The words of General Karakaev fully confirm this conclusion: at the end of the current state program of rearmament of the army in the Strategic Missile Forces there will be 98% new equipment. Over the coming years - before 2016 - the bar will be reached in 60% new weapons. The rocket troops will be updated with the help of new advanced weapons systems, including those that are just being developed. Around the 2018-20 years, Russian rocket launchers will receive at least one new missile system adapted to overcome modern and future anti-missile defense systems. In addition, before the end of the decade, the Strategic Missile Forces are going to take some measures that will allow, if necessary, to quickly increase the impact capabilities, including in force majeure circumstances. The upgrade of the Strategic Missile Forces forces will be conducted in the same directions as now: the troops will continue to receive both stationary mines and mobile ground launchers.
At present, the re-equipment of two divisions (60-I Taman and 54-I Guards) is being completed. These units will be fully transferred to the Topol-M and Yars missile systems. The plans of the command of the Strategic Missile Forces for the next year are even more large-scale re-equipment units. According to Karakaev, next year for the first time in the last twenty years more than two divisions will be re-equipped at the same time. In 2013, three rocket divisions will receive new missiles and related equipment at once, and two more will begin preparations for such re-equipment. Thus, next year all the work on rearming the 39 Guards (Novosibirsk-95) and 28 Guards (Kozelsk) missile divisions will be completed. Also, the new rocket technology will begin to enter the 42 th rocket division near Nizhny Tagil. 29-I Guards and 13-I missile divisions, in turn, will begin preparations for the transition to new missiles, which will begin a little later.
Now the total number of launchers of the Topol-M and Yars complexes is approaching a hundred. Thus, the share of new weapons in the missile forces reached 30% of the total. While maintaining the current pace of rearmament, the plans of the command of the troops on 60% by the 16 year and 98% by 2022-th look quite real.
Until the number of new missiles reaches the declared 98 percent, the troops will have to exploit old weapons for some time. However, on this point the command of the Strategic Missile Forces has its own opinion. At present, the missile troops P-36М2 "Voevoda" continues to be in service with the rocket forces. Its warranty periods have already been exceeded by one and a half times, however, a further extension is also possible, which is able to ensure the performance of these missiles until the 2020 year. Colonel-General Karakayev noted that the timely conduct of relevant work and the extension of the service life continue to be one of the most convenient tools for preserving the combat potential of strategic missile forces. At the moment there is an opportunity to extend the life of the Voyevoda missiles from the current 24 years to 30. The extension of the timeline pursues simple and understandable goals: firstly, to maximize the existing potential of the equipment, and secondly, to ensure the greatest impact capabilities of the units equipped with mine-based missile systems. The extension of the warranty period for the P-36М2 missiles will help to wait for the time when a sufficient number of new missiles will be produced and delivered to the troops.
It is worth noting that the Strategic Missile Forces do not have the ability to infinitely increase the quantitative and qualitative potential. First of all, this is hampered by some international agreements. In addition to the restrictions on the number of missiles and combat units on duty at the same time, the countries participating in these treaties are also required to disclose certain information. According to Karakaev, in September of this year, the latest exchange of information on the number of strategic weapons, as well as on their locations, took place. In accordance with the current START III treaty, Russia and the United States regularly communicate to each other this information, which, among other things, includes the coordinates of the launchers. At the same time, all such information is closed and the parties to the contract do not have the right to transfer it to third parties. It should be noted that the terms of the treaty on strategic offensive arms do not hinder the further development of Russian nuclear forces.
One of the tools to preserve and increase capacity without violating the terms of international treaties, as General Karakayev said, is the automated command and control system (ASBU) currently being created. By 2020, the Strategic Missile Forces should fully switch to digital data transmission technologies and the new versions of ASBU will fully comply with this approach. Karakaev said that now some elements of the new fourth generation ASBU are being introduced into the troops. In addition to the standard for such systems functions transfer orders and reports on their performance of a new hardware and software system also provides centralized missile control. Thanks to the fourth generation ASBU, it is possible to change application plans as soon as possible and to retarget missiles. A characteristic feature of the new ASBU is a triple redundancy of all systems and communication channels, providing high reliability. In addition, it is possible to diagnose equipment with an accuracy of a typical architectural element. All new ASBU is based on unified technical means with the required information reliability and security indicators.
Another aspect of updating the electronic equipment of the Strategic Missile Forces, as their commander said, concerns the issue of the protection of rocket units. At the end of 2012, this issue received special attention. In total, the work on updating security systems this year affected six large objects. Next year, the re-equipment of security systems will continue. Among other things, 2013 year is scheduled for installation on several video system sites. While maintaining the current rate of security equipment upgrade to 2015, about 20% of the RVSN facilities will be equipped with the most modern automated tracking and guard systems.
Nevertheless, the main direction of development and improvement of the strategic missile forces is the creation of new missiles and the modernization of old ones. Currently, according to Karakaev, the development of a new intercontinental ballistic missile with liquid engines and a launch weight of about one hundred tons is underway. It will have higher characteristics in comparison with the available means of delivery of nuclear weapons. In addition, the new missile can carry not only a nuclear warhead. The project that is being created now provides for the possibility of installing non-nuclear warheads on a rocket. Thus, the new intercontinental missile can also be used as a high-precision weapons to perform combat missions at a great distance from the starting point. Karakaev also noted that the energy capabilities of the promising missile, which are higher in comparison with the current missiles, will make it possible to apply new developments in the field of overcoming the enemy’s anti-missile weapons.
The new rocket should be the answer to the work of foreign countries. Currently, the development of space-based strategic missile defense systems is underway in the United States. In connection with this fact, a promising liquid-propellant rocket is initially created to counter such weapons. According to General Karakaev, the potential that solid-fuel intercontinental missiles possess may not be sufficient to break through the enemy’s promising anti-missile systems. For this reason, high hopes are pinned on a hundred-ton liquid-propellant rocket. At the same time, it will have one specific feature: due to the large starting weight, it can only be used with mine launchers.
During the press conference, the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces confirmed the development and testing of another intercontinental missile, this time a solid fuel rocket. Karakayev refused to disclose the details of the project or the technical characteristics of this ICBM. At the same time, he mentioned that in the future, the new solid-fuel rocket will replace the munitions of the Topol-M and Yars complexes, as well as it will make maximum use of the existing developments from previous projects of rockets with a solid-fuel engine. According to the commander of the rocket troops, work on this subject is being conducted in the right direction.
One of the topics of conversation was the safety of missiles and their combat units. According to Karakaev, several experiments were conducted, during which it was found that in the event of an accident, fire, etc. spontaneous undermining of the warhead will not occur. Existing warheads of intercontinental missiles have a sufficient level of protection from external influences. The experiments were carried out to establish the level of safety of both mine and mobile missile systems. As a result, it was found that both are sufficiently safe for people, equipment and the environment. As for the mine launchers, they provide an even greater level of protection for missiles and warheads, including against a nuclear explosion on the surface of the earth or in the air. Thus, various accidents can entail only long and complex work to eliminate the consequences of a technical and construction nature. The elimination of nuclear infections will not be needed.
Finally, the Strategic Missile Forces Commander spoke about the supply of new missile and auxiliary equipment. As it turned out, the supplier companies had already fully fulfilled all the contractual obligations related to the production and supply of equipment, weapons and equipment for the Strategic Missile Forces. There is every reason to believe that this pleasant trend will continue in the future. Last year, the Ministry of Defense concluded several long-term contracts for the supply of strategic missiles. They stipulate the terms of delivery of silo-based missiles up to 2015 of the year and ammunition for mobile ground launchers up to 2020 of the year. Interestingly, the “separation of duties” applied in these contracts. Thus, the Ministry of Defense and the Federal Tariff Service deal with all matters of a financial nature, such as pricing or other similar things, and RVS only carries out the acceptance of finished products.
The training activities of the rocket troops planned for the next year imply an increase in the number of test launches of various types of missiles. Over the past year, from December 2011 to the present, only five training launches were conducted. The next 2013 year is scheduled immediately 11 similar events, the purpose of which will be to maintain the level of training of military personnel, testing new missiles and testing the performance of old ones in order to extend their life.
As we see, the Russian strategic rocket forces are coming to the next anniversary of their formation with great experience and good prospects. After a long break, the updating of the Strategic Missile Forces is again improving in quantitative and qualitative terms, and the designers of the core enterprises are already creating new means of delivering nuclear weapons. All voiced achievements of the rocket forces and plans for the future clearly show what priority this branch of service has in the current rearmament program. This means that in ten years, our country will continue to be under the protection of the most effective means of containment, which has only been invented by mankind.
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