Military Review

Thee Week publication and further development of the US nuclear forces

Currently in the so-called. nuclear club includes seven states. Presence of nuclear weapons even two countries are the subject of numerous disputes. Despite such proliferation of nuclear weapons, the majority of disputes in this area concern only a few states. Numerous discussions of hypothetical nuclear conflicts between Russia and the United States, China and the United States, as well as between North Korea and its neighbors in the region, are ongoing. At the same time, the most active discussion concerns precisely the Russian and American nuclear arsenals. Such a kind of “echo” of the Cold War can still influence both the relations of countries and their strategy.

In January of this year, the American edition of The Week published an interesting material under the intriguing title Why? (“Why are all US nuclear missiles aimed at Russia?”), The author of which tried to determine the current state and prospects of the US strategic nuclear forces (SNF).

First of all, the American press noted the specific limitations with which the use of intercontinental ballistic missiles is connected. It is noted that the location of the US missile bases, which have about 450 ballistic missiles, could be one of the reasons for the full-scale conflict. So, if the US gets ready to strike at any targets in East Asia or the Middle East, then the shortest flight route of the missiles will pass over the territory of Russia. Thus, a similar attack of targets on the territory of third countries can provoke a blow from the Russian side. This fact can explain the bold and intriguing title of the article.

This feature of attacking targets in Asia means that the emerging threats from the new nuclear powers can no longer be confronted with the help of the existing strategy. Since the use of intercontinental missiles against Asian countries is associated with certain risks, according to the author of The Week, it is necessary to change the structure and strategy of the use of strategic nuclear forces. It is required to increase the flexibility and speed of response without reducing the combat potential and ability to deter potential adversaries.

To attack anywhere in the world without the risk of drawing third countries into a nuclear war, submarines and strategic bombers should be used. Such a technique can launch a rocket in the most convenient area. A similar strategy for the development and use of strategic nuclear forces, in which their priority is given aviation and the marine component, will provide not only flexibility in use, but also greater survivability of delivery vehicles and nuclear munitions.

In favor of the submarines also argues regarding their secretive movement. A strategic underwater bomber can literally get lost in the ocean because of what its detection and destruction becomes an extremely difficult task for the enemy. In this case, however, the submarine, having received the appropriate order, can at any time launch rockets and destroy the targets indicated to it.

The author of the publication “Why are all American nuclear missiles aimed at Russia?” Also notes an important drawback of mine-based ballistic missiles: they need to be launched within a few minutes after receipt of information about the launch of enemy missiles. This leaves very little time for detecting false alarms and can be disastrous. The order for submarines or aircraft, in turn, can be canceled for a longer time compared with ballistic missiles.

Having carried out such a small “analysis”, the journalist of The Week raises the question of the expediency of preserving a large number of intercontinental silo-based rockets. It is noted that at present only Russia has a nuclear arsenal, the size of which allows an effective missile attack on the bases of the American strategic nuclear forces. However, after the end of the Cold War, such a development seems extremely unlikely, since the United States and Russia simply have no reason to attack each other.

At present, there is a widespread opinion among American supporters of intercontinental missiles that the United States should have a significant advantage over other countries in the number of nuclear weapons. Only in this way, it is claimed, can stability be ensured in the international arena and warn third countries against building up their strategic nuclear forces. However, in contrast to this view, the author of the material Why? offers to get acquainted with the facts and draw the necessary conclusions.

There are more than 4600 delivery vehicles and nearly two thousand warheads in the United States nuclear arsenals. Russian strategic nuclear forces have a slightly smaller number of nuclear warheads and delivery systems. The third largest nuclear power - China - has no more than 300 nuclear warheads. This means that even after the fulfillment of the conditions of the existing START-3 agreement, the Russian and American arsenals will be several times larger than the Chinese. In other words, even against the background of reductions now underway, China will need years to achieve parity with the leading nuclear powers.

Thus, the author of the article “Why all American nuclear missiles are aimed at Russia?” Sums up, the argument about maintaining numerous arsenals as a method of deterring potential adversaries cannot justify the need to save a large number of mine-based intercontinental rockets. In addition, we should not forget the already mentioned submarines and strategic bombers, which, in a number of parameters, are ahead of the silo-based missiles.

In general, the publication of The Week looks like another attempt to rethink the role, functions and appearance of the US strategic nuclear forces. Such arguments began to appear shortly after the end of the Cold War, and since then with enviable regularity fall on the pages of newspapers, magazines and Internet sites. The Pentagon, in turn, has its own views on the development of nuclear arsenals, which may not coincide with the opinions of various analysts.

It is worth noting that some articles similar to the publication “Why are all American nuclear missiles aimed at Russia?” May be a manifestation of hidden games in the US military. The existing economic problems of the United States forced to reduce military spending, including the development of advanced weapons and military equipment. From this point of view, praise addressed to submarines and bombers while simultaneously searching for the shortcomings and problems of mine-based missiles can be similar to an attempt to eliminate competitors in the fight for budgets.

One way or another, The Week’s material is unlikely to have any influence on the further development of US strategic nuclear forces. The Pentagon intends to continue the operation of all existing means of delivery, as well as to develop several projects of new bombers, submarines, etc.

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  1. Shadowcat
    Shadowcat 6 February 2014 07: 31
    well ... couch generals, paper artillerymen ... IMHA, if the bomb is loose, there will be few who will slow down the moving avalanche - everyone will remember each other and start such a mess that the world war will seem like a trifle.
    1. mirag2
      mirag2 6 February 2014 07: 45
      Mine rockets are more vulnerable than mobile ones.
      We also need to draw conclusions.
      And rail-based rockets — at an accelerated pace!
      1. bistrov.
        bistrov. 6 February 2014 11: 27
        Quote: mirag2
        Mine rockets are more vulnerable than mobile ones.

        Well, this is a moot point. For example, I believe that it is just the opposite. In order to destroy the mine’s ICBM, you need a direct hit by a nuclear warhead, while mobile, including and railway basing, it’s much easier to destroy, it’s enough to blow up a large tonnage YBZ above the base of mobile launchers. Tracking mobile launchers of ICBMs at the moment, I think, is not difficult. In addition, mine launchers are permanent readiness means, the launch time is determined by the passage time of the corresponding commands , during the launch of mobile launchers, time is also added for launch deployment, geolocation and input of initial data. Of course, both launchers have their advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to maintain a certain reasonable proportion between them.
        1. Vovka levka
          Vovka levka 6 February 2014 12: 22
          All is correct
        2. vomag
          vomag 6 February 2014 12: 35
          Dear mobile launchers, as well as railways, are the least vulnerable as a result of, so to speak, "hit by a nuclear warhead" because of how mobile they are in the event of a threat or an escalation of conflict, they quietly left for reserve areas, an approximate radius of 300 km, let's calculate will you throw a nuclear bomb? about the railway vaaasche I am silent today, he is in Vladivostok, and after, say, 3 days where ?? ...... And the mines, as they stood still, are still standing and the curse friends know where they are ......
          1. bistrov.
            bistrov. 6 February 2014 21: 55
            Quote: vomag
            calmly went into the spare areas, an approximate radius of 300 km, let's calculate and throw a nuclear bomb on each? I’m silent about the train today, he’s in Vladivostok and in say 3 days where?

            Do you think that the enemy is slurping soup with his bast shoes? Even visually from a satellite you can now read the newspaper quietly, I'm not talking about various other information sensors: -on radioactivity, thermal radiation, etc. Roughly knowing the area of ​​deployment, he can track all the movements of the transport-launcher, including and railway basing. I think now all camouflage measures (covering up traces, etc.) will lead to nothing. The only thing that can help is false launchers, the adversary may get confused, or at least have to disperse his forces.
            1. poquello
              poquello 6 February 2014 23: 02
              Quote: bistrov.
              ... Roughly knowing the area of ​​deployment, he can track all the movements of the transport-launcher, including and railway basing ...

              can not, only very roughly, or are you talking about one installation?
            2. Shadowcat
              Shadowcat 7 February 2014 13: 43
              mmm .... the eye will come out to look at our secret forests ... the green is solid. It is in games that everything is highlighted so rainbowly, and in real life, everything is done so as not to glow iridescently. in addition, it is difficult to distinguish a column of trucks and log carriers from the calculation of launchers.
              In addition, if there are satellites, then why is everyone obsessed with UAVs for reconnaissance and others like it? After all, there is a satellite and it can show everything, and the satellite is more protected relative to the UAV.
              Plus, each installation has not one spare base, but two three. plus false targets with a few more places.
      2. Kunar
        Kunar 7 February 2014 09: 02
        There was no metal cutting.
    2. Geisenberg
      Geisenberg 6 February 2014 12: 44
      Quote: ShadowCat
      well ... couch generals, paper artillerymen ... IMHA, if the bomb is loose, there will be few who will slow down the moving avalanche - everyone will remember each other and start such a mess that the world war will seem like a trifle.

      In general, the article is interesting. It is learned that American missiles are aimed at us because we have tode missiles. Well, just in case, the atoms do not know whether these Russians are still attacking ...
  2. Woolfy
    Woolfy 6 February 2014 08: 05
    The Pentagon intends to continue the operation of all existing delivery vehicles, as well as to develop several projects for new bombers, submarines, etc.
    Who would doubt
  3. Duke
    Duke 6 February 2014 08: 59
    And in addition to the conventional armed forces and navy
    1. AVV
      AVV 6 February 2014 13: 27
      Quote: Duke
      And in addition to the conventional armed forces and navy

      But it’s bad luck, many specialists who developed and manufactured nuclear weapons at the Americans have long been retired, so you need to prepare new ones, and this additional costs and time, as well as the factories that produced these weapons, can no longer produce them, again expenses, and this at reduction of the military budget !!!
  4. Stiletto
    Stiletto 6 February 2014 09: 14
    It seems to me that in vain the author of the article underestimates the Chinese nuclear potential. Or did Hu Jintao whisper in his ear about 300 nuclear warheads? They are clearly and at times more.
  5. Vasily Terkin
    Vasily Terkin 6 February 2014 15: 20
    China in some kind of underground city already has more missiles than Russia from the United States combined
  6. alal
    alal 6 February 2014 16: 30
    As soon as the Americans develop (and this is a matter of time) non-ballistic hypersonic attack half-planes, half-missiles (FIG knows how this is in Russian), all of their ballistic missiles can be removed. The calculation is that they will be anywhere in the world in 2 hours.
    1. Kunar
      Kunar 7 February 2014 09: 05
      Yeah))) And YaB in geostationary orbit disguised as space debris)))))
  7. siberalt
    siberalt 6 February 2014 22: 21
    Actually, it's time to downsize the nuclear club. What's the use of a wasp that stings painfully, but it's not worth the trouble to swat it. There are four territories that can afford it: SGA, Russia, India and China. And this is the first stage towards a general ban on the weapons "core".