The main contribution to ensuring the security of the Russian Federation is made by its strategic nuclear forces, which include strategic missile forces, long-range aviation and part of the underwater fleet. Like other components of the armed forces, strategic nuclear forces are undergoing systematic modernization and are building up their potential. In the new 2019 year, these processes will continue, as a result of which the Russian nuclear forces will retain existing capabilities, as well as master promising equipment and weapons.
Currently, the implementation of the State Arms Program, designed for 2011-2020, is coming to an end. In addition, last year launched a new similar program, designed for the period up to 2025 year. The recently launched 2019 year turns out to be “at the junction” of these two state programs and provides for the supply of various weapons, equipment and other materiel for all components of the armed forces, including the Strategic Nuclear Forces.
News for the Strategic Missile Forces
Strategic missile forces are undergoing the necessary modernization, and such processes are carried out with a noticeable advance ahead of the original plans. Thus, according to the results of the State Armaments Program for 2011-2020, the share of new weapons in the Strategic Missile Forces was to reach 70%. As it turned out, the defense ministry and the defense industry had already fulfilled these plans, and now they face even more ambitious tasks.
18 December 2018 was held a meeting of the Extended Board of the Ministry of Defense, dedicated to the development of the army and plans for the near future. During this event, Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Missile Forces, Colonel-General Sergey Karakayev, stated that already in 2018, the share of new weapons in his type of troops had reached the required 70%. Due to this, plans for 2019 were adjusted: during this period, the share of new products should be further increased and brought to 76%. The plans for the 2020 year have not yet been clarified, but it is obvious that the plans of the current state program in the context of the Strategic Missile Forces have already been fully implemented. Now we are talking about their over-fulfillment and creating a certain reserve for the future.
It should be noted that the development of the Strategic Missile Forces is conducted not only within the framework of the State Armaments Program. There is also a Plan for the construction and development of the Strategic Missile Forces for the 2016-2021 years. This document provides for the construction of new facilities and the modernization of existing ones, the supply of advanced equipment, as well as the purchase of modern weapons.
News and official reports of recent months allow us to imagine how exactly rocket troops will increase the share of new weapons by the declared 6%. First of all, in 2019, these processes will be carried out through the supply of already known and mastered weapons. To date, the Strategic Missile Forces have about 100-110 intercontinental ballistic missiles RS-24 "Yars" in the mine and mobile launchers. Over the course of 2019, their numbers will be increased.
During the meeting of the Collegium of the Ministry of Defense, the head of the military department, Army General Sergei Shoigu, said that in 2019, the 31 mine launcher would take over duty. These facilities are being built for the Yars and Avangard complexes. The exact number of missiles planned to be put on duty in the coming year, as well as the proportions of the two complexes in the supply were not called.
However, the Russian defense industry has shown its abilities in mass production of “Yars”, which gives some grounds for assessments. Thus, the Votkinsk Plant enterprise in practice has proven its ability to produce at least 20 PC-24 missiles annually. If there is an appropriate order, the plant will be able to transfer to the Strategic Missile Forces a significant number of such ICBMs for deployment or storage.
In March last year, the Russian leadership for the first time spoke about the Avangard missile system, developed for the Strategic Missile Forces. Already in November, it became known that in the near future this complex would be ready for launching on combat duty. At the end of December, the next successful test launch of Avangard took place, after which the country's leadership confirmed the already announced plans relating to 2019.
The December launch was made from the Dombarovsky position area. According to recent news, the newest Avantgardes will begin their service in the same year in 2019. Until the end of the year, the first regiment armed with such complexes will take over duty. The Avangard product has already been officially adopted, and the NPO Mashinostroyeniya has begun the production of serial samples for the transfer of the Strategic Missile Forces.
In early January, the Ministry of Defense announced its plans for conducting training activities. During 2019, the strategic missile forces will conduct more than 200 command, tactical and special exercises. In each training period of the coming year, it is planned to work out the modes of combat duty in the highest degrees of readiness. Over 40 rocket regiments, as well as security and support units, will be attracted to such exercises and trainings.
The Russian shipbuilding industry, represented by the Sevmash enterprise and related organizations, is continuing to build new submarines — strategic missile submarines of the 955A Borey project, designed to upgrade the naval component of the strategic nuclear forces. For a number of reasons, recent years have turned out to be poor on the news of Borey, but in the very near future new important events are expected.
In November, 2017 of the year, the next Borei-type submarine K-549 Prince Vladimir was withdrawn from the Sevmash boathouse. Now she is on factory tests, which are nearing completion. Over the next few months, SS-K-549 will undergo all necessary checks, after which it will be handed over to the navy. The exact date of delivery of the ship has not yet been announced.
Since 2014, the construction of the boat "Prince Oleg". While it remains on the stocks of Sevmash, but in the foreseeable future, the completion of construction and the subsequent launch of the water is planned. According to well-known plans, “Prince Oleg” can enter service at the end of 2019. However, for the time being one should not exclude the possibility of the appearance of certain difficulties, because of which the construction and testing can be completed with some delay.
The newest SSBNs of the 955 / 955 Ave. are armed with P-30 “Bulava” ballistic missiles. Information about the mass production of such weapons and plans for its release in the near future in open sources is missing. It is known that each Borey simultaneously carries 16 Bulava missiles in silo launchers. From this it follows that for the timely arming of new submarines in the current year it is necessary to deliver at least 16 missiles.
Unfortunately, the naval component of the Russian strategic nuclear forces is not just waiting for replenishment. Over the past years, the write-off of several existing submarines has been discussed. So, in April last year, the Russian media disclosed the actual plans of the command of the Navy, providing for the termination of service of several submarine cruisers. By the 2020 year, it is planned to withdraw from the fleet combat operations and write off the remaining SSBN of the Kalmar 667BDR project, while continuing to serve in the Pacific Fleet. After that, the strategic nuclear forces will be presented in the Pacific only by the submarines of the Borey project.
Recall from 14 submarines project 667BDR only 2 is preserved. 11 submarine cruisers were decommissioned and disposed of in the past, another one was rebuilt according to a special project 09786. Until recently, only two such boats remained in service — the K-433 “St. George the Victorious” and the K-44 “Ryazan”. Recently it became known that the K-433 SSBN was brought into reserve, and after that only K-44 continues to serve, which soon will also have to withdraw from the fleet's combat strength. The remaining two submarines will be written off due to their great age and the development of the resource. This year marks 39 and 37 years since the beginning of the service of “St. George the Victorious” and “Ryazan”, respectively.
Air and space forces
Long-range aviation in strategic nuclear forces is represented by missile-carrying bombers Tu-95MS and Tu-160. The Russian armed forces currently have a total of several dozen of these types of aircraft. The current plans of the Ministry of Defense and Command of the VKS provide for the continuation of the modernization of the drill technology. In parallel, the industry must establish the construction of completely new missile carriers, which in the near future will have to supplement cash machines.
The 2019 year is scheduled for a mass of work and several important events in the context of the modernization of long-range aviation. Last year, the Kazan Aviation Plant. S.P. Gorbunova began assembling the first upgraded missile carrier Tu-160M. In the third quarter of this year, this aircraft will roll out of the assembly shop with its subsequent transfer to the flight test station. The first reports of this kind appeared in the middle of last year and received confirmation several days ago. The first flight of the newest Tu-160M should take place before the end of 2019. In view of the total amount of testing, the transfer of the aircraft to the customer is scheduled only for the 2021 year.
At the same time, in Kazan, the construction of the first missile carrier of the model Tu-160М2, the head vehicle of a completely new series, is underway. The appearance of this aircraft will be the most important event in stories domestic long-haul aircraft, but this time the delivery of the finished machine will take place after 2019 year.
In the plans of the command, there is also a modernization of the Tu-95MS aircraft under the new project Tu-95MSM. The contract to perform similar work on the first rocket carrier was concluded last summer. The order was received by the Taganrog Aviation Scientific and Technical Complex. Gm Beriev. Now the company is repairing and upgrading the first aircraft, and it will take several more months to complete this work. The first flight of the Tu-95MSM will make at the end of this year.
In the future, the first Tu-95MSM will have to go through the entire test cycle, after which the customer will make a final decision. At the beginning of the next decade, a contract will have to appear, according to which the industry will begin a full-scale modernization of the Tu-95MS from combatant units.
In the 2019 year, we should expect continued deliveries of strategic weapons for long-range missile-carrying aircraft. First of all, new X-101 airborne cruise missiles will be transferred to the arsenals. According to recent reports, in the recent past, these products have undergone modernization, which took into account the experience of their combat use during the operation in Syria. In addition, in November, they passed tests of an aviation complex in the form of a Tu-160M bomber and X-101 missiles. The upgraded aircraft performed the launch of 12 missiles on conventional targets at a remote test site in the Arctic.
The Russian Ministry of Defense, with the active assistance of the military-industrial complex, continues to implement two state armaments programs at once, as well as a number of plans affecting the development of individual branches of the military. All these programs and projects have a great influence on the state of strategic nuclear forces, which manage to constantly increase their potential through the renewal of equipment and weapons, as well as through regular training and combat activities.
Considering the plans of the military department for the beginning of the 2019 year, you can see the main trends associated with the development of the strategic nuclear forces in general and their individual components. The development of all three components of the strategic nuclear forces is carried out in parallel and at an appropriate pace. However, using the example of 2019, it can be seen that the results of the upgrade appear at different times and in differing quantities. However, this difference should not have a noticeable effect on the strategic security of the country as a whole.
The most serious update this year is waiting for strategic rocket forces. They will have to master serial products of already known types, as well as fundamentally new weapons. After a break of several years, the navy will again receive new strategic missile submarine cruisers capable of maintaining combat duty. For aerospace forces in the face of long-range aviation, only the available equipment is to be operated. New samples of strategic bombers are still at the developmental stage and will be able to reach the troops only in the distant future.
Thus, currently the most attention is paid to the Strategic Missile Forces, which remain the basis of the SNF and should solve the tasks with a wide range of weapons - both well-developed and fundamentally new. The situation with the rearmament of the submarine forces of the Navy gradually begins to be corrected, while the renewal of long-range aviation remains a matter of the future. Nevertheless, these structures will not remain without novelties and will definitely increase their combat potential.
In general, the year 2019, which has just begun, turns out to be a very interesting period in the history of Russian strategic nuclear forces. During the year, it will be possible to observe the simultaneous creation of new products and the modernization of existing ones, as well as the operation of well-known systems and the development of recently introduced ones. As a result, the strategic nuclear forces of the Russian Federation will retain and increase their potential, as well as remain a reliable means of ensuring national security.
On the materials of the sites:
Russia's strategic nuclear forces in 2019
- Ryabov Kirill
- Photos used:
- Russian Defense Ministry / mil.ru, United Aircraft Building Corporation / uacrussia.ru
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