- Vladimir Petrovich, during almost all contacts between Russian politicians and the leadership of NATO in recent years, the main problem was one. Moscow urged Washington and Brussels to abandon the deployment of the American missile defense system in Europe. And all - to no avail. Moreover, the representatives of the North Atlantic bloc used these meetings for assurances of their peacefulness, that is, for propaganda purposes. We understood all the futility of our diplomatic efforts when, on the last day of October, Vladimir Putin abolished the interdepartmental working group on interaction with NATO in the field of missile defense. Where, by the way, were you. All dead end?
- The President acted quite correctly and in a timely manner, the time of empty discussions, when in Brussels and Washington only they were engaged in verbiage on the topic of "strengthening world peace", expired. Most recently, on October 23, a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council at the level of the defense ministers of the participating states was held in Brussels. Naturally, one of the main topics of discussion was the American plan to deploy a missile defense system in the Old World. I will not say anything new: this time we did not find a common language with the leadership of the North Atlantic bloc.
So do we still have hopes to convince Americans of the need to curtail the European missile defense plan? Or are these illusions that we should quickly leave?
I think the question is rhetorical. But in order not to look like a complete pessimist, I will answer this way: there are hopes, but they are extremely small. Judge for yourself: after the official withdrawal of the United States unilaterally from the ABM Treaty, which restrained the qualitative and quantitative proliferation of anti-missile weapons, including limiting their deployment to the national territory of the USSR — then Russia — and the US, 11 years passed. All this time, Washington, quite simply, led us by the nose about possible interaction in this area. The result of the discussions is zero. And, with the expansion of the geography of the deployment of US missile defense systems in various European countries and warships, as well as increasing their number, these hopes will melt faster and faster.
The United States and NATO frankly want complete freedom of action: to increase their anti-missile capabilities quantitatively and qualitatively. Of course, the argument about the importance of countering the "missile threat from Tehran and Pyongyang" is only a pretext for creating a global "anti-missile shield" covering up its own American nuclear missiles. The position of Moscow is clear and simple: the deployment program of the US US missile defense system is openly anti-Russian and anti-Chinese. It directly threatens the strategic nuclear forces of Russia and the PRC. That is why we are talking about the need to take adequate response measures.
“You know, most of our fellow citizens do not understand this often used wording about“ adequate measures ”. I think the big omission of Russian propaganda is that information about concrete response steps has not been communicated to the public. You are the author of a recent monograph entitled “The Evolution of the US Missile Defense and the Position of Russia”. So you and readers to explain how we respond to the North Atlantic bloc.
“We have about a year ahead, and nothing more, during which we can try to convince Barack Obama and the NATO leadership to abandon the plan to deploy anti-missile infrastructure at our borders. The plan, which its developers have called quite innocently - "European phased adaptive approach." That is, the US and NATO must stop building their missile defense bases in Romania and Poland, and also not send their ships with interceptor missiles to the shores of Russia. Or, as rightly noted, Moscow should once again announce the full range of responses to this scenario. But, I am sure, it should be more ambitious than those that have already been named. But these responses, apparently, did not make a proper impact on Washington: it continues to introduce the “anti-missile barrier” at our borders without prior arrangement without abandoning the EPAA program. From time to time, our Ministry of Defense very briefly reports that we have created missiles with which the entire American missile defense system is like a nutlet, which we will easily click. There are other fragmentary information.
Americans as shows история our military-political relations, adequately understand only military power, and not persuasion. For example, it was in 60-70-s of the last century, when anti-missile issues were vividly discussed in the US. This is evidenced by the memoirs of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, the brother of the murdered President John Kennedy, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and other high-ranking American leaders.
I am not sure that in Washington and Brussels they imagine all the possibilities of our military potential. Similarly, our fellow citizens do not have a complete picture of Russia's defense capability. It should be amply and in detail - without giving out military secrets, it is clear - to inform those whom we call “Western partners” that we can really adequately respond to the deployment of a missile defense system in Europe at our doorstep. Why, you and I, too, should know this. So far, we have not announced a broader “protocol of intent”. Or - do not bring the scattered data together. But it's time ...
- Let's clarify. Among Russian experts there are those who believe that the US missile defense system is a “virtual reality” and that it “does not exist at all”. Accordingly, they widely popularize their views, thereby directly or indirectly accusing Russia of initiating an arms race.
- Alas, the American missile defense system is a reality. The first stage has been completed and the second phase of the EPA is being implemented. Today, the United States and its allies have highly mobile anti-missile weapons in quantities that clearly exceed the needs of countering missile threats. No more than two dozen Iranian and DPRK rockets, having a range of from one to two thousand kilometers, are confronted by about two hundred Standard-3 interceptors of various modifications, ground-based interceptor missiles on the continental United States, as well as theater missile defense systems . Together with the Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems, the total number of US missile defense systems already exceeds 1,000. By the way, I note: the United States supplies these air defense systems to the 12 countries of the world: both to NATO member states and non-members of the North Atlantic bloc. By the time of the completion of the EPAA, the total number of all Made-in-the-USA interceptor missiles will increase many times over.
As is known, the US Navy ships equipped with missile defense systems have long since begun a constant patrol of the seas adjacent to Europe, as well as in the Asia-Pacific region and the Persian Gulf. And on October 28 of this year, the first stone was laid in the foundation of the anti-missile complex in Romania - at the air base in Deveselu.
There are other, less well-known facts. As of October, the Pentagon has already tested 34 sea-based interceptor missiles, of which 28 were successful. In general, taking into account all the programs “running in” of these facilities, both sea-based and land-based, the Americans conducted 80 tests, of which 64 were successful. This is a high figure, and the US Department of Defense is doing everything to raise it.
The Russian “peacekeepers”, convincing of the harmlessness of the program to deploy the missile defense system, often refer to the statement of US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, which he made on March 15 of this year. The head of the Pentagon announced some “reconfiguration” of this system, both on a regional and global scale. He even hinted that the United States allegedly abandoned the implementation of the fourth stage of the "European phased adaptive approach." Let's be realistic. Even in Washington’s official comments on this matter it was clearly stated: the new plans of the current American administration are in no way connected with Moscow’s position on this issue. The point was that the reasons for the "reconfiguration" of the system for intercepting ballistic and other missiles were budget and engineering. Therefore, attempts to present these actions of the United States as a kind of willingness to take into account Russia's opinion seem, at least, incorrect.
- Is it possible to briefly describe how exactly the approximate balance of forces will be disturbed during the deployment of the missile defense system?
“Already at the third stage of the implementation of the EPA, American anti-missile defense systems will be able to completely intercept Russian ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine ballistic missiles. In part, they will be able to do this before, I will note. Already, the strategic radars of the United States, located outside their borders, “scan” the entire territory of the Russian Federation. Moscow has repeatedly demonstrated to Western military and civilian experts the results of mathematical modeling in relation to the terrain, as well as taking into account the speed and range of flight of American interceptor missiles. The validity of such results was confirmed by the calculations of independent foreign experts.
Enhanced US Standard-3 anti-missiles of the 2A version, which will be stationed in Poland by 2018, American ships with strike-fighting anti-missile weapons — they already appear in the Baltic, Barents, Mediterranean, Norwegian and Black Seas — are capable of intercepting certain types Russian ballistic missiles. In this case, it must be borne in mind that the Pentagon carefully conceals the true tactical and technical characteristics of the missiles, which will eventually be improved.
In the United States, they did not abandon the creation of Standard-3 interceptor missiles of the 2B modification, which in their tactical and technical characteristics are superior to all previous versions of third-level interceptor missiles. Research and development work in this direction is underway, the production of the latest missiles is simply postponed for the period after 2022 of the year to which EPAA is extended. So Washington is not going to give up the fourth stage of its plan. In fact, its full implementation is simply postponed for two years due to financial and technical difficulties. At the same time, the US military-political leadership is set to develop a follow-up EPAA plan even after 2030. It will provide for more active deployment of interceptor missiles in various areas of the globe, and again in close proximity to the Russian Federation and the PRC. They will be armed with interceptor missiles with “cluster” warheads, laser weapons for the destruction of ballistic missiles, interceptor missiles mounted aboard heavy unmanned aerial vehicles, and so on.
It is necessary to add: all these missile defense systems will operate in an organic “linkage” with American tactical nuclear weapons and conventional weapons deployed in Europe. After all, these are the means of forward-based US
Americans have repeatedly tried to convince us that the interceptor missiles, even in the modification of 2B, are unable to hit the ICBM at the initial stage of their flight. But the actions of the American and Japanese warships with missile defense systems during the launch of the North Korean Ynha-3 rocket last December, as well as the destruction of the American reconnaissance satellite that failed in 2008 at the height of 247 km They make one seriously doubt the declared “harmlessness” of American missile defense systems.
By the 2015 year in Romania and by the 2018 year in Poland, it is planned to deploy the Mk-41 vertical launch systems in the form of missile defense systems converted from marine installations of the Aegis combat information and control system. The fact is that these installations are simultaneously used on US Navy ships for launching long-range cruise missiles, which are not limited to international agreements. So, the US complexes in Romania and Poland can potentially be used to deploy advanced ground-ground strike weapons.
As for Washington’s verbal assurances that “this is not against Russia,” let’s not take them seriously. In addition, recently the US Navy placed an application for the development of shock supersonic technology weaponswhich can be placed in the same launchers on warships as the Standard-3 interceptor missiles, as well as in Romania and Poland.
- It is clear that all this is just a brief analysis of the threat that the deployment of the American missile defense system carries for our country. The monograph “The Evolution of US Missile Defense and Russia's Position” - a detailed study. Are there many readers?
- Both military and civilian Russian specialists responded very well about this book. Many ministries and departments, as well as various research institutes in Russia, gave positive assessments of this result of many years of work. I know that it aroused interest in the headquarters of NATO and in the United States, as well as in the European Parliament. With this in mind, the monograph has already been translated into English. The book is bought up quickly.
Anticipating a possible question about whether I believe that my work may affect the position of NATO and Washington, I will answer: I hope so. Only here, on the basis of existing realities, I have little faith in this. But clarification is needed, as it often happens that the power of arguments is stronger than the arguments of force.
Interview conducted by Viktor Gribachev