Currently, Moscow and the central economic region of Russia are protected from a nuclear missile attack by a likely enemy in the form of the A-135 Amur missile defense system. In order to maintain the required defense capability, this system is being modernized. Some details of such works are spoken openly.
Plans for the near future
Since the beginning of this year, officials and the media have several times reported on various activities in the context of the development of the existing missile defense system. First of all, we are again talking about the modernization of the deployed system through the introduction of new components.
On January 22, Krasnaya Zvezda published an interview with the commander of the 1st Air Defense Forces of the Air Defense Forces, Major General Sergei Grabchuk. Talking about the prospects of missile defense, he recalled the deep modernization of the system without stopping combat duty. A transition to a modern elemental base is underway. New electronic computing tools with high performance are being mastered.
The development of promising missile defense continues successfully. Due to their appearance, in the near future it will be possible to increase the characteristics of missile defense as a whole and expand its combat capabilities.
However, the subject of missile defense development was not disclosed in more detail. The special importance of such projects makes it necessary to maintain secrecy and does not allow to disclose even the most general data of a technical nature.
According to foreign data
On April 15, Russian missile and anti-space defense projects again led to high-profile statements. The US Space Command issued a special statement on the latest actions of Russia. The reason for this performance was the next test of the Russian anti-satellite weapons.
The statement noted that the Space Command recorded the testing of anti-satellite missiles on April 15. In this regard, they recalled the readiness of the United States to deter any aggression against them or their allies. Also in the statement of the Space Command they recalled “suspicious” spacecraft from the Russian group. In February, they maneuvered near an American satellite, which threatened its operability.
The official statement by the Space Command culminated in Russia's accusations of limiting the US space potential while creating its own anti-satellite weapons. The authors also recalled the importance of space programs, the fight against the current pandemic, etc.
It is curious that the next report on the tests of the Russian PRO-PKO system is again coming from foreign sources. News this kind has regularly appeared since 2014, and so far only the Pentagon and foreign media publish them. The Russian Ministry of Defense also regularly reports on tests of various missile defense components, but the topic of space defense has not yet been disclosed.
Ways of modernization
According to well-known data, the result of the current modernization of the A-135 Amur missile defense system will be the appearance of the promising A-235 Nudol missile system with wider capabilities and other characteristics. Apparently, the preservation of the main part of the infrastructure and components of the A-135 is provided for when they are updated and supplemented with other products.
The main components of the system, such as Don-2N radar for detection and tracking, command posts, fixed firing systems, etc. must go through modernization with the transition to a modern elemental base and with some improvement in performance. Some change in transport, energy and other infrastructure is possible due to a change in available components and the introduction of new ones.
The Nudol system should preserve Amur’s existing capabilities to combat ballistic targets, such as missile warheads of a potential enemy. In order to develop the combat capabilities of the missile defense system, the modernized PRS-1M short-range interceptor missile has been developed and is being tested, designed to replace the existing PRS-1. It is known that several test launches were successful.
From 2014-15 Foreign sources regularly report on the testing of a promising interceptor missile designed to combat targets in low Earth orbits. The latest news of this kind appeared just the other day - and again criticism and aggressive rhetoric followed.
In foreign sources, the new missile is called PL-19. The actual designation used by the Russian military is still unknown. The standard mobile launcher, according to some reports, is designated as P-222.
According to foreign data, since 2014, eight test launches took place - the latter took place a few days ago. Part of the launches was successful. The first tests were carried out using a ground launcher; since 2018, the standard self-propelled P-222 combat vehicle was used.
Russian officials have not yet confirmed the development of weapons to combat orbital targets, but they do not refute the existence of such projects. In addition, the news and statements of recent months do not contradict each other. Perhaps in the future, the Russian Ministry of Defense will nevertheless disclose the basic data on a promising project.
From the available data it follows that the work on deep modernization of Amur and its restructuring into Nudol continues and is gradually approaching successful completion. In the coming years, the A-235 system will be able to take up combat duty, improving the protection of the capital region from an expanded range of potential threats.
The A-235 system should maintain and improve its predecessor's ability to monitor the situation and identify potentially dangerous objects. In addition, it is necessary to ensure the ability to intercept ballistic targets using improved missile defense. While it comes to the modernization of one of the existing missiles, but in the future, the appearance of completely new products.
In the conditions of the modern conflict, the space grouping, equipped with devices for various purposes, is of particular importance. In addition, there is a risk of promising military orbital platforms. Such factors stimulate the development of anti-space tools to enhance the "traditional" missile defense. Judging by the news from foreign military structures and the media, similar work is already underway in our country and in some other states.
Thus, on the basis of the existing A-135 Amur missile defense system, a promising A-235 Nudol missile and anti-space defense system is already being created. By preserving the best features of the predecessor and obtaining fundamentally new components, a promising system will be able to more effectively solve the defense tasks of a critical area.