In the confrontation with the United States, we were not the first to deploy medium-range ballistic missiles near the borders of the other side. In the 1958 – 1961 years, the United States deployed its Thor and Jupiter armored forwarders with nuclear warheads in Turkey, Italy and the UK, reducing flight time to facilities in our country from 30 to 8 – 10 minutes. In the 1962, the USSR responded symmetrically with the deployment of its medium-range ballistic missiles P-12 with nuclear warheads in Cuba. The flight time of Soviet missiles to military facilities and US cities has become exactly the same as American missiles to military facilities and cities of the USSR. Such parity of the USA did not suit, and they initiated the Caribbean crisis. The crisis was resolved by the withdrawal of Soviet missiles from Cuba, followed by the withdrawal of American missiles from Europe. Thus, the threat that arose after the first deployment of American medium-range ballistic missiles in Europe was eliminated.
After the Caribbean crisis, the United States for many years received a kind of "vaccination" from the deployment of medium-range nuclear missiles (RSD) in Europe threatening the USSR. However, in the 1979 year, the so-called “double decision” of NATO was adopted, providing for the deployment of medium-range nuclear missiles from 1983 in Western Europe and negotiations with the USSR on arms limitation. In making this decision, the Americans hoped that the Soviet leadership, remembering the 1962 crisis of the year, would no longer be able to deploy their medium-range missiles in Cuba as a response, and if they tried, the United States would not allow it now.
It was planned to deploy X-NUMX ballistic missiles "Pershing-108" and 2 ground-based cruise missiles (RNRs) BGM-464G. Officially, the deployment of new missiles in Europe was justified by the need to eliminate the imbalance arising in connection with the deployment of the USSR by the new Pioneer MRBD. These missiles replaced the outdated Soviet medium-range missiles P-109 and P-12. At the same time, the number of deployed medium-range missiles decreased, although the number of deployed warheads increased, since the Pioneers were equipped with a divided head part (MFS) with three warheads.
According to the number of delivery vehicles weapons medium range (RSD, aviation, including deck) NATO in 1979 surpassed the USSR almost twice (1800: 1000). The USA had an advantage over the USSR in the number of warheads on strategic carriers (ICBMs, SLBMs, heavy bombers) - 11: 000. At the same time, the USSR had more medium-range missiles. Great Britain and France had 7000, and the USSR - about 178, of which about 600 were located in the Asian part of the country. If the Soviet Pioneer RSD did not threaten the territory of the USA in any way, the American Pershing-100 missiles, possessing high firing accuracy (KVO - 2–35 m) and a penetrating warhead, created the threat of a “decapitating” nuclear strike at command posts of higher links combat control of strategic nuclear forces and government.
In the 1980 year at the talks on the limitation of nuclear weapons in Europe, the Soviet side proposed to introduce a moratorium on the deployment in Europe of NATO and the USSR medium-range missile and nuclear weapons, that is, to freeze in quantitative and qualitative terms the existing level of such facilities based in the area.
In 1981, the USSR put forward a proposal to reduce nuclear weapons of medium range, based in Europe, including aircraft carrying nuclear weapons, by a factor of three to the level of 300 units for each side.
In December, 1982, the Soviet side proposed to establish equality in both the number of RSDs in Europe and the number of aircraft - carriers of medium range. At the same time, the USSR should have had as many missiles as England and France had.
In October, the USSR's 1983 of the Year expressed its readiness to have no more than Pioner 140 missiles in Europe, that is, less than there were RSDs in France and Great Britain. At the same time, the United States should have refused to place its RSD in Europe. The proposal provided equal ceilings for the parties - medium-range carriers. The United States did not accept any of these proposals.
In 1981, Reagan proposed the so-called zero option, which provided for the United States to abandon the deployment of Pershing-2 missiles and cruise missiles in Western Europe in exchange for eliminating all Soviet medium-range missiles in both the European and Asian parts of the country. Thus, it was proposed to eliminate the really deployed grouping of more 600 missiles in exchange for the United States abandoning the plan to deploy missiles that were still under development.
In March 1983, Reagan announced his readiness to go for an intermediate option, which provided for an equal number of RSD for the USSR and the USA. At the same time, missiles of France and Great Britain, as well as aviation, were not covered by the proposed agreement. In November, the US 1983 proposed to establish equal ceilings for the number of RSN warheads in the number of 420 units. None of the American options, excluding zero, did not provide for the United States to abandon the deployment of new missiles in Europe. At the end of 1983, the United States began deploying new medium-range missiles in Europe.
It was necessary to force the United States to withdraw its RSD from Europe. In response, 24 of November 1983 of the Year of the USSR announced the lifting of the moratorium on the deployment of its medium-range missiles in the European part of the country, the deployment of operational-tactical enhanced-range missiles (Temp-S) in the territory of Czechoslovakia and the GDR which, by their characteristics, will be adequate to the threat posed to the USSR and its allies by American missiles in Europe.
The following action plan was developed. We decided to create a new mobile ground speed missile complex. The “Speed” missiles planned to deploy in the territory of the GDR and Czechoslovakia and aim them at the locations of the Pershing-2 missiles, cruise missiles and other NATO objects, creating the threat of their lightning destruction. In addition, it was envisaged to place on the Chukotka BRSD "Pioneer". The zone of their operation would cover the whole of Alaska and the north-western part of Canada. When altering the head of the rocket and placing on it one light warhead instead of three in the zone of action of the Pioneer missiles, a significant part of the US territory appeared. Under the threat of lightning destruction, the radar post Clear system of the missile attack warning system (SPRN) "Bimyus" in Alaska, radar SPRN "Cobra Dane" on the island of Shemiya and "Parks" in North Dakota.
Naturally, such steps should have led to an international crisis. It was supposed that a way out of it would be the removal of American medium-range missiles from Europe in exchange for the withdrawal of Soviet Speed missiles from Czechoslovakia and the GDR and Pioneer missiles from Chukotka. At the same time, the group of more than 400 Pioneer missiles, which would have been based on their previous locations, was fully preserved. However, Yury Andropov, Secretary General of the CPSU Central Committee, who actively supported this plan, and Dmitry Ustinov, Minister of Defense, died in the 1984 year. Under Chernenko, work on the “Speed” rocket continued.
In the spring of 1985, Gorbachev came to power, and the approach to solving the problem of American advanced-base missiles changed dramatically.
In April, the USSR's 1985, unilaterally, suspended the deployment of its missiles and other retaliatory measures in Europe, which it began after the deployment of forward-mounted US-based RSDs began. The plan developed by Andropov and Ustinov was “buried”. The development of the “Speed” missile, the flight tests of which have already been launched, was stopped. At the talks on medium-range missiles, Gorbachev made all new unjustified concessions, and also put forward proposals that led to the unilateral disarmament of the USSR.
In October 1986, at a meeting of Gorbachev with Reagan in Reykjavik, the Soviet side refused to link the issue of reducing RSD with missiles of this class of Great Britain and France and removed the earlier request for the assignment of Western RSD to the category of strategic offensive arms. At the same time, it was proposed to start negotiations on RSD, based in the Asian part of the USSR, and to “freeze” missiles with a range of less than 1000 km.
In November, the 1986 of the year at the negotiations in Geneva, the Soviet delegation put forward a proposal to eliminate the Soviet and American RSM in Europe while maintaining in the Asian part of the USSR and in the US on 100 warheads on such missiles. At the same time, the USSR would have 33 missiles “Pioneer” with a MSSV in the Asian part of the country, and the USA would have 100 single Pershing-2 monoblock missiles in its territory. The Soviet side proposed to establish equal levels of operational-tactical missiles of the USSR and the USA, provided that there are neither Soviet nor American such missiles in Europe. At the same time, the USSR refused to record the missiles of Great Britain and France, postponing the decision on aircraft medium-range missile delivery systems.
At a meeting with Gorbachev in Moscow in April 1987, US Secretary of State Schulz said that they were prepared to stick to the option discussed at the Geneva talks to leave 100 warheads on the RSD based in the US and the European part of the USSR, eliminating missiles of this class from both sides in Europe. However, Gorbachev proposed a variant of “double global zero”, which provided for the elimination not only of all American and Soviet medium-range missiles (over 1000 to 5500 km), but also of all short-range missiles (from 500 to 1000 km). This option was legally enshrined in the 1987 year concluded by the Permanent Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles.
WHOM IS IT FAVORABLE
If the first deployment of US medium-range missiles in Europe was eliminated on a parity basis - the USSR and the USA removed their advanced-based missiles located near the borders of the other side, then the second elimination of missiles as parity is difficult to call. The United States eliminated missiles provocatively located outside its territory, near our borders. And the USSR eliminated missiles located on its own territory, including missiles based in the Asian part of the country. At the same time, the USSR, in the process of implementing the INF Treaty, had to eliminate two times more missiles than the United States (1846: 846), and almost three times more launchers (825: 289). Our eliminated missiles could carry almost four times more nuclear warheads than the US (3154: 846).
The only type of missiles that the United States destroyed under the INF Treaty is greater than the USSR, it is the KRNB (443: 80). However, this exchange was of no fundamental importance either to us or to the United States. The United States had a large grouping of sea (Tomahawk) and airborne (ALCM-B) cruise missiles with similar TTX. The total number of sea-based and air-launched cruise missiles was planned to be brought to 1994 in the year to thousand units. So, the deployment of land-based CDs, in contrast to the Pershing-7 missiles, did not create any fundamentally new threat to the USSR.
A mobile ground-based missile system with a solid-fuel two-stage ballistic medium-range missile RSD-10 “Pioneer” (in the West known as “Saber”) can now be seen only in the museum.
In other classes of the USSR destroyed much more missiles than the United States. In the class of medium-range missiles, if we ignore our outdated P-12 and P-14 missiles, we gave 2 Pioner three-block missiles to a single Pershing-2,8 rocket. The Temp-S group of short-range missiles (718 missiles, 135 launchers) was completely eliminated, having received practically nothing in return! The US missiles of this class in combat were no longer. The obsolete Pershing-1А missiles (170 units) were withdrawn from service, stockpiled, and only one non-deployed launcher remained to them.
In addition, having received nothing in return from the United States, the 239 grouping of the latest Oka ballistic missiles was eliminated. The maximum range of the Oka missile (400 km) did not fall within the range of the missile range (500 – 5500 km) covered by the Treaty. However, Gorbachev went to the inclusion of this rocket in the composition subject to liquidation under the INF Treaty. At the same time, the United States rejected the Soviet proposal to reduce in the Treaty the lower limit of the range of flights of the missiles being eliminated to 400 km. Thus, the United States not only achieved the elimination of the Oka missiles, but also retained for itself the ability to manufacture, test and deploy a developed ballistic missile of the same class, Lance 2, which had an 450 – 470 km range.
As a result, after the liquidation of the Oka missiles in accordance with the INF Treaty, the USSR could get deployed missiles of the same class Lance-2 near its borders. It would be a double loss. However, the need for the Lance-2 rocket disappeared due to the dramatic changes in the military-strategic situation in the world after the collapse of the USSR and the abolition of the Warsaw Pact. Schultz called the decision regarding the Oka a “divine gift” from Gorbachev. He also said that "this step was so one-sidedly beneficial for the West that he was not sure whether the Soviet leaders could have done this if there were democratic legislative bodies in Moscow."
For more than two decades, our country has managed without medium-range and shorter ground-based ballistic missiles. Since then, the situation has changed significantly, and already six countries have medium-range ground-based missiles. Among them, China, Iran, North Korea, India, Israel, Pakistan.
In the face of increasing threats at medium-range strategic stability can be achieved in various ways. One of them is the improvement of strategic nuclear forces so that they provide nuclear deterrence in all operational areas without medium-range missiles. The advantage of this path is the reduction of the range of missiles in production and service. However, the diversion of part of the ICBM to solving combat missions at medium range reduces the potential for retaliatory strike by strategic nuclear forces at enemy targets located at intercontinental ranges. It cannot be ruled out that in the conditions of the deployment of the US global missile defense system and the growth of threats in the medium range, the potential of the strategic nuclear forces will be insufficient for nuclear deterrence in all strategic areas.
Another way is withdrawal from the INF Treaty and the deployment of medium-range and shorter ground-based missiles. Academician Alexei Arbatov’s article “Measure seven times” (“NVO” No. 27 from 02.08.13) set forth convincing arguments showing the inexpediency of such a step for Russia. Russia's withdrawal from the INF Treaty will be an “indulgence” for the US to deploy new medium-range missiles in Europe in addition to missile defense missiles already deployed there. Of course, they can deploy such missiles, having come out of this treaty first, as they came out of the indefinite ABM Treaty in 2002.
In addition to the two options outlined for solving the problem of nuclear deterrence, there is another one - to deploy medium-range or sea-based missiles that are not covered by the INF Treaty. However, in accordance with the current START Treaty, sea-based medium-range ballistic missiles deployed on submarines will be counted on a par with intercontinental long-range submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Deployment of medium-range SLBMs by reducing the number of SLBMs of intercontinental range will reduce the potential for retaliatory strike by the SNF in the North American direction, which is unacceptable.
The air-based version of the medium range BR to 5 December 2009 was subject to the prohibition of the START-1 Treaty. This treaty prohibited the production, flight tests and deployment of air-to-surface ballistic missiles (BRVZ) with a range of over 600 km. The current START Treaty does not prohibit the testing and deployment of air-to-surface ballistic missiles. In it, missiles of this class in nuclear equipment are identified as one of the types of nuclear weapons of heavy bomber.
It is advisable to consider airplanes that are not considered to be heavy bombers by the current START Treaty as possible carriers of medium range BR. One of these aircraft is the Tu-22М3 bomber. In 1990-ies, Tupolev OJSC and Raduga GosMKB worked out using the modernized Tu-22М3 bomber as a launching platform for the Skif launch vehicle designed for launching spacecraft into orbit. The three-stage Skif liquid launch vehicle was supposed to be suspended under the bomber's fuselage. The launch mass of the rocket was 17 tons. The launch was envisaged at an altitude of 12 km with an airplane speed of 1800 km / h.
The studies carried out in 70 – 80-ies showed the possibility of creating small-sized mono-block ground-based ICBMs with 11 – 15 tons of starting mass. In the middle of 70-ies, in the framework of R & D “Chain”, the design bureau Arsenal named after him. Mv Frunze developed a mobile combat missile system of intercontinental range. The launch mass of a monoblock solid-fuel MBR was 13,5 t, length - 11,4 m, case diameter - 1,28 m. In 80-e - the beginning of 90-s, the Moscow Thermal Engineering Institute developed the mobile ground rocket complex "Courier" with a small-sized solid-fuel monoblock MBR. This missile had a launch mass of about 15 t, length - 11,2 m, case diameter - 1,36 m. The ground test of the rocket was fully completed, however, in accordance with the agreement between the leaders of the USSR and the USA, the development of the “Courier” ICBM and the Midgetman American compact ICBM was discontinued in October 1991 of the year. An even smaller starting mass and dimensions were developed by the Yuzhnoye design bureau of the liquid-powered MBR Kopye-R missile complex of a mobile ground base. In 1985, the outline of this complex was released. The launch mass of the Kopye-R rocket was 10,9 t, length - 12,9 m, and case diameter - 1,15 m.
Ballistic medium-range air-launched missiles (up to 5500 km) due to the use of carrier height and speed at the start, as well as because of the smaller range compared to the ICBM, they will have a starting mass of about 7 – 8 t. Considering the results of the Skif complex As a carrier of such missiles, it is possible to use a modernized Tu-22М3 bomber. In accordance with the provisions of the START Treaty concluded in 2010, the Tu-22М3 aircraft is not a heavy bomber. According to the Protocol to the START Treaty, “the term“ heavy bomber ”means a bomber of one type or another, one of whose bombers meets any of the following criteria: a) its range is more than 8000 km or b) it is equipped for nuclear-powered cruise missiles based long-range ".
The Tu-22М3 bomber does not meet any of the above criteria. Of the aircraft in service with Russia, only the Tu-95MS and Tu-160 are classified as heavy bombers under the current START Treaty. In accordance with the Protocol to the START Treaty, the term “heavy bomber equipped for nuclear weapons” means a heavy bomber equipped for long-range nuclear ALCM, air-to-surface nuclear missiles or nuclear bombs. Since the Tu-22М3 aircraft is not a heavy bomber, when armed with air-to-surface ballistic missiles it will not be considered a heavy bomber equipped for nuclear weapons. At the same time, the START Treaty does not impose restrictions on the number of deployed and non-deployed bombers that are not heavy bombers. Settlement of warheads by contract is provided only for deployed heavy bombers. Thus, the Tu-22М3 bombers and the warheads of the BR deployed on them will not be counted in the total number of warheads, as well as deployed and non-deployed carriers limited by the START Treaty.
Another possible carrier of medium-range BRs can be the MiG-31. In 80-s, on the basis of this fighter, the Kontakt antisatellite aviation missile system was developed. The complex included the carrier aircraft MiG-31D (developed by the Mikoyan Design Bureau) and the 79М6 Kontakt missile (developed by the Fakel Design Bureau). By the beginning of the 90-i were completed flight tests of the aircraft carrier. In view of the termination of funding, the complex was discontinued.
In 90-s, the Mikoyan Design Bureau and the Vympel Design Bureau, based on the MiG-31 fighter, developed a spacecraft launch system with a RN-S rocket. At the same time, a group of scientists from the Moscow Aviation Institute, with the support of specialists from the Mikoyan Design Bureau, considered the option of using the MiG-31 carrier aircraft for air launch of the Mikron rocket. The rocket, which had a launch mass of 7 T, length 7,25 m, width with rudders 3,7 m., Was supposed to put into orbit 250 – 300 km in height, 150 – 200 kg payloads.
From 2005 to 2007, the Ishim missile system, designed for launching payloads into space, was developed on the basis of the MiG-31D fighter. The lead developer of the aircraft carrier was RSK MiG, and the rockets the Moscow Institute of Thermal Engineering. The carrier MiG-31I was to accommodate a three-stage rocket that had a launch mass of 10,3 t, a length of 10,76 m and a body diameter of 1,34 m.
Taking into account the studies on the Ishim complex, it is possible to use the upgraded MiG-31 aircraft as a medium-range carrier with a launch mass of up to 10 tons. The missile complex with medium-range radar missiles will have a high level of survival due to the high speed of the aircraft’s departure about rocket attack. A MiG-31 fighter equipped with a medium-range BR will not meet any of the criteria for a heavy bomber, and accordingly the aircraft and the BR and their warheads placed on it will not be subject to quantitative restrictions on the current START Treaty.
The missile system with a medium-range airborne missile defense can be used to solve the problem of nuclear deterrence in the European, Eastern and Southern strategic areas without the air carrier leaving the country’s airspace. Due to the flight range of the aircraft carrier, such a complex can carry out nuclear deterrence simultaneously on several strategic directions. Missile systems with a medium-range ground-based BR do not possess such capabilities. A medium-range aviation BR can be unified with missiles designed for the operational withdrawal of spacecraft and the interception of satellites. One of the options to reduce costs and shorten the development time of a medium-range missile system is to create a BR using elements of the existing Iskander-M operational tactical ballistic missile.
Thus, at the present time there is a technical possibility to create and deploy air-based medium-range ballistic missiles outside the prohibitions and quantitative restrictions of the current contracts for INF and START. The feasibility of implementing this new direction of improving nuclear forces should be determined as a result of a comparative military-economic assessment with other options for maintaining strategic equilibrium.