuing reality.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that as of January 2006, Russia possessed 927 nuclear delivery vehicles and 4,279 nuclear warheads against 1,255 and 5,966 respectively for the United States. No two other powers on the face of the earth even came close to these massive overkill capacities. This was the ultimate reason all US foreign policy, military and economic, since the end of the Cold War had covertly had as endgame the complete deconstruction of Russia as a functioning state.

In April 2006, the Russian military tested the K65M-R missile, a new missile designed to penetrate US missile defense systems. It was part of testing and deploying a uniform warhead for both land and sea-based ballistic missiles. The new missile was hyper sonic and capable of changing flight path.

Four months earlier, Russia successfully tested its Bulava ICBM, a naval version of the Topol-M. It was launched from one of its Typhoon-class ballistic missile submarines in the White Sea, travelling a thousand miles before hitting a dummy target successfully on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The Bulava missiles were to be installed on Russian Borey-class nuclear submarines beginning 2008.

During a personal inspection of the first regiment of Russian mobile Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missiles in December 2006, Putin told reporters the deployment of mobile Topol-M ICBMs were crucial for Russia’s national security, stating, ‘This is a significant step forward in improving our defense capabilities.’

‘Maintaining a strategic balance,’ he continued, ’will mean that our strategic deterrent forces should be able to guarantee the neutralization of any potential aggressor, no matter what modern weapons systems he possesses.’

The only power surrounding Russia with weapons of mass destruction was its old Cold War foe–the United States.

The Commander of Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces, General Nikolai Solovtsov, was more explicit. Commenting on the successful test of the K65M-R at Russia’s Kapustin Yar missile test site April 2006, he declared that US plans for a missile defense system, ‘could upset strategic stability. The planned scale of the United States’ deployment of a…missile defense system is so considerable that the fear that it could have a negative effect on the parameters of Russia’s nuclear deterrence potential is quite justified.’ Put simply, he referred to the now open US quest for Full Spectrum Domination.

Possible Russian Response

A well-respected Cold War military veteran originally from the Soviet Union, later in French intelligence, writing under the nom de plume, The Saker, recently outlined in detail what the United States and NATO can expect from Russia if Washington foolishly continues to escalate US troop deployments on Russia’s doorstep in the Baltics, activates more of its BMD missile defenses–which, by the way, as Vladimir Putin pointed out, are also capable of being easily converted to carry nuclear warheads.

Saker correctly points out that Washington’s AEGIS kinetic BMD system at present is no real military threat to Russia’s military defense capabilities. It is the escalation that they see that alarms Moscow. That, especially since Washington’s February, 2014 coup d’état in Ukraine, and the lock-step obedience as literal vassals, of every EU head of government to Washington orders since, even at their own economic expense.

As a consequence, Russia has begun to prepare for the “unthinkable.” Keep in mind Russians abhor war, having lost perhaps up to 30 million citizens in the 1940’s.

Saker describes the Russian current response strategy which has been quietly in preparation since the Cheney-Bush Administration announced plans in 2007 for a US BMD in Poland and the Czech Republic:

“The Russian effort is a vast and a complex one, and it covers almost every aspect of Russian force planning, but there are four examples which, I think, best illustrate the Russian determination not to allow a 22 June 1941 to happen again:

  • The re-creation of the First Guards Tank Army (in progress)
  • The deployment of the Iskander-M operational-tactical missile system (done)
  • The deployment of the Sarmat ICBM (in progress)
  • The deployment of the Status-6 strategic torpedo (in progress)”

Three of the four points are especially worth describing in detail. Saker describes the Iskander-M: “The new Iskander-M operational tactical missile system is…extremely accurate, it has advanced anti-ABM capabilities, it flies at hypersonic speeds and is practically undetectable on the ground…This will be the missile tasked with destroying all the units and equipment the US and NATO have forward-deployed in Eastern Europe Eastern Europe…”

Russia deploys its Iskander anti-BMD missiles in Kaliningrad

The concerns of Russia are caused by the dramatic improvement of an entire system of missile defense by Washington, which is taking the form of a global BMD system encircling Russia on all sides.

On November 23,2011, a normally low-keyed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told the world in clear terms that Russia was prepared to deploy its missiles on the border to the EU between Poland and Lithuania, and possibly in the south near Georgia and NATO member Turkey to counter the advanced construction process of the US ballistic missile defense shield: “The Russian Federation will deploy in the west and the south of the country modern weapons systems that could be used to destroy the European component of the US missile defense,” he announced on Russian television. “One of these steps could be the deployment of the Iskander missile systems in Kaliningrad.” Those would be theatre ballistic missile systems. The latest version of Iskander, the Iskander-K, whose details remain top secret, reportedly has a range up to 2000 km, carries cruise missiles and a target accuracy to 7 meters or less.
Russia put in exploitation of anew alert radar against missiles at Kaliningrad

Medvedev declared he has ordered the Russian defense ministry to “immediately” put radar systems in Kaliningrad that warn of incoming missile attacks on a state of combat readiness. He called for extending the targeting range of Russia’s strategic nuclear missile forces and re-equipping Russia’s nuclear arsenal with new warheads capable of piercing the US/NATO defense shield due to become operational in six years, by 2018.. Medvedev then correctly pointed to the inevitable link between “defensive” missiles and “offensive” missiles: “Given the intrinsic link between strategic offensive and defensive arms, conditions for our withdrawal from the New Start treaty could also arise,” he said.

The Russian President didn’t mince words: “I have ordered the armed forces to develop measures to ensure, if necessary, that we can destroy the command and control systems” of the US shield, Medvedev said.

RS-28 ‘Satan’ Missile

Then he details Sarmat ICBM, in progress. After noting that during the Cold War, the SS-18, the most powerful ICBM ever developed, was scary enough. ” “The RS-28 ‘Sarmat’ brings the terror to a totally new level. The Sarmat is…capable of carrying 10-15 MIRVed warheads which will be delivered in a so-called “depressed” (suborbital) trajectory and which will remain manoeuvrable at hypersonic speeds. The missile will not have to use the typical trajectory over the North Pole but will be capable of reaching any target anywhere on the planet from any trajectory. All these elements combined will make the Sarmat itself and its warheads completely impossible to intercept.” ALAMY

The missile, nicknamed Satan, can fly 6,000 miles, carry 16 warheads and has the potential to destroy an area the size of France

In February 2014 a Russian military official said the RS-28 Sarmat would be ready for use in 2020.

In May that year it was reported that the production process had been accelerated and that the missiles would make up 100 per cent of Russia’s fixed land-based nuclear arsenal by 2021.

Dr Roberts wrote in Global Research: “One Russian SS-18 wipes out three-fourths of New York state for thousands of years.

“Five or six of these “Satans” as they are known by the US military, and the East Coast of the United States disappears.”

 The Status – 6 Torpedo

Then Russia’s Status-6 strategic torpedo: “The Status-6 torpedo would be delivered from an ‘autonomous underwater vehicle’ with advanced navigational capabilities but which can also be remote controlled and steered from a specialized command module. The vehicle can dive as deep as 1 kilometer at a speed up to 185km/h with a range of up to 10,000 km (over 6,200 miles). The Status-6 system can target aircraft carrier battle groups, US navy bases (especially SSBN bases) and, in its most frightening configuration, it can be used to deliver high-radioactivity cobalt bombs capable of laying waste to huge expanses of land. The Status-6 delivery system would be…capable of delivering a 100 megaton warhead which would make it twice as powerful as the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated, the Soviet Czar-bomb (57 megatons). Hiroshima was only 15 kilotons.” Saker adds, “Keep in mind that most of the USA’s cities and industrial centers are all along the coastline which makes them extremely vulnerable to torpedo based attacks…the depth and speed of the Status-6 torpedo would make it basically invulnerable to interception.” 

The Yakhont –Anti-Ship Missile

The “Yakhont”: a supersonic, shore-to-ship cruise missile (known in the West as P-800 Oniks). To “Yakhont” poses a veritable nightmare for the any navy given its offensive capability which is a giant leap ahead of present-day shore-to-ship missiles in the region. The new missile can hit a vessel 300 kilometers from the shore with a powerful warhead packed with a 200 kilogram load of explosives. This means that NATO ships will be under almost permanent threat from the “Yakhont”

The “Yakhont’s” specs make it extremely difficult to intercept since it’s a “sea skimming” missile: fifteen kilometers from the target it drops to an altitude of ten meters above the water, making it practically impossible for radar to detect. The missile cruises at a truly incredible velocity – more than twice the speed of sound (Mach two), and its radar homing device is built in such a way that electro-optic defense systems are all but at a loss “to lock” onto it once it’s in flight.

  Zircon –Anti-Ship Missile

Britain’s new aircraft carriers can’t defend themselves against Russia’s latest hyper sonic anti-ship missile.

The problem? Russia’s 3M22 Zircon streak toward their target as fast as Mach 6, or 4,600 miles per hour. But the Sea Ceptor defensive missiles on the Queen Elizabeth–class carriers can only intercept targets traveling up to Mach 3, or about 2,300 miles per hour, anonymous British defense officials told the British press.

“Hyper sonic missiles are virtually unstoppable,” a senior naval source told the Daily Mirror. “The whole idea of the carrier is the ability to project power. But with no method of protecting themselves against missiles like the Zircon, the carrier would have to stay out of range, hundreds of miles out at sea. Its planes would be useless and the whole basis of a carrier task force would be redundant.” Concluded British newspaper the Independent: “It means the two ships, the first of which is not expected to be fully operational before 2020, could be rendered obsolete by this new development in hyper sonic warfare despite costing up to £7 billion [US$8.9 billion] to build.”

And if that news wasn’t bad enough, it now turns out that estimates of the Zircon’s speed may have been premature. Russia’s TASS news agency now reports that the Zircon achieved a speed of Mach 8 during recent tests. That would mean the missile reached a speed of 9000 km per hour. The Zircon has an estimated range of 400 kms. Traveling six times the speed of sound, it could reach that maximum distance in a little over three minutes. 

“During the tests of the missile, it was confirmed that its speed on the March reaches eight Mach,” according to what TASS described as an unnamed “source with Russia’s defense sector.”

TASS noted that there was no information on when the test was conducted and from which platform the missile was launched. However, TASS’s source did note that “Zircon missiles can be launched from universal launching platforms 3C14 which are also used for the Onyx and Caliber missiles.”

The Zircon will replace P700 Granit missiles on the Kirov-class nuclear-powered battlecruisers Pyotr Velikiy and Admiral Nakhimov, as well as submarines. Though the Granit has a slighter longer range of about 700 km, its estimated maximum speed is only Mach 2.5.

So what does all this mean? Pravda’s boast that the Zircon means Russia “would be able to annihilate an up-to-date British aircraft carrier at one fell swoop”.

Britain is not about to cancel a nearly $10 billion program for carriers that will be the jewels in the Royal Navy’s crown.

If Russia hopes to achieve conventional deterrence with its hypersonic missiles—don’t mess with us, Britain, or we’ll wipe the White Ensign off the seas.

 The S-300,400 and 500 Missile Systems 

Russia has developed advance air defensive systems, for which America has no answer to. The most formidable is the S-series, and especially the S-400 and the even more advanced S-500 systems.

One system comprising up to 8 divisions (battalions) can control up to 72 launchers, with a maximum of 384 missiles (including missiles with a range of less than 250 km. In 2016, Russian anti-aircraft missile troops received new guided missiles for S-300 and S-400 defense systems. The S-400 is an anti-aircraft missile system, designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles. The S-400 is able to intercept cruise missiles out to a range of about 40 km due to their low altitude flight paths. One system comprising up to 8 divisions (battalions) can control up to 72 launchers, with a maximum of 384 missiles.

FILE – In this file photo taken Dec. 16, 2015 and provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, Russian S-400 long-range air defense missile systems are deployed at Hemeimeem air base in Syria. (Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File)

The Saker notes there are other equally serious possible Russian responses to any potential existential danger for the motherland, Rodina, as Russians call their homeland. When it comes to missile and rocket technology, Russia is the Mercedes Benz of such technology, and the Pentagon, to date, has no effective means of countering them. The list is too long to describe or enumerate.

Putin, under strong US protest, has also pushed ahead with his decision to sell anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. Russian technicians are building the Iranian nuclear power complex.  This is becoming a very high-stakes game of chess in Eurasia. Zbigniew Brzezinski’s map of Eurasia, which he describes as the prime geopolitical threat to US global domination, we should recall, includes the oil-rich Middle East in addition to Russia, Central Asia, China and Western Continental Europe.

This renewed Russian military assertion on the advanced nuclear missile front is also accompanied by major other moves to extend Russian energy policy abroad in a clear politically-drawn map. More accurately said, it is a geopolitical map, as the Russian map is about political geography-where the energy resources are and who controls them. We will do another article on Russia’s military capabilities, which are strong enough to deter an attack, and conduct crippling retaliatory attacks. The world has never been so close to nuclear Armageddon. What is important to note that the Pentagon’s European ballistic missile system was fully operational by March 2018.Once this time is reached, expect the Americans to make some crazy moves. The US is running out of time. The West is falling while the East is rising. If Washington is slow to move, then time would run out for America’s role as a global superpower, and its decline would accelerate. For America to avoid that coming to pass, 2018 would have to be a time for military action against its rivals.

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