Orbital bombardment: take two

Likely adversary doomed to hold all-round defense

Today, no one doubts that the defense doctrines of the leading states are military space. The strategic American concept of a quick global strike, among other things, provides for the wide deployment of space launch platforms for weapons. Not to mention the fundamental build-up of the satellite support grouping. A comprehensive missile defense program is being forced to reflect a possible counterstrike. Russia has its principled approach to such a challenge of time.

Nuclear answer ...

Let's start with the Americans. And immediately from the output. US military strategic planning does not provide for the creation in the foreseeable future of new nuclear missile systems. weapons. Certain work in this direction, of course, is underway, but outside the framework of R & D, in the extreme case of R & D, do not extend. In other words, they are going to “dominate” in military-technical terms without a stake on nuclear weapons.

Orbital bombardment: take twoIndicative in this regard are recent studies of the California Institute of International Studies and the James Martin Center on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

As for the ICBMs, at the end of last year, the Air Force began to analyze the possibilities of replacing existing missiles with a new model, but nothing concrete has yet come out. The costs of appropriate research and development are modest - less than 100 million dollars.

The last time the US ground nuclear component was re-armed in the middle of the 80-s with the Peacekeeper missile, which was subsequently removed from combat duty. Be that as it may, today only the Minuteman-3 ICBM, a development of 40-year-old, is in service in the US.

According to the above-mentioned sources, the currently operating Trident-2 SLBM will remain in this status until the 2042. Something new for the Navy will come off the “drawing boards” no earlier than 2030 of the year.

The US Air Force currently has a strategic bomber 94 B-76 H and 52 B-18A, which were launched at the beginning of the 2-x and late 50-x, respectively. The park of these cars will operate for another three decades. There are plans to create a promising long-range strike bomber LRS-B (Long Range Strike-Bomber), but the sources do not have any details regarding this program.

On the other hand, there is a speeding up of US space defense programs, in particular, the X-37 reusable vehicle capable of carrying out a long-term flight, which is necessary, for example, to service orbital rocket-based platforms and satellite constellations.

Americans do not want to get involved in nuclear weapons for obvious reasons. Today, the threat of local armed conflicts is more likely than a couple of decades ago. To fight with varying degrees of intensity have to increasingly. A nuclear weapon in such a case does not fit simply by definition. Of course, it can be used in a preventive strike, which is tantamount to aggression, or as the last defensive trump card when it comes to the existence of a country in principle. But the one who is the first to decide on nuclear insanity will immediately become a world outcast with all the consequences, regardless of the noblest reasons that prompted the discovery of atomic "zinc."

Today we need effective, and most importantly, real shooting based on high-precision ballistic and cruise missiles, including aerospace-based ones.

The stake of the Russian Armed Forces, as before, is on the nuclear forces, and with the traditional emphasis on ground complexes. Solid fuel monoblock "Topol" of various methods of basing for the last time "spawned" already two modifications with HRC. We are talking about the RS-24 Yars and PC-26 Avangard missiles, which are planned to be put on combat duty next year according to the statement of the Strategic Missile Forces commander Colonel-General Sergey Karakaev. Interestingly, as the reason for the creation of this complex, the commander-in-chief of the Strategic Missile Forces also called opposition to the American global strike. But it turns out, this is not enough. Even with the famous "Satan", which is slightly lower.

On the last spring day, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov confirmed the development of a new, heavy, silo-based ICBM with the working title Sarmat. “In the midst of work on a heavy rocket. A number of R & D projects are being conducted in anticipation of the threat posed by a global strike by the United States. I believe that by the end of 2020, this component (strategic nuclear forces) will be re-equipped not for 70 percent, but for all 100. ”

Major General Vladimir Vasilenko, former chief of the leading rocket and space research center - Ministry of Defense Research Institute 4, spoke at the end of February about the tasks in connection with the development: “The military expediency of creating a heavy liquid ICBM is caused by the need to counter the deployment of a global missile defense system, in other words - deterrence from missile defense deployment. Why? It is a heavy mine-based ICBM that makes it possible not only to deliver warheads to targets on energetically optimal trajectories with rigid, and therefore predictable approach azimuths, but also to strike from various directions, including delivery of blocks across the South Pole. ”

“... Such a property of heavy ICBMs: the multidirectionality of the azimuths approaching the target forces the opposing side to provide circular missile defense. And it is much more difficult in an organization, especially in finance, than a sectoral missile defense. This is a very strong factor, ”said Vasilenko. “In addition, the huge supply of useful combat load on heavy ICBMs allows it to be equipped with various means of overcoming missile defense, which ultimately satiates any missile defense: both its information tools and percussion.”

What conclusions can be drawn from all that is read and heard?

The first. Likely, potential and any other adversary for us, as before, are the United States. This fact is emphasized at the highest levels, for example, at the recent “round table” in the State Duma on the urgent, difficult problem of aerospace defense.

The second. We oppose both offensive and defensive American strategic non-nuclear initiatives as a whole with exclusively offensive nuclear programs.

Third. Implement we successfully conceived with a new rocket, become the first country ready to launch nuclear weapons into space. This process is meanwhile objective. No one disputes the fact that outer space is a potential theater of military operations. That is, the weapon there, depending on the chosen direction - nuclear, kinetic, laser, etc. - is only a matter of time. Especially since placing nuclear weapons in space is not a new idea.

Global Rocket by Nikita Khrushchev

As soon as, following the principle of nuclear fission, they managed to release a huge mass of energy, and Oppenheimer and Kurchatov’s mind concluded it in Fat Men, Toddlers and other “products”, the idea arose to deploy such a weapon in Earth orbit.

At the end of the 40-x - the beginning of the 50-s, the Germans, who at that time generated the American military-space thought, offered space as a home base of nuclear warheads. In 1948, the right hand of Werner von Braun - the head of the German rocket center in Panemünde, Walter Dornberger, suggested placing atomic bombs in near-earth orbit. In principle, there are no “closed” territories for bombardment from space and such weapons seem to be an effective deterrent.

In September, 1952, at the very peak of the Korean War, von Braun himself proposes a design of orbital stations, which, in addition to conducting reconnaissance, could serve as launch pads for missiles with nuclear warheads.

However, fierce Americans quickly realized how much it would cost them to build orbital complexes with weapons of mass destruction. In addition, the accuracy of the orbital bombs left much to be desired, since at that time it was not possible to develop the proper orientation system needed to accurately determine the position of the weapon relative to the target. And there was absolutely no technology for maneuvering warheads in the final atmospheric section.

In the middle of the last century, the United States favored land-based and sea-based ICBMs. Another thing - the USSR. “... We can launch rockets not only through the North Pole, but also in the opposite direction, too,” the then leader of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev announced to the whole world in March 1962. This meant that the missile warheads would now fly to the United States not along the shortest ballistic trajectory, but would go into orbit, make a half-turn around the Earth and appear from where they were not expected, where they did not create means of warning and counteraction.

Lied, of course, Comrade Khrushchev, but not to the end. The design bureau of Sergey Korolev has worked on the project of the GR-1 rocket since 1961. The three-meter sorokometrovaya rocket was equipped with a nuclear warhead mass 1500 kilograms. The third stage helped to bring it into orbit. The firing range of such a rocket did not have any limitations.

The 9 of May, as well as the November 1965 parade of the year, carried a hefty ballistic missile across Red Square. These were the new GR-1. “... Before the stands are giant rockets. These are orbital rockets. The warheads of orbital rockets can strike suddenly at the aggressor on the first or any other orbit around the Earth, ”the announcer said happily.

The Americans demanded an explanation. After all, even 17 in October 1963, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution 18884, which called on all countries to refrain on launching into orbit or deploying nuclear weapons in space. To which the Soviet Foreign Ministry explained: the resolution, de, prohibits the use of such weapons, but not their development.

True, the rockets that were driven across Red Square remained mockups. The royal design bureau did not succeed in creating a combat model of the GR.

Although an alternative project of partially orbital bombardment of the Mikhail Yangel Design Bureau based on the P-36 ICBM - P-36 orb remained in reserve. It was already a truly orbital nuclear weapon. A two-stage rocket with a length of 33 meter was equipped with a head part with the instrument compartment of the orientation and deceleration systems of the warhead. The TNT equivalent of a nuclear charge was 20 megatons!

System P-36 orb. As part of the 18 silo-based missiles, the 19 was adopted on November 1968 and was deployed in a special positional area at Baikonur.

On the 1971, inclusive, these missiles were fired several times as part of test launches. One of them still "got" the United States. At the end of December 1969, at the next launch, a model combat unit entered the orbit, which received the traditionally peaceful designation of the Cosmos-316 satellite. For some reason, this “Cosmos” was not undermined in orbit, like its predecessors, and under the influence of gravity force entered the atmosphere, partially collapsed and woke up into American territory with debris.

Under the SALT-2 contract concluded in 1979, the USSR and the USA pledged that they would not place combat missiles at test sites. By the summer of 1984, all P-36 orb. were removed from combat duty, and the mines exploded.

But as you know, a bad example is contagious. Developing from the end of the 70-ies, the new ICBM MX “Piper”, the Americans could not decide on the method of basing. The Air Force commanders rightly believed that for the then-fantastic strike power of the Soviet land-based nuclear forces, it would not be difficult to destroy a large part of the positional regions of the American continental ICBMs at the first strike.

Fear has big eyes. Offered very exotic ways. For example, to anchor the rocket on the seabed near their native shores. Or dump them for greater safety at sea after receiving a "strategic warning" from surface ships and submarines. There were calls to withdraw the head parts of the missiles in the event of crisis situations into the “waiting orbit”, from which, with an unfavorable development of events, the warheads should be redirected to ground targets.

To "Voivod", to whom "Satan"

Today, speaking of plans to develop a new heavy liquid ICBM for solving the corresponding tasks, we must not forget: there is already a similar complex in service with the Strategic Missile Forces, albeit without “orbital” capabilities, which does not detract from its merits. This is all about the same project P-36, which formed the basis of the famous line of Russian ICBMs.

In August, 1983, the decision was made to deeply modify the P-36M UTTH rocket - the early offspring of the P-36, so that it could overcome the promising American missile defense system. In addition, it was necessary to improve the security of the rocket and the entire complex from the effects of the damaging factors of a nuclear explosion. Thus was born the fourth-generation missile system P-36М2 "Voevoda", which received the designation in official documents of the US Department of Defense and NATO SS-18 Mod.5 / Mod.6 and the terrible name "Satan", which fully corresponds to its combat capabilities. In Russian open sources, this ICBM is designated PC-20.

The “Voevoda” ICBM is capable of striking all types of targets protected by modern missile defense systems, in any conditions of combat use, including with multiple nuclear exposure in a positional area. In this way, conditions are provided for the implementation of the strategy of a guaranteed retaliatory strike - the possibility of ensuring missile launches under the conditions of ground and high-altitude nuclear explosions. This is achieved by increasing the survivability of the rocket in the mine launcher and a significant increase in resistance to the damaging factors of a nuclear explosion in flight. The ICBM is equipped with an MIRV-type HRG with 10 warheads.

Flight design tests of the P-36М2 complex began at Baikonur in the 1986 year. The first missile regiment with this ICBM was on combat duty 30 July 1988-th.

Since then, the rocket has repeatedly successfully fired. According to official statements of the command of the Strategic Missile Forces, its operation is possible for at least 20 years.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. +6
    16 July 2014 07: 40
    No matter how they broadcast at all kinds of conferences about peaceful outer space, but in the current realities this is impossible. The militarization of outer space will only increase, however, the orientation of such orbital weapons should also be outside - to reflect possible threats from deep (according to current concepts) outer space, i.e. from the same large meteorites and small asteroids that threaten the planet.
  2. +3
    16 July 2014 07: 46
    The "Voevods" who had served their time got used to using them to launch satellites into near-earth orbit.
  3. +1
    16 July 2014 07: 46
    Hmm ... I’m sure the nuclear SHIELD of Russia ... There will always be ready to answer ALL the threats of a changing WORLD !!!
  4. +2
    16 July 2014 07: 47
    The Americans are preparing to fight the rest of the world, and for us it is enough to strike at the root of evil.
    1. 0
      16 July 2014 11: 24
      They have NATO, the EU, Japan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, and so on. Allies have dofiga, and everyone will have to endure.
  5. +1
    16 July 2014 08: 05
    There is life in the old dog yet!
  6. +1
    16 July 2014 08: 14
    Yeah, the paradox is, the more terrible Amer, the stronger the world wink
  7. Gagarin
    16 July 2014 08: 37
    It is necessary to hurry with Sarmat, God forbid, it will not reach the application, but the mere presence of him on combat duty at many hawks will temper fervor and desire.
  8. 0
    16 July 2014 08: 57
    Well, it’s not in vain that we are doing the S-500 in order to get it in space.
    The question is what if ICBMs install vacuum warheads instead of a nuclear warhead.
    1. 0
      16 July 2014 09: 38
      Quote: bmv04636
      vacuum warheads.

      Vacuum is like, with a pump? If you mean thermobaric, then this makes no sense, this is equivalent to delivering pizza on long-distance trains, that is, unprofitable ...
      1. 0
        16 July 2014 11: 45
        Well, it’s not necessary for a maximum range of 1500 to 6000 km. it would be enough to suppress missile defense objects
        1. puma88ss
          16 July 2014 13: 49
          For this, serious ICBMs seem to have a platform with false goals. Missile defense capabilities in terms of goals are limited. Therefore, I don’t understand why the transition to light ICBMs, on which there seems to be no these most false warheads (although I have nothing to do with weapons at all, ordinary civil engineer, I ask you not to kick too painfully). Gorbachev, on his (or not) initiative, destroyed short- and medium-range missiles, although in my opinion this is the very thing for destroying strategic targets like missile defense elements.
          1. 0
            16 July 2014 19: 33
            Quote: puma88ss
            Therefore, I do not understand why the transition to light ICBMs

            Light ICBMs, early Courier and the new PC-26 are highly mobile. Track them and hit in a timely manner - the task is almost comparable with fixing the electron :)))
            This is one of the components for causing guaranteed and irreparable damage to a potential enemy in any conditions ...
  9. Andy1967
    16 July 2014 09: 54
    The article is not bad, but somehow ... unformed, perhaps ... The author started about space and ended up with "Voevoda". Not about the x-37, not about our developments ...
  10. -1
    16 July 2014 10: 31
    Excellent article.
  11. +2
    16 July 2014 12: 35
    Orbital bombardment: take two
    I read ... about the "orbital" one (except for 36 orbs, although this is not correct, because it is a system of partial-orbital bombing) I did not find anything.

    Orbital bombardment (eng. Orbital bombardment) - the bombardment of the planet by forces of the military to / ship or fleet of military to / ships.
  12. +1
    16 July 2014 13: 16
    For the destruction of particularly important ground targets, a space station was developed, the basis of which was the 17K DOS station and on which the autonomous modules with ballistic or planning type combat units were to be based. By a special command, the modules were separated from the station, by means of maneuvering they had to occupy the necessary position in outer space with the subsequent separation of the blocks according to the command for combat use. The design and main systems of autonomous modules were borrowed from the Buran orbital ship. As a variant of the combat unit, an apparatus was considered on the basis of the experimental model of the Buran OK (devices of the BOR family).

    Details here: http://www.buran.ru/htm/spirit.htm
    1. puma88ss
      16 July 2014 13: 53
      This is probably very effective, but very expensive. A bunch of everything in orbit to withdraw and maintain there. But the Butkherth of the Yankees would not be frail.
  13. +1
    16 July 2014 14: 52
    X-37 is mentioned casually, meanwhile it is this thing -
    weapons of the future. The gain of dominance in the air will be control
    over the stratosphere and low space. Apparently, new stratospheric
    Space Air Force: fighter-bomber attacking from space
    conventional weapons and returning there after the attack.
    1. 0
      16 July 2014 19: 39
      Quote: voyaka uh
      returning there after the attack

      this is unrealistic in terms of energy. They can make only a few dive-bounces from dense layers (like pebbles on the water) with an indispensable entry into the atmosphere and landing ...
    2. 0
      16 July 2014 23: 23
      Well, the Chinese seem to have tested and shot down their non-working satellite in Earth orbit, you can get it.
  14. 0
    16 July 2014 17: 36
    Perhaps, but, as far as I know, this is quite difficult to implement. It’s easier to strike from orbit.
  15. +1
    16 July 2014 19: 22
    Quote: voyaka uh
    meanwhile, this is exactly the thing -
    weapons of the future. The gain of dominance in the air will be control
    over the stratosphere and low space. Apparently, new stratospheric
    Space Air Force: fighter-bomber attacking from space
    conventional weapons and returning there after the attack.

    the future is already real.
    And X 37 b - has been serving for a long time.
    And this is a completely different matter.
    Who will answer, what he was doing and what measures were taken to protect against him. He even has closed financing as one of the priority programs.
    Space UAV (BPKA)
    1. 0
      16 July 2014 19: 49
      Quote: Cristall
      Who will answer what he did

      what did you do?
      Defined unannounced tasks:
      - practice accurate astronavigation
      - maneuvering attempts, i.e. change of orbits
      - a set of statistics on a long stay in orbit (instruments, mechanisms, thermoregulation systems, etc. ...)
      A separate task is to monitor the enemy. how he tracks this object. Especially when maneuvering an object.
      It is no secret that the Russian Federation had and still has "dark zones", i.e. areas when objects are out of sight. Previously, ships were used for this - KIKi.

      And now the cowboys are watching what the Russian SPRN is doing when this object outside the territory of Russia (and outside the control zone) changes its orbit and jumps over the Russian Federation along a different route.
    2. 0
      17 July 2014 21: 39
      Quote: Cristall

      the future is already real.
      And X 37 b - has been serving for a long time.
      And this is a completely different matter.
      Who will answer, what he was doing and what measures were taken to protect against him. He even has closed financing as one of the priority programs.
      Space UAV (BPKA)

      Good evening. Why in the past tense? X-37V and today (17.07.2014) quite successfully fulfills its set, carefully closed tasks. Or do we know, but not all?
  16. Voronbit
    16 July 2014 21: 11
    most likely Sarmat is a preventive launch of a heap of maneuverable satellites into a low orbit ..... I don’t see the need to move the charge over long distances resisting the air ..... and the strategic tasks we have with amirs are different ... we defend the Homeland
  17. Voronbit
    16 July 2014 21: 19
    Yes, I forgot about the X-37 ....... I don’t understand where such a stir was ... ...... someone is sure that the product was descending into the stratosphere. And then it was going into orbit ... and so 2 times777777
    1. Voronbit
      16 July 2014 21: 28
      fuel reserve. heatlite even on gentle trajectories ... and most importantly efficiency
  18. Voronbit
    16 July 2014 21: 41
    GZ-question very intrsny. But not unambiguous .... I do not lie. that today or tomorrow. WHAT KR 7 MAX ... WILL BE SUMMARY ... DIVERSANT-SIMPLER1
  19. 0
    16 July 2014 22: 41
    -Maybe weh?
    “Just like a wither, the whole world is in ruin!” But then....
  20. 0
    17 July 2014 02: 32
    Quote: bmv04636
    Well, it’s not in vain that we are doing the S-500 in order to get it in space.
    The question is what if ICBMs install vacuum warheads instead of a nuclear warhead.

    There are no vacuum warheads, there are thermobaric ones. No, it’s not worth the candle. That's when space is thought up to compression, then yes, it is stronger than nuclear and thermonuclear weapons and environmentally friendly!
  21. +1
    17 July 2014 02: 35
    Quote: voyaka uh
    X-37 is mentioned casually, meanwhile it is this thing -
    weapons of the future. The gain of dominance in the air will be control
    over the stratosphere and low space. Apparently, new stratospheric
    Space Air Force: fighter-bomber attacking from space
    conventional weapons and returning there after the attack.

    The weapons of the future, genetic weapons and microrobots !!!
  22. Shkolnik
    17 July 2014 18: 54
    DARPA ordered the development of a reusable space drone
    1. 0
      18 July 2014 20: 20
      Well, here's the answer: X-37 is the most likely candidate to win the tender.
  23. Witalka
    22 July 2014 13: 45
    Nuclear weapons will stand in the "scabbard", although the earth will be intact, the battles are now informational psychotropic.
  24. 0
    20 January 2015 13: 58
    There were similar ideas in the USSR. like x37, but only with perestroika, they were never realized! but an idea. was good. may be. worth reviving. on a new stretch of the spiral, the development of mankind.