Military Review

What “greatest weapon” does Donald Trump face?


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Recently, the theme of "superweapon" has repeatedly slipped in the speeches of US President Donald Trump. It is difficult to say what this is connected with: economic problems and the possibility of impeachment of the US president himself or with the real appearance of breakthrough weapons. Let's try to figure out what's what.

It is necessary to immediately make a reservation: the author does not have access to secret intelligence information, therefore, it will not work to talk about the "black" programs of the US Department of Defense, all assumptions are based on open sources.

Water strike

“We are creating submarines that no one could even imagine”,

- said the American leader, expressing the hope that the United States will never have to use them.

What can be talked about in this statement by Donald trump? In the United States, a new SSBN (nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine) of the Columbia type is being developed. However, the commissioning of the lead boat of the Columbia type is planned only in 2031.

Images promising American SSBN type "Columbia"

Much closer to the commissioning of multipurpose nuclear submarines (nuclear submarines) type "Virginia" "block V". It would seem that the Virginia nuclear submarine is difficult to attribute to a “superweapon” - this is a common, albeit very advanced multi-purpose nuclear submarine, but there is one caveat.

Starting with the “Block V” modification, an additional 21-meter-long VPM (Virginia Payload Module) armament compartment will be installed on the Virginia submarine, including four vertical shafts that can accommodate 28 Tomahawk cruise missiles or other weapons and special equipment, which fits into the dimensions of the compartments.

Image of the Virginia Submarine V Block and VPM Bay

Armaments that can be deployed on the Virginia V-block nuclear submarine include advanced missiles created under the Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) program, equipped with the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) guided planning hypersonic warhead Sandia National Laboratories, US Department of Energy, with the participation of the United States Agency for Missile Defense.

Image of the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) Managed Planning Hypersonic Warhead

On C-HGB trials, a speed of 8 Mach was reached. According to various estimates, the range of the C-HGB can be about 3000-6000 kilometers. The VPM bay will receive at least nine Virginia Block V submarines. Located in the ocean, in strategically important regions, Virginia-type V-block submarines equipped with CPS missiles with C-HGB guided planning hypersonic warheads can become an important element of the Prompt Global Strike system, which implies the ability of the armed forces US within an hour to strike a non-nuclear weapons on the target anywhere in the world. It is likely that by “inconceivable submarine” the US president was referring to the Virginia submarine “block V” with CPS hypersonic weapons.

The appearance of the Virginia-class V-bay subunit “block V” is to some extent a step towards the unification of multipurpose submarines and SSBNs with intercontinental ballistic missiles, which we discussed in the article “The evolution of the nuclear triad: prospects for the development of the marine component of the strategic nuclear forces of the Russian Federation”. The unification of multipurpose nuclear submarines and SSBNs can significantly increase the survivability of the underwater component of the nuclear triad, which is especially important for Russian strategic nuclear forces (SNF).

The Russian response to the Virginia nuclear submarine “block V” with hypersonic weapons is multipurpose nuclear submarines of Project 885 (M) Severodvinsk with hypersonic missiles of the Zircon complex. Compared to the US project, the Severodvinsk + Zircon link will have a shorter range — approximately 500-1000 kilometers, compared to the estimated 3000-6000 for the Virginia submarine “block V” + CPS at comparable speed. Presumably, the Zircon missile can surpass the CPS project due to the presence of a ramjet engine on the Zircon, the use of which will give the missile great energy and the ability to actively maneuver along the trajectory. However, because of the secrecy surrounding the project, it is impossible to completely exclude the version that the Zircon is also a solid fuel rocket equipped with a controllable planning hypersonic unit.

Air strike

“I call it super-super-racket. And I heard that it is seventeen times faster than those that are now, if we take for comparison the fastest missile that is now available. "

(US President Donald Trump.)

As for the “super-super-launch”, the expert opinion is almost unambiguous: this is an air-launched hypersonic missile AGM-183A of the ARRW project (Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon). The estimated speed of the AGM-183A should be about 17-20 Mach, flight range - about 800-1000 kilometers.

The airborne hypersonic missile AGM-183A is a cross between the Russian Dagger and Avangard complexes - a guided planning hypersonic unit is installed on a rocket with a solid propellant jet engine. The launch mass of the rocket is about 3-3,5 tons. Thus, the dimensions and mass of the AGM-183A are significantly smaller than that of the CPS-launched missile, respectively, and the guided planning hypersonic unit and the AGM-183A missiles are significantly smaller than the C-HGB.

Image of an airborne hypersonic missile AGM-183A

As the carrier of the AGM-183A, the B-1B supersonic bomber, on which 31 AGM-183A missiles can be placed, is primarily considered. The B-1B bomber complex + AGM-183A missile will pose a serious threat to any enemy.

Supersonic bomber B-1B

A direct and symmetrical Russian response to the B-1B bomber complex + AGM-183A missile can become equipping the strategic bomber of the Tu-160M ​​missile carrier with a hypersonic missile of the Dagger complex, and in the future, a hypersonic rocket of the Zircon complex.

In the future, it is planned to place the AGM-183A missile on other carriers: tactical aircraft aviation F-15E / EX Strike Eagle, B-52H bomber, and of course on the latest strategic bomber B-21 Raider, which is planned to be adopted by 2025-2030.

Image of bomber B-21 Raider

Blow from space

“Soon we will land on Mars, and we will have the greatest weapons in stories. I have already seen the development, even I can’t believe it. "
“You cannot be number one on Earth if you are number two in space.”

(From a speech by US President Donald Trump on May 30, 2020, made after the launch of the Crew Dragon manned spacecraft.)

One cannot disagree with this phrase. If there is no global catastrophe, world nuclear war or other crisis of comparable magnitude, then in the 1st century, humanity will significantly increase its presence in space. The cornerstone of this process could be SpaceX's super-heavy reusable BFR launch vehicle (LV). And if Ilon Mask’s plans to reduce the cost of putting goods into orbit by 2-XNUMX orders of magnitude come true, this will revolutionize space exploration, and saturation of outer space with shock systems for various purposes will be inevitable.

However, it is far from a fact that the American president had in mind any weapon based on the BFR LV (although this cannot be completely ruled out either), since at the moment there is no 100% certainty that the BFR project will be implemented: in case of serious technical difficulties, Musk can abandon the BFR and continue to slowly improve its Falcon family “workhorse”, including the Falcon Heavy version, as well as the Dragon spaceship in the cargo and manned versions.

It cannot be ruled out that the possibility of putting payload into orbit at a reduced cost offered by SpaceX has already spurred the US military to accelerate the development of space-to-space and space-to-surface weapons. SpaceX representatives have repeatedly stated their willingness to participate in US space defense programs.

“SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynn Shotwell during the annual press conference of the US Air Force announced that the company is ready to participate in the deployment of weapons in space to protect the United States.”

Do not forget about the American unmanned spacecraft Boeing X-37, the conclusion of which into orbit is possible (and was carried out) including with the help of the SpaceX Falcon launch vehicle. The United States has two Boeing X-37B spaceships made for the US Air Force. A distinctive feature of the Boeing X-37B is the ability to long-term autonomous stay in orbit - at the moment, the maximum flight duration of the Boeing X-37B is 780 days.

Boeing X-37 (B)

Another important feature of the Boeing X-37B is the ability to maneuver and vigorously change its orbit in the altitude range of 200-750 kilometers. The airtight cargo compartment of the Boeing X-37B measuring 2,1 x 1,2 meters can accommodate 900 kilograms of payload.

Large-scale projections of the Boeing X-37B

Can I place strike weapons on the Boeing X-37B? The dimensions of the cargo compartment of the Boeing X-37B fully allow the placement of a guided planning hypersonic warhead C-HGB. The mass of C-HGB should be somewhere around a ton. Even less should be the mass of the planned planning hypersonic warhead AGM-183A - about 500 kilograms, taking into account the fact that the entire AGM-183A missile should weigh about 3-3,5 tons.

What “greatest weapon” does Donald Trump face?

Full-size mock-up of the promising American universal hypersonic maneuverable combat unit Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB)

Thus, theoretically, the Boeing X-37B could well carry one controllable planning hypersonic warhead and strike it from the lowest point of its trajectory from a height of about 200 kilometers. Undoubtedly, the controllable planning hypersonic warhead should be modified by the compartment for preliminary orientation in space and the vault from orbit, but it will obviously be easier than from scratch to build orbital strike platforms of the "Wands of God" type.

Improvements to the guided planning hypersonic warhead may require larger cargo volumes than the X-37B can provide, but in this case, Boeing may return to the project of the increased X-37C space plan, the dimensions of which should be 165-180% of the X-37B. The launch into orbit of the X-37C may well be carried out by the Falcon Heavy.

Launch of the Falcon Heavy

Given that most elements of the Falcon 9 + X-37B or Falcon Heavy + X-37C ligament are reusable, this method of placing space-to-surface weapons can be economically the least expensive up to the appearance of a BFR.

The spacecraft X-37B / C can carry out continuous duty in orbit for two years, followed by return for maintenance of the carrier itself and its payload. In addition, the ability of the X-37B / C to maneuver and change its orbit can help it evade anti-satellite weapons launched from the surface.

Do you need weapons of the space-to-surface class? After all, a quick global strike could well be delivered using intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in non-nuclear equipment or guided planning hypersonic warheads launched from multipurpose nuclear submarines, strategic bombers or ground platforms.

It is necessary and extremely important. Space weapons are just beginning their journey. In terms of development, they are like the first TanksWright brothers plane or the first reactive "ugly ducklings". And the one who will dominate in the field of space weapons will dominate the surface of the planet. To win a large-scale conflict without gaining superiority or at least the ability to ensure parity in space will be impossible - only limited irregular conflicts.

In relation to the current situation, the placement of guided planning hypersonic warheads on a maneuverable orbital carrier will allow delivering sudden, difficult to predict attacks. Contrary to popular belief, no country in the world has continuous round-the-clock monitoring of outer space around the planet.

Orbital strike platforms can be the first strike weapon to hit targets of special importance.. The delivery of hypersonic weapons by aviation requires a lot of time, the launch of a ballistic missile with a guided planning hypersonic warhead is likely to be seen from orbit by missile attack satellites, the group of which includes four “Tundra” satellites, which seem to have already been deployed by the Russian armed forces.

Moreover, it is far from a fact that, even knowing the location of the space carrier in orbit, it will be possible to notice the discharge of a controlled planning hypersonic warhead made using low visibility technologies. In outer space, the camouflage shell can be optimized to minimize the effective dispersion surface without taking aerodynamic requirements into account, and after entering the dense atmosphere, the camouflage shell will burn, exposing a heat shield that is optimized from the point of view of aerodynamics.

As already mentioned at the beginning of the article, without access to classified data of the US armed forces, it is possible to make assumptions on the topic of what the US president meant “the greatest weapons in history” with a high proportion of assumptions. However, we recall the phrase of Donald trump: "I have already seen the development, even I can not believe it." Perhaps the wait for the appearance of the American "superweapon" is not long.
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  1. Pvi1206
    Pvi1206 5 June 2020 05: 23
    the means of self-destruction of mankind continue to improve ... is there a limit to the unreasonability of homo sapiens? ...
    1. iouris
      iouris 5 June 2020 14: 06
      Quote: Pvi1206
      the means of self-destruction of mankind continue to improve

      Why is this all? After all, you can also quietly mix something into yogurt or pizza.
  2. Rurikovich
    Rurikovich 5 June 2020 06: 25
    The biggest contribution to the development of surgery was made by the inventor of the machine gun yes request smile
    No matter how scolded the Russian fantastic "Avanpost", but the key phrase that the most perfect weapon is a person has evidence in the form of constant improvement of means for destroying themselves ... recourse
    1. 5-9
      5-9 5 June 2020 15: 31
      The film, by the way, against the background of the Attraction-Invasion and Amer’s daggers on this topic is very suitable, with a minimum of idiocy and blunders (in comparison with those).
  3. rocket757
    rocket757 5 June 2020 07: 02
    Recently, the theme of "superweapon" has repeatedly slipped in the speeches of US President Donald Trump. Hard to tell,

    And let's not talk about it ... they will still be, they will say that they HAVE, but they don’t show it to anyone, because there’s a big, big secret for such a small company!
  4. Ros 56
    Ros 56 5 June 2020 07: 30
    I remember one already raved about a superweapon, everyone knows his fate. And with the current technology with these weapons, you just grunt yourself.
  5. Zhenya Khazarsky
    Zhenya Khazarsky 5 June 2020 08: 15
    As a carrier, the AGM-183A is primarily considered a supersonic bomber B-1B, on which it can be placed 31 rocket AGM-183A.

    With a rocket mass of 3-3,5 tons, 1 missiles will not fit in B-31B. There is a bomb load of 30 tons.
    The author is probably sealed up.
    1. Shopping Mall
      5 June 2020 09: 12
      Quote: Zhenya Khazarsky
      AGM-183A is primarily considered a supersonic bomber B-1B

      I agree, there is a discrepancy here. In English sources it is indicated that 1 units of AGM-31A are suspended on the B-183B (, while the Russian source indicates the weight of AGM-183A is 3-3,5 tons ( Somewhere a mistake.

      Most likely the PMSM missiles will still be smaller, because otherwise the mass of the AGM-183A should be less than the JASSM-ER, of which the B-1B carries 24 units.
  6. The comment was deleted.
    1. ccsr
      ccsr 5 June 2020 11: 10
      Quote: Bravo
      Bravo to the greatest weapon Donald Trump threatens

      I think that this empty bell can not be taken seriously, after his words
      “Soon we will land on Mars, and we will have the greatest weapons in history. I have already seen the development, even I can’t believe it. "

      Firstly, they are like walking to the Moon to Mars, and secondly, to see a description of some weapons in the reports does not mean that they will be created at all. The example of Reagan's "Star Wars" long ago showed that there is a country's economy, there are laws of physics, there is a desire of some politicians, and it is not a fact that all this together coincides at a given historical period of time.
      1. bayard
        bayard 5 June 2020 12: 34
        About Mars, this is of course a hyperbole and no one will take it seriously.
        But I wouldn’t say this about new weapons - they really have become very active, and China is the primary stimulus for them. It is he who is able to challenge and is already contesting the title of hegemon.
        Well, our "cartoons" also surprised them. So the rest is serious. And the results may appear in the coming years.
      2. Misha Smirnov_2
        Misha Smirnov_2 7 November 2020 23: 42
        They fly to Mars like that. Private order .. Nothing complicated ...

        He simply violates the agreement, with a military base on Mars ...
  7. Narak-zempo
    Narak-zempo 5 June 2020 08: 36
    Advertising before the election.
    Why can't he, as in civilized countries, simply accept amendments to the constitution and extend his term to at least 6 years?
    1. 5 June 2020 09: 01
      So it's not evening yet. Negros before the White House with the pogroms did not reach.
      And then there is the deployment of troops, firing at “insurgents” in order to restore order and ... the need for urgent amendments to ensure the stability of the system of American values ​​... in America.
      We stock up on popcorn, set chairs
  8. Kart
    Kart 5 June 2020 11: 52
    "We are creating submarines that no one could even imagine,"
    said trump.
    The expression "has no analogues in the world" nervously smokes around the corner.
    Nobody can even think here.
    And we still scold our boast.
  9. Operator
    Operator 5 June 2020 11: 59
    On the goat bayan - ICAPL with medium-range missiles, when there is an SSBN with intercontinental-range missiles? laughing

    Guided and gliding warheads can be equipped with any existing or promising ballistic missile from RMD to ICBMs (for example, the UR-100N UTTH with the Avangard PBB). Then what's the hype?

    In addition, a hypersonic cruise missile with a ramjet engine covers any ballistic missile with UBB or PBB like a bull’s sheep: firstly, the launch weight of the GKR is several times less than the weight of the BR of equal range and with the equal weight of the warhead (i.e. on the carrier it is possible place a multiple of more SCR); secondly, the GCR flight on the marching section takes place at the same altitude in the atmosphere, which makes it impossible to use transatmospheric interceptors against the GCR with infrared homing systems (unlike ballistic missiles of equal range).

    Therefore, the United States so far is swallowing dust from our boots in the field of UBB / PBB and slowing down not childishly in the area of ​​motor hypersound.

    As for the placement of warheads on spacecraft, the latter are knocked out of the slingshot by both anti-satellite missiles and satellites - inspectors, but, most importantly, they will clearly leave the United States without pants, since the delivery of a spacecraft into space with a BB is an order of magnitude more expensive than deployment the same BB on Earth. At the same time, the flight time of space-based warheads will coincide with the ground ones due to the need to spend time on changing the spacecraft's orbit plane when approaching the target.

    American SOI No. 2 is nothing more than a budget plan in the image and likeness of SOI No. 1 with space-based x-ray lasers (God forgive me). And then only if the American spring does not become chronic.
  10. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 5 June 2020 12: 13
    I think Trump especially did not go into the details of the new
    military projects. He was told: "1,2 are being developed."
    He blurted out about the superweapon.
    Trump does not like to fight. He is more a supporter of trade wars,
    sanctions, arrivals.
  11. Normal ok
    Normal ok 5 June 2020 12: 24
    What “greatest weapon” does Donald Trump face?
    reads the headline.
    Yes, along the way, he himself does not know what he is talking about))
  12. KSVK
    KSVK 5 June 2020 13: 27
    Quote: Operator
    In addition, a hypersonic cruise missile with a ramjet engine covers any ballistic missile with UBB or PBB like a bull’s sheep: firstly, the launch weight of the GKR is several times less than the weight of the BR of equal range and with equal weight of the warhead

    But do not explain? Does a cruise missile fly further than an ICBM? And about the mass of the warhead, specify. Preferably on existing products (well, at least on prototypes).
    1. Boa kaa
      Boa kaa 5 June 2020 19: 06
      Quote: KSVK
      But do not explain?
      It is strange that only one person had the idea to doubt that Don had whistled in militaristic frenzy!
      It is also very doubtful to me, this statement of the author:
      “Block V”, an additional 21-meter-long VPM (Virginia Payload Module) armament module will be installed on the Virginia submarine, including four vertical shafts that can accommodate 28 cruise missiles "Tomahawk" or other weapons and special equipment that fits into the dimensions of the compartments. ... Compared to the American project, the Severodvinsk + Zircon link will have a shorter range - approximately 500-1000 kilometers versus the estimated 3000-6000 for the Virginia submarine “block V” + CPS at a comparable speed.

      What does not suit me in this statement of the author.
      1. The level of technology we have is approximately equal. Now we are 5 years ahead of the Yankees in terms of GZO (according to their own estimates). But our 3M22 for some reason flies on a motorized GZ only for 300-500-800 maximum - 1000 km. And the amov "wunderwaffle" - as much as 3-6 thousand km! (?) And where does the energy come from in the volumes of an Ax?
      2. They have too "tight" weapons with the preservation of the power of normal weapons. They somehow manage to deceive physics! Maybe "noodles" are used for the gullible? Don’t you?
      A simple example: Poseidon S-3 in ballistics (!!!) flew at a comparable range - 5600 km ... But he weighed 29,5 tons and its dimensions were 10,4 x 1,88 m. Well, can you put such "waffles" into a 13,0 x 2,0m hole in VPM? 183 machines - yes, maybe they will stick 7 pieces into one pipe. But even from an air launch, it has a range of up to 1000 km. What does 3-6 thousand km of hypersound have to do with it?
      3. Maybe they will follow the path of our sea club? which travels the entire distance at high subsonic speed, and when it detects a target, it will include ramjet and tear at the hot missile to the board? But the entire distance (3-6 thousand km) in dense layers of atm on the GB to pass? Here you must have a very strong energy! Or solve the issue with friction completely and irrevocably!
  13. 5-9
    5-9 5 June 2020 15: 30
    Without special warheads, all the missiles mentioned (including ours) are whim and nailing with a microscope .... taking into account the price of any hypersonic missile.

    Does Pan Ataman have a gold reserve? In terms of whether the competence in the USA for the production of new special warheads is not lost? They didn’t do 30 new years, they cut the old one with a multiple decrease in power (I'm talking about W76)
    There is stockpile of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium, but the competence for the production of HEU is lost.
  14. akunin
    akunin 5 June 2020 15: 34
    in the XNUMXst century, humanity will significantly increase its presence in space.
    let's clarify the USA and China (the Australian aborigines are not in a hurry yet), the "great and terrible" rogozin will not allow us, and if the "hangara" does not fly as planned, then a kirdyk will come to the "Russian space".
  15. zenion
    zenion 5 June 2020 19: 16
    Exactly the same as Hitler threatened everyone. Super weapons will appear and they will drive the Red Army from the walls of Berlin to the walls of Moscow and further beyond the Urals.
    1. fider
      fider 7 June 2020 13: 51
      What, boys, were upset? And Trump still did not show cartoons! Strrrashno! am Already horror.
  16. Kostadinov
    Kostadinov 8 June 2020 16: 05
    The Americans did not beat any unknown child prodigy, and never will. Their entire strategy is in the past and is now based on bullying. They very often do not have weapons with which they have already boasted and never have weapons about which they did not write long years before its appearance. .
  17. Igor Bezbogov
    Igor Bezbogov 12 June 2020 12: 05
    There are 16 mines in Colombia? The Russians were right: 24 mines are redundant?
  18. Ercog
    Ercog 12 July 2020 10: 51
    ... Boeing X-37B may well carry one controllable planning hypersonic warhead and strike them ...
    The program of the experimental flight of the spacecraft X-37B, which is currently being carried out now, intercepts missiles launched from the ground. That is, the Americans are testing the "ability" of the X-37B to "be" a space fighter-interceptor. The Americans are confident that in the near future, space planes will protect the United States from small attacks of ballistic missiles completely. In the medium term, they will become an essential element of the global system of deterrence and defense against ballistic missile attacks. Then today's guaranteed nuclear destruction of Russia and the United States tomorrow will not be guaranteed and not mutually.
  19. Mikhail Zakharov
    Mikhail Zakharov 20 August 2020 09: 12
    well, everything will come to us all soon superpuper I'll go bye bye
  20. Couch warrior
    Couch warrior 29 August 2020 20: 57
    Amers really have super-super weapons! And his name is dollar ...