The CHAMP EMP missile is the supposed American analogue of the Russian Alabuga. Boeing graphics
Every few years, the foreign and domestic press recalls the promising Russian project “Alabuga”. Its goal, as far as is known, was to create a complex of weapons that would destroy enemy electronic systems with a powerful electromagnetic pulse. There is very little open information about this development, which contributes to the emergence of various versions, forecasts and speculations - and also attracts the attention of the media and blogs with a dubious reputation.
The impetus for the start of a new wave of discussions and publications on the topic of “Alabuga” was allegedly the statements of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. In mid-September, military-political blogs, followed by some media outlets, wrote that the head of the Alliance expressed concern about the development of a Russian EMP-weapons.
It was alleged that NATO intelligence was able to obtain information about the Alabuga complex. These data show that the new Russian development can neutralize the military potential of the organization, incl. nuclear. In this regard, the Secretary General called on Russia to stop work on the new complex.
However, it was not possible to find such statements in officially published transcripts and minutes of events with the participation of J. Stoltenberg, as well as in leading foreign media. In addition, each subsequent publication about NATO requirements regarding Alabuga was replenished with more and more new details. Assessments of such statements were also given, sometimes too harsh for publication in the press.
From all this we can conclude that the Secretary General of the Alliance has not spoken about the Russian Alabuga project in recent weeks and months. At the same time, his “quoted” statements and demands to stop work are a figment of the imagination of unscrupulous bloggers.
More powerful than a nuclear bomb
Nevertheless, people abroad are still interested in Russian developments in the field of EMP weapons, as a result of which corresponding publications appear. Thus, against the backdrop of discussions of “Stoltenberg’s statements” in Russian blogs, on September 30, the British tabloid Daily Star also wrote about “Alabuga”. The traditionally flashy headline called this product more powerful than a nuclear bomb.
Communication systems are critical to modern armies. Photo by the Russian Ministry of Defense
The Daily Star recalls that electronic weapons are capable of destroying equipment at a distance and can hit entire armies. Electromagnetic emitters can affect different systems over a distance of several miles with understandable results. Thus, an EMP can suppress a missile's homing head, disable an aircraft's communications equipment, and block automatic loading tank, detonate ammunition directly in the stowage or destroy manpower, incl. in buried structures.
Having previously frightened the reader, the publication reports that the Alabuga electromagnetic missile has been created in Russia. It is capable of disabling all electronics within a 2,3 mile (3,5 km) radius. Such weapons will be received by unmanned aerial vehicles-fighters, which will have to fight aviation the adversary.
Developing the topic of EMP weapons, the Daily Star tabloid also mentioned the “Foliage” remote mine clearance machine. Using standard equipment, it detects radio-controlled mines and then neutralizes them using high-frequency radiation. The range is 100 m. Over the next two years, the newspaper reports, the Russian army will receive 150 of these MDRs.
Concerns have also been expressed about the presence of EMP ammunition in the DPRK. The Korean People's Army can use them at energy facilities in the Republic of Korea. In this case, full-fledged nuclear weapons can become the source of the electromagnetic pulse.
It is curious that the Daily Star, greedy for loud news, did not mention J. Stoltenberg’s “statements” about the excessive danger of the Russian “Alabuga” and “calls” to stop its development. Probably, British fans of sensations do not read Russian-language blogs.
It should be noted that the Alabuga project is quite real. Not too much is known about it yet, but the available data allows us to draw a general picture and even draw some conclusions. At the same time, the absence of all the details can provoke the emergence of various kinds of fantasies, unhealthy sensations, etc.
Alabuga products can complement existing electronic warfare systems, such as Krasukha. Photo Vitalykuzmin.net
It is believed that research and development work with the Alabuga code was carried out from the beginning or mid-XNUMXs. The participants in R&D are unknown, but it is known that enterprises of the Rostec state corporation and the Radioelectronic Technologies concern are involved in it. The goal of the program was to search for new technologies and ways to create promising EMP weapons. In addition, full-fledged prototypes of such products were developed and tested.
The existence of the Alabuga project became known only in 2014. By that time, the project had reached the stage of field testing of technology demonstrator prototypes. According to domestic media reports, citing representatives of Rostec, the first tests were successful. EMP ammunition has shown its ability to suppress communication systems, optical-electronic equipment, as well as some weapons.
It was noted that the issue of delivering EMP ammunition to the target area now needs to be resolved. At that time, a special type of warhead was distinguished by its large mass and size, which is why it needed its own carrier. Concerns were expressed that a missile with the necessary characteristics risked becoming a simple target for enemy air defense.
In 2017, new details emerged. Thus, it became known from the management of KRET that the Alabuga program is primarily research, and there are no plans to create a full-fledged combat-ready weapon within its framework. In addition, it was noted that after the completion of the research work, the project was designated as critically important, as a result of which it received a new classification of secrecy.
Subsequently, the domestic and foreign press repeatedly recalled Alabuga, but new interesting details of the project were not reported - probably due to the secrecy of the program. As a result, the current state of affairs and prospects for the project remain unknown. Moreover, even the very fact of continuing the work and the possibility of the appearance of full-fledged ammunition in the future are in question.
As reported, the goal of Alabuga R&D is to search and develop technologies for creating weapons based on electromagnetic pulses. The general concept of such weapons was proposed quite a long time ago, and the current level of development of equipment and technology should have ensured its full implementation.
The newest domestic missile X-69. Perhaps she will also receive an EMP load. KTRV graphics
The main element of the shock EMP complex is the so-called. explosive magnetic generator (EMG). This is a special device similar to a high-explosive warhead with a number of additional components. The latter, under the influence of an explosion, should produce high-power electromagnetic radiation. The resulting impulse should affect electrical and electronic systems and disable them.
In theory, it is possible to create different types of VMGs with tactical and technical characteristics in a fairly wide range. Probably, small devices of this kind can be made within the dimensions of an artillery shell, but in this case the range of action will be minimal. The feasibility of such ammunition is questionable - a conventional high-explosive fragmentation projectile will cause damage not only to enemy electronics.
According to past reports, the full-size VMG from the Alabuga project is capable of hitting electronics within a radius of 3,5 km. However, it differs in size and weight, which limit the range of its potential carriers. At the same time, domestic media sources did not specify which missile could carry a special electromagnetic warhead.
Russian science and industry are studying and developing a lot of promising areas and creating weapons based on the so-called. new physical principles. Any news from this area attracts attention. At the same time, as it turns out, real events and news are sometimes not required to create excitement.
This is precisely the phenomenon that could be recently observed in the context of Alabuga R&D. In the absence of news about the progress of work, unscrupulous authors themselves created a “sensation”, and then it was picked up by other blogs and publications. At the same time, it is not difficult to notice that these events were based on the public’s interest in the successes of the domestic industry and the desire to know about its latest developments. This interest is quite understandable, and the public should not be blamed for it.