Military Review

Russia and China: Stop the Space Weapons Race Peacefully

Russia and China: Stop the Space Weapons Race PeacefullyRussia and China are preparing for UN consideration a draft resolution banning the placement of weapons in space. Diplomats formulate the title of the document as "measures of transparency (lack of secrecy) and trust in space activities." This is its essence. In accordance with the Russian proverb “trust, but verify” - space confidence should be based on tests of space programs of countries such as, for example, the United States. It is this world power that must be brought under international control in order to prevent weapons from being launched into space.

This is not a new initiative, but systematic collaboration. For the first time, Russia and China raised the issue of the demilitarization of space in the 2002 year at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. In August, the Russian and Chinese delegations presented more detailed documents to 2004. And now we continue to pursue the prohibition of weapons in space.

What kind of weapons are we talking about? And why are we so purposefully trying to ban it?

The end of nuclear deterrence

First you have to talk about the evolution of US strategic offensive weapons (START). The United States is gradually making changes in its nuclear strategy. There is a systematic reduction of such carriers of nuclear weapons as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine ballistic missiles (SLBMs). There is an increase in the air part of the nuclear triad (strategic air-launched cruise missiles and atomic charges for free-fall bombs). However, this type of carrier develops only by reducing other means of delivery. The total number of US nuclear warheads are ready to reduce further. In June, Barack Obama publicly called on Russia to mutually reduce the nuclear potential of the United States by another third compared with the level defined by the Strategic Offensive Arms Treaty, which was signed in 2010 year.

The question arises, why are the Americans ready to reduce nuclear weapons? The answer is quite simple. Washington is actively seeking new means to gain global military superiority.

The entire second half of the twentieth century nuclear weapons ensured the world to its owners. And only thanks to nuclear deterrence, the opposition of the superpowers did not turn into a military conflict. In the new century, the situation of nuclear confrontation between the two superpowers was replaced by the situation of the so-called multipolar world. Nuclear weapons make the use of force against its owner dangerous. India, China, Pakistan and those countries that are only striving to acquire nuclear weapons (and Iran, and Japan, and North Korea, and Israel, and even Brazil and Saudi Arabia) can use it to protect themselves from military intervention.

So what if it goes on like this, then you will not be able to fight with anyone at all? But the United States and NATO have become accustomed to insist on their leadership by force, having the most powerful military capability in the world. And if in the foreseeable future the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons will not succeed, the bloc of Western countries will lose its military superiority. And with it, and world leadership. What to do?

In 2010, the Pentagon published the NRP-2010 document (US Nuclear Policy Review). The document proposes the development of strategic offensive weapons, alternative to nuclear ones. It notes the impossibility of using nuclear weapons or threatening to use them against countries that do not have nuclear weapons. Indeed, if one “squeezes” for some next “bloody regime” with nuclear weapons, it will look ugly. It’s another thing if it becomes possible to use something comparable in power, but more “environmentally friendly”, without radioactive contamination.

In addition, the document states that the United States must maintain global military superiority, and none of the possessors of nuclear weapons should be insured against "US anti-force actions." And the United States should be able to inflict a crushing blow on any state, including the nuclear one, with nuclear and non-nuclear means of destruction.

Thus, it is proposed to achieve global military superiority not only with the help of new, non-nuclear strategic offensive arms. And the role of nuclear weapons and traditional means of their delivery should gradually decrease in the national security strategy.

Caring for the environment in American

What can complement and strengthen nuclear weapons? What non-nuclear performance will look more humane and environmentally friendly weapons, having a high destructive ability? What, in the end, will avoid a nuclear response, bypassing the early warning system, but allowing the first to deliver a disarming strike?

The US Air Force is working with NASA to create fundamentally new long-range strike systems. In the future, the US Air Force will become aerospace, as they are developing strategic attack aerospace systems.

A rather detailed overview of the work in this direction was made by Andrew Lieberman in a not-so-new (2003 year), but a very relevant newsletter today. It is called the “Missiles of Empire: America’s 21st Century Global Legions, pdf). It is noteworthy that this work was done for the organization “Legal Foundations of Western States” (WSLF). This non-profit organization seems to have a completely humanistic and even “environmentally correct” goal - the elimination of nuclear weapons. But as an American and ideologically patriotic organization, it is naturally not pacifist. On the contrary, the WSLF cares about national security and maintaining the role of the United States as a country that provides "world stability". Simply, nuclear weapons are considered an inappropriate tool for this - environmentally harmful. And as we noted above, it is also purely defensive - that is, it does not ensure military superiority due to the practical impossibility of using it without consequences for itself. And the WSLF is lobbying to replace it with more advanced and less radioactive weapons. It is easy to see that the Nobel laureate Barak Huseynovich Obama, speaking of the “nuclear-free world”, implies ideas promoted by the WSLF.

New weapon of global domination

So, let's try in general terms to deal with the new American weapons.

It will be a multistage aerospace system that is flexible in its tasks and composition of components. Its main task will be the delivery of promising weapons of destruction from the continental United States to any point on the earth's surface. At the same time, means of destruction can be both nuclear and non-nuclear (Technology & Alternatives Working Group "Concepts to Alternatives" document, p. 4). For them, charges designed for free-fall nuclear bombs (B61-7, B61-4 and B61-3) are quite suitable. Seemingly free-falling atomic aviation the bomb is a clear anachronism. However, the United States, while reducing other carriers of nuclear weapons, stubbornly retains this type of weapon.

To differ from traditional strategic offensive weapons (ICBMs or cruise missiles) a new weapon will be that, in fact, it will be space. Means of destruction will either be located in earth orbit for a long time, or be promptly displayed on it for a strike within two hours after receiving the order.

In general, the new system will be a three-step. The first stage - “Space Operations Vehicle - SOV” will be a reusable hypersonic aircraft (GLA) capable of taking off from ordinary runways with a length of at least 3000 m. Its task will be to bring to near-earth orbit in the upper atmosphere of the second, also reusable, stage - “Space Maneuver Vehicle” (SMV). And SMV, in turn, is the carrier of a maneuvering atmospheric vehicle, carrying a means of destruction on the earth's surface - the “Universal Aero Vehicle” (CAV).

The system will be really flexible in terms of tasks and means. For example, a means of launching into orbit (SOV) may appear still in a very distant future. But the second stage - the maneuvering spacecraft (SMV) - is already flying completely. And it is launched into orbit by the usual Atlas-5 launch vehicle. This is an automatic shuttle Boeing X-37, which can be considered a prototype of serial devices. He has already made three long flights (the second lasted 468 days), whose goals were not disclosed. Nothing is known about its payload, which, in principle, can be anything, right up to a nuclear weapon. Similarly, the third stage - the maneuvering atmospheric unit CAV - can be output to the upper layers of the atmosphere by various means. Its Falcon HTV-2 prototype made two not very successful test flights (in 2010 and 2011). And his Minotaur IV booster accelerated.

Thus, US strategic offensive weapons are slowly but steadily moving into space. In the event that the programs for creating various systems connected by a single design within the framework of the Prompt Global Strike (PGS) strategy are implemented, the United States will receive a huge advantage in strategic offensive weapons. In essence, the described system will allow to bypass the existing missile attack warning system (MNS), which is the basis of nuclear deterrence and the impossibility of launching a nuclear strike with impunity. SPRN tracks the launches of ballistic missiles, resulting in the combat readiness of the means of retaliation. And if nuclear weapons are already above your heads?

Postpone the race

That is why it is so important to stop the Americans and put their space programs under international control. A country that is trying to gain an advantage in strategic weapons does not out of scientific interest. With such an advantage, you can dictate your will to the world. And therefore, of course, no one will let the Americans get ahead.

Russia in October 2004 at the 59 session of the UN General Assembly declared that it would not be the first to place weapons in space - although we have some potential in the field of space weapons, and some answer to American programs could be given today. Another thing is that this will mean a race of space weapons. Do we need her?

If you manage to stop the Americans by diplomatic means, then you can do without such a race. In the end, even from the US, you can make a “rogue state”, if the coalition united to put pressure on the Americans is wide enough. For now, Russia and China have time for diplomatic pressure.

But if this is not enough, you will have to resume the arms race.
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  1. pahom54
    pahom54 19 October 2013 09: 10
    Well, let's put it this way: the US has always spat on various resolutions ...
    And then, what NOW can Russia and China be able to oppose if the United States launches some military platforms in space (military platforms are both nuclear-pumped laser guns and cluster missile launchers). This is all not fiction, and almost a long time ago it was developed both in the USSR (Russia) and the USA, it only remains to be done technically.
    So, even with an attempt at a peaceful settlement, a peace (pun intended) will be able to solve this problem only by having such developments (and technologically implemented in a fairly short time) at home, in Russia.
    As far as I know, at the end of the 80s they were in the USSR. How is this now - for me a dark forest. Rather, all Soviet developments have long gone to the West, and no matter with their help the States are now trying to develop and implement a new military doctrine ...
    I know that the people who dealt with these problems were still in good health, so, most likely, the issue on our (Russian) side will rest only on financing, and to revive this program is a matter of time, which, unfortunately, is catastrophically small .. .
    At this stage, China can help simply in political pressure on the USA ...
    1. rpek32
      rpek32 19 October 2013 11: 31
      Quote: pahom54
      if the US withdraws

      will not be withdrawn. arrears. not enough money
      1. AVV
        AVV 19 October 2013 12: 08
        And they will print money as much as you want !!! Another thing is if the dollar collapses !!! Then kirdyk !!!
  2. Nitup
    Nitup 19 October 2013 09: 22
    It is necessary to make an advantage in the structure of strategic nuclear forces towards submarines with ballistic missiles. If the plans are realized, then by 2020 the SSNF of Russia will have to have 14 SSBNs: 6 of the project 667BDRM and 8 of the project 955 and 955A. In total, they will have 224 SLBMs with 1152 warheads. Of the 1550 permitted by START-3 for all strategic nuclear forces, 1152 are about 74%. The reliability of bringing signals to submarines on combat duty should also be increased.
    1. pahom54
      pahom54 19 October 2013 09: 39
      You misunderstood something.
      For a space grouping with nuclear-pumped laser guns and cluster missile launchers, these strategic nuclear forces and SSBNs in particular are not an obstacle.
      I’ll explain more simply: it’s like to unarmedly tied a man close to his chest (stomach) rzhzho and shoot with buckshot ...
      So the problem of space combat groups is very urgent, voluminous and - DANGEROUS ...
      1. Nitup
        Nitup 19 October 2013 09: 45
        The Americans want to launch weapons into space for one purpose - to provide themselves with the opportunity to instantly hit the strategic nuclear forces of Russia and China, therefore, it is necessary to place most of the nuclear weapons on such carriers that it will be difficult to hit from space, i.e., submarines.
  3. vlum
    vlum 19 October 2013 09: 30
    Just in the context of the analysis given in the article, one should take Rogozin's words about the resumption of work on the topic of reusable Buran and its similarities. Those. while words are being spoken and public words are being written about peaceful space, but the development of space weapons has a great future. However, even if we discard the relevance of confronting threats from "earthly sources", then in the future, from space threats (and at least from asteroids) from near space, one still needs to build protection ... And then I thought: maybe this is deliberately such anti-asteroid stuffing make sure that no one is surprised at the presence of space weapons.
    1. pahom54
      pahom54 19 October 2013 09: 42
      That's just a shuttle like Buran will be able to either knock down, or drag out of orbit these Shtatovskie (alien, at least) combat platforms ... And also serve our (I hope, ours will appear, after all, somewhere from the technical documentation with 80s left ...) ...
  4. vitek1233
    vitek1233 19 October 2013 09: 51
    This race can not be stopped. Destroy with greater efficiency their own kind, this is a horse of human nature
  5. Brave
    Brave 19 October 2013 09: 59
    the new Buran will remove all questions, but grannies will have to be invested inadvertently, but maybe for the better - new technologies will come in handy in other areas
    1. allim
      allim 19 October 2013 19: 27
      Yes, at least how many grannies you don’t invest Burana no personnel no technology learn to survive in the upper volt while there is such a polit and such and such
  6. Ddhal
    Ddhal 19 October 2013 10: 13
    Soon, all attempts to dominate any country will look speculative, because everything will be nullified by the widespread non-alternative use of Chinese chips ..
    As for us, I suppose that it will not be difficult to resume the Spiral project.
  7. Ascetic
    Ascetic 19 October 2013 10: 58
    maneuvering spacecraft (SMV) - is already quite flying. And it is launched into orbit with the usual Atlas-5 launch vehicle.

    In August this year, the Security Council of the Russian Federation considered the issue of stopping the supply of RD-180 engines for use on Atlas V rockets, due to the fact that this is the only LV in the United States that is capable of putting spacecraft into orbit. The Americans simply do not have similar engines, and the prospects for creating something like this are vague.
    According to Vitaly Lopota, President of the Russian Space Corporation Energia, at the time of the start of operation of the RD-170 engines (this is the end of the 80s of the last century) The Soviet Union is at least 50 years ahead of the United States in liquid-propellant rocket engine technology... Under the 1996 agreement, Energomash jointly with RD-Amros undertook to supply 50 RD-180 engines under a firm contract and 51 more under an option agreement. More than 60 engines have already been delivered to the USA at prices of 11-15 million apiece.

    Nevertheless, the then head of Roskosmos spoke out against the ban on the sale, and even more so, he negotiated with the Americans on the sale of promising R-193
    "The Americans are buying RD-180 engines of Energomashevsky production and are now negotiating with us about the possibility of acquiring promising RD-193 engines for the development of their carriers," Popovkin noted. "They made sure that the Russian company makes a quality product. The best liquid-propellant rocket engines in the world. And it is easier for them to buy than to catch up in this area. Therefore, it is extremely important for us to preserve Energomash and ensure its development, "the head of Roscosmos stressed.

    A rhetorical question arises, but would the Americans sell such a inclusive and high-tech product to us in such a situation? The answer is the same rhetorical and not requiring discussion.

    We are carrying out work (at least in the R&D stage, that's for sure) on the MRKS-1 program (reusable space system). There are no technical reasons that Russia would not allow America to create an unmanned orbital plane after America. The military-industrial complex will also have enough power, it only needs political will and, accordingly, financing ... And we sell engines to help Americans develop orbital programs. what
    1. SHILO
      SHILO 19 October 2013 12: 42
      RD-180 produced by "Energomash" is no longer used anywhere. The collapse of the amerovsky contract is the death of both the engine and the enterprise. So it's not particularly appropriate to cut from the shoulder here.
      1. Ascetic
        Ascetic 19 October 2013 13: 08
        Quote: SHILO
        RD-180 produced by "Energomash" is no longer used anywhere. The collapse of the amerovsky contract is the death of both the engine and the enterprise. So it's not particularly appropriate to cut from the shoulder here.

        Well, Russia-M was turned off as a result of a troubled story, in fact, to please the same Americans, and instead of investing in creating our own launch vehicles for these engines, we are selling them to the Americans, who naturally remained the only customers. If desired, the Americans will develop their engine for about twenty years. Which will lead to the closure of NASA's missile program almost completely. Atlas is the main American rocket and without it the US is simply nowhere.
        Americans are very pragmatic. In the 1990s, at the very beginning of working with us, they realized that in the energy field we were far ahead of them and we needed to adopt these technologies. For example, our RD-170 engine in one start due to a larger specific impulse could take out payload two tons more than their most powerful F-1, which meant at that time $ 20 million in gain. They announced a competition for a 400-ton engine for their Atlases, which our RD-180 won. Then the Americans thought that they would start working with us, and in four years they would take our technologies and reproduce them themselves. I immediately told them: you will spend more than a billion dollars and ten years. Four years have passed, and they say: yes, it takes six years. Years passed, they say: no, it takes another eight years. Seventeen years have passed, and they have not reproduced a single engine. Now they only need billions of dollars for bench equipment. We have stands at Energomash where you can test the same RD-170 engine in a pressure chamber, the jet power of which reaches 27 million kilowatts.

        Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Boris Katorgin one of the founders of the rocket engine R-170 (180)
        There is a situation where the corporate interests of a separate department collide with the interests of state security, where as a rule corporate interests win, I have written about this more than once. If in 1996. Energomash, under the leadership of the same Katorgin, retained its potential thanks also to the American tender. Today, this contract can really damage our security. You should also not forget about this and listen less to the lobbyists in the media about the death of the engine and the enterprise.
        1. SHILO
          SHILO 19 October 2013 13: 45
          I do not argue with either the first or the second. The question remained - we will close the amerovsky contract - the end of the engine, the end of Energamash, the specialists are on the street. The rest is big politics.
  8. Ivan Petrovich
    Ivan Petrovich 19 October 2013 11: 19
    we ourselves can’t (Russia and China) and we won’t let others (USA)
    but only the Americans wanted to pump on our pathetic mu-mu
    1. Siberian
      Siberian 19 October 2013 11: 40
      Ours can. And there have been developments for a long time. Most likely while no need.
  9. sashka
    sashka 19 October 2013 12: 32
    Too late to rush. Americans are already indulging in this with might and main ... and it makes no sense to force everything to return back. Moreover, if the Chinese begin to persecute, then they want to protect themselves from the "opinion" of the "world community" ..
  10. Puler
    Puler 19 October 2013 14: 10
    Drive the filthy broom of the Amricos from our spaceports and from space programs ... despite the loss of revenue from contracts ... do not launch the African modules into space !!
    1. SHILO
      SHILO 19 October 2013 14: 27
      Quote: Puler
      Drive the filthy broom of the Amricos from our spaceports and from space programs ... despite the loss of revenue from contracts ... do not launch the African modules into space !!

      Yes, you don’t need to be so nervous, nerve cells - they are not restored. laughing
  11. smprofi
    smprofi 19 October 2013 15: 38
    all this that is described in the article is wonderful. the enemies of the imperialists have been denounced and branded.
    only somehow it turns out one-sidedly. based on the text it turns out that the Hunhuz are so white and fluffy.
    but sorry!
    and who develops and tests anti-satellite weapons? there is no hunhuza? read:

    in addition to the "classic" interceptor missiles, the "peaceful" hunhuzes are testing interceptor satellites in full:

    and in general ... there were allies for Russia: not only do they dig ideas and produce weapons without a license, they also cross the road with counterfeit goods on the market with weapons. the Hunhuz first slammed the S-300 and released under their name HQ-9 (export designation - FD-2000), and now they have crossed the road to Russia when Turkey announced the acquisition of air defense systems.
  12. scientist
    scientist 19 October 2013 18: 31
    As you know, the United States signs agreements and resolutions only if it is beneficial to them or if non-signing will result in serious problems. Those. Holding out a pen to the United States for signature in a UN resolution banning the placement of weapons in outer space, China and Russia are required to keep a good club behind their backs.
  13. Ivan Petrovich
    Ivan Petrovich 19 October 2013 20: 19
    blind faith of putinoids and pedrosovtsev touches me
    WE ARE NOT INDEPENDENT COUNTRY! it's time to understand this
    1. Grifan
      Grifan 20 October 2013 20: 58
      Omeriga too.

      Won and components for satellites in China are buying))
    2. borisjdin1957
      borisjdin1957 20 October 2013 21: 06
      May be. But if you talk like that, then the USA is also far from independent (economically certain, because the machine is then at the disposal of the so-called reserve fund ... not subordinate to the state)!
  14. borisjdin1957
    borisjdin1957 20 October 2013 21: 04
    If only it hadn’t turned out like under Khrushchev (or under Brezhnev ... I don’t remember), when the United States overtook the USSR with its plans for space weapons (which in the end turned out to be fake, and the alliance spent a lot of money to think of a counterweight!

    However, if this is not a "divorce" ... then this is another topic for conversation.
  15. Bibliographer
    Bibliographer 20 October 2013 23: 39
    The article, to put it mildly, is slightly idealistic-utopian! At least right now, to make a rogue country from the USA because it doesn’t allow to see, and even if it launches this into space, it smiled!
  16. Vasily Klopkov
    Vasily Klopkov 21 October 2013 23: 33
    It’s sad that stopping the arms race is already impossible, you can only restrain and it’s difficult to control. I remember Obama was offered the Death Star to do, but he refused. A little expensive.