We said above that Angara aims to at least “squeeze out” three classes of launch vehicles. This is already impressive. Especially since the conquest of at least some niche in orbital space is already a “gold mine”, Klondike.
Judge for yourself - only the US has more than 400 military satellites in orbit, and how many “peaceful” and commercial satellites are incalculable. The orbiter is everything: intelligence, tracking, communications, telecommunications, navigation, space laboratories, observatories, all kinds of monitoring of the earth and water surface, tracking atmospheric processes ... I don’t even try to list half of all satellite capabilities, they are infinite. And there is practically no “earthly” alternative to satellites, and if so, it is prohibitively expensive.
Do not forget that the missiles, in addition to sending payloads into orbit, have the main “duty” - delivering a nuclear warhead to a potential enemy over many thousands of kilometers. This suggests a thought: isn’t Angar going to “squeeze out” any class of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM)? Here, the military, as if in the mouth, collected water, did not disclose the "open secret". Everything is clear with them, service people, and military secrets do not reveal. True, there is a possibility that this mystery can never materialize, but that is another question.
But the silence of our valiant "fifth column spies" is alarming. Maybe they are silent because they know: for a Russian person, defense is sacred? And they are aware that the Russian people can forgive the authorities for everything (despotism, corruption, material deprivation), but if this power is not able to protect the people, then they are quickly satisfied with the “Ipatiev House”. The image of the holy prince, intercessor, even if cruel, but fair, is in our code for centuries.
Then, maybe, it is worth opening the "veil of secrecy"? Moreover, we do not possess X-Files. All that is needed and not needed to be classified is classified. We will use materials for housewives and ordinary human logic.
As we know, Russia is the only power (except for the United States) that has a nuclear triad. That is, it is capable of delivering a nuclear strike on any part of the globe - from the ground, from the water and from the air. Accordingly, from the ground we strike with intercontinental ballistic missiles. But Russian ICBMs, in turn, make up their own triad, which even America does not have. These are ballistic missiles of the light, medium and heavy class, simply 50-ti, 100- and 200-tonics.
Now we need to determine what class of rocket and what kind of problems we have. I will say right away: the main issue for our state is the acquisition of industrial and technological sovereignty in the production of all types of missiles.
Let's start with lightweight ICBMs. They are represented by such missiles as the Topol and its advanced version - the Yars. There are no questions about these missiles, they are produced at the Votkinsk engineering plant. The Ukrainian Yuzhnoye design bureau was “fooled” back in 1992 year. So the sovereignty is complete here, and the West will not be able to harm us, unless, of course, it continues to kill our rocket engineers. I wrote above about the “terrorist attack” in Volgograd: these unfortunate guys were just employees of the Votkinsk enterprise.
The middle class ICBM is occupied by the 105-tonne PC-18 “Stilet”. This rocket recently cruelly "joked" over the Americans. Believing in the fact that the "hundredth" expiration date has expired, America unilaterally withdrew from the 1972 ABM Treaty of the Year, and we easily updated them. The only thing that we have forgiven $ 50 million "gas" debt to Ukraine, and they gave us 30 brand new steps left to them after the implementation of the START-1 Treaty. We even managed to make some money on this business.
Not quite believing in success, it was planned to use the power of the "commercial" versions of this rocket, Rokot and Strely, but this did not have to be done. It was nice to watch the reaction of the Americans when we made a successful launch of the "rejuvenated hundred". This way our friends have been circling the finger lately infrequently.
The Russian "land triad" is the "Damocles sword" for America. They have nothing to oppose us. The American 35-ton rocket "Minuteman" does not even reach the light class, moreover, it is not mobile, unlike our "Topol" and "Yars", and therefore vulnerable.
It is not surprising that America is a big fan of making “friends” near our borders and then “shoving” them with its medium-range missiles. Otherwise, they can’t get us. The American fleet can only come close to our Far Eastern coast, where the Pacific Fleet, the largest in Russia, will try to resist it. The Arctic coast is also closed to them, all the more so there is the second largest Northern Fleet on guard. The Baltic and Black Sea are elementarily “clogged”. The result is a paradox: the longest coast of Russia in the world is practically closed to the largest in the world fleet (American).
In the USA, things are not better with the strategic aviation. America’s air fleet cannot strike Russia's vital facilities without touching the air defense zone, and with what losses the “visible invisibles” will go through this zone, it’s not hard to guess.
Returning to the Stilettos, it must be said that the Americans were not only upset by the fact that the middle-class missiles were quickly reanimated, but that hundreds, in large quantities, of course, can be equivalent to heavy and middle-class missiles. taken. It was precisely they who counted on the elimination of heavy-duty ICBMs.
It's time to get acquainted with these giants. This is the legendary PC-20 "Satan" and its upgraded counterpart "Voyevoda." With these heavy rockets we have a really difficult situation. The fact is that they were produced in the Ukrainian "Yuzhmash". Modernization, service - also for the Ukrainian specialists. Here America in all its glory shows its Jesuit policy. The meaning of such a policy is not different by originality and is extremely clear - to make the most of the use of Ukraine in order to harm the military space potential of Russia. Only Kiev has to learn one simple truth: its space industry exists only because Russia needs it, due to the connections we once had from a single country. As soon as these connections cease (to this, everything is in full swing), the Ukrainian space will collapse like the Tower of Babel. Including in the Ukrkosmos will not need the Americans, because no one needs a dead kamikaze.
The situation with the Ukrainian Dnepr rocket looks very significant. This is precisely the civil modification of "Satan". In connection with the signing of the START-1 agreement, which involved the destruction of 50% RS-20, the question arose of how to reduce the arsenal of these missiles. The most effective from a commercial point of view was the method of reworking the rocket for orbital launches. This is what the Russian-Ukrainian enterprise Kosmotras took up. It was here that the “overseas comrades” began to rub their hands in anticipation of wiles and intrigues. Now, with the help of Ukrainian “friends”, who provide technical support for our “king-of-missiles”, who are at the fighting position, the Americans can control almost everything - from the control system to the delivery of spare parts from Ukraine. Moreover, with the help of Kiev, the US took control of missile utilization and commercial launches of the “peaceful” version of Satan. And in order to launch Cosmotras into commercial launches, it wouldn’t put satellites into the rocket, America taught us a lesson that we later learned.
First, it must be said that the “king-rocket”, in addition to its power (which was included in the Guinness book), possessed phenomenal reliability, this was confirmed more than 160 launches, so there was no doubt about the commercial launches of Cosmotras. Indeed, to date, 20 launches have been made. Launched into orbit more 100 satellites. All launches were successful, except for one, the seventh in a row.
26 July 2006 of the year the Russian satellite was to go into orbit, but this is half the trouble. The worst thing that crashed the Belarusian space firstborn - satellite "BelKA". I must say that the "satellite" - a loose concept. It could be a kilogram “diving” ball or a solar-powered amplifier with an amplifier, or it could be an unmanned spacecraft maneuvering in three-axis orbit with a powerful power plant, “stuffed” with all kinds of instruments with excellent resolution and a large swath. That was exactly the Belarusian satellite. He was to be included in the constellation of satellites used in the framework of the space programs of the union state. It will not be an exaggeration if I say that Belarus has invested its soul, its prestige in its creation. Alexander Lukashenko, who came to Baikonur to launch Belka, would not be ashamed of such a satellite. He was probably then ashamed of some of the Ukrainian "prostitutes." I do not in any way blame all Ukrainian specialists, there were no more than two or three people in the “topic”, and there are plenty of “prostitutes,” as you saw. A table was laid, dedicated to the adoption of Belarus in the bosom of the space powers, there were many Italians, Americans ... All were in anticipation of the celebration, but it turned out so vile история.
Let's ask ourselves the question: the PC-20, in various modifications, successfully started around 200 times, and in one case there was a catastrophe, so can there be an element of chance here? Any mathematician will tell you that he can, but the probability is extremely low. With the same probability, some hamadryad will knock on the keyboard and “accidentally compose” a love note to her female. The point is not even that 1: 200 is a low probability, but that this “probability” was realized with Russian-Belarusian satellites that were not included in this “mathematical problem” before or after.
As always, it is amazing how these “boys” work dirty. The question is, why did they not initiate a breakdown, say, in the upper stage? Then it would be possible to shift the blame on the civilian modification of Satan. But the rocket "broke" on the 74 second flight, that is, a "breakdown" occurred in the protoracket itself! Such abnormal situations are eliminated during the bench test period. Even rougher could be done by tying a grenade to a rocket. It is known that any special service tries not to expose its agent, unless of course it appreciates him, and when you start to understand the “love cosmic triangle” Moscow - Washington - Kiev, it is striking how cheap the Ukrainian side is for sale, and even stupidly compromising itself.
Moscow and Minsk made the right conclusions from this whole story. Belarus through 6 years after all launched its satellite, however, it was more modest than the first, and its Soyuz launch vehicle launched into orbit, while Dnepr continued to launch satellites from other countries without a crash.
We also need to draw some conclusions. Firstly, the story of “Belka” clearly shows that this is the maximum that Ukraine can do to harm us. It's no secret that the United States is putting pressure on Ukraine to stop servicing Satan’s missiles, but Kiev will not do this for the reason that they, too, are on hook. For example, we can safely close the Dnepr project, because all Kosmotras 150 missiles are in Russia. About Zenit was written above, I will not repeat. The situation is similar with Cyclones, for which a significant proportion of components are produced in Russia, including engines. For well-known reasons, the Russian and Ukrainian space industries are symbiotic, so that the “hook” is two-edged.
Secondly, in the class of heavy ICBMs, Russia has a rift. Considering that at the time of the collapse of the Squirrel, the situation with the Stilettos was not important, it turns out that even middle-class missiles were stuck with us. The situation turned out to be depressing: America knocks out two components from the Russian nuclear overland triad.
The reader may reasonably ask the question: is it not “fatty” to have an ICBM triad if the US does not have it? The fact is that America does not need to have this triad, because they can deliver medium-range missiles, anywhere. Norway, the Baltic countries, the former Warsaw Pact countries, Turkey, Ukraine is next in line ... Why create a rocket with an 11000 km range, when it can be done with an 1500 km range, since they will cost an order of magnitude less! Unfortunately, we cannot deploy rockets in Canada or in Mexico. True, you can use missile cruisers and submarines, but we have few of them, but building them is expensive.
I wrote above about disposing of 300 nuclear submarines. And on the contrary, the USA can afford such luxury as numerous navies.
Then, maybe Russia will compensate for the "shortage" of a large number of light-class missiles? It's impossible. First, expensive. “Satan” and “Topol” are completely different doctrines. Mobile, fast "on the rise" "Topol" strikes, when the enemy missiles have not yet reached the target. “Tsar-rocket”, on the contrary, can in the mine, as in an air-raid shelter, wait out a nuclear strike, then launch, overcome the enemy's missile defense zone, divide into 10 warheads, independently working on targets, and arrange the enemy hell equivalent to 500 Hiroshima. You can, of course, build a lot of mines for Topol, which we partially do, but what about the mines for Satan? The silo launcher (SSU) is a complex and expensive engineering structure, and it is unprofitable to install a light-class rocket there.
Secondly, due to the specifics of the engine, solid fuel Topol cannot maneuver in flight, as can be done by Satan, which has liquid jet engines (LRE). It is clear that the Topol flight path is more predictable, so the enemy’s missile defense will be more effective.
In general, the strengths and weaknesses of rocket technology are optimally used in our ICBM triad. The design of a solid propellant rocket engine (solid propellant rocket motor) is quite simple, the fuel tank is practically a nozzle, which is made thick-walled, which entails an increase in the "unprofitable" mass. The larger the rocket, the worse the ratio of the mass of the payload to the mass of the rocket. But on small missiles, this drawback disappears due to the lack of a turbopump unit. And vice versa - the more solid-fuel rocket, the less the absence of the unit “saves the situation”. It is not surprising that solid-fuel missiles rightfully “occupied” the light class: simplicity and low cost, mobility and the ability to quickly bring to combat readiness make them indispensable in their segment. “Tsar-rocket” with liquid engines justifies its name, because the larger the mass of the LRE-rocket, the better the payload / mass of the rocket.
It is not hard to guess that this indicator for the 211-ton rocket is the highest among ICBMs.
Thus, the light "Yars" and the heavy "Voevoda", like a destroyer and a battleship, are perfectly combined, covering themselves with each other's weaknesses. Conversely, each rocket multiplies the virtues of its “colleague”.
As for the average "Stiletto", without them could do in principle. 105-ton rocket is very difficult to make mobile, and hiding it in the mine is not entirely cost-effective, so these missiles were relatively few. "Stiletto" was calculated as a safety option, which, as you know, worked.
Let's summarize. It follows from the above that the unequivocal conclusion is that “Satan Voivode” should look for a replacement. All other measures are palliative. We stretch before the 2030 year, and then - no prospects.
It is not surprising that in 2009, the Sarmat project started, a worthy replacement for Voevod, as our Ministry of Defense says. Information about the Sarmat ICBM project is extremely small, but it is known that the rocket will use liquid jet engines and weigh about 100 tons. As you can see, “worthy replacement” is obtained only by “Stiletto”, which is already quite good. However, the place of the ICBM heavy class is still vacant.
It is interesting to ask the question: was there in the Soviet Union a “safety net” rocket for the “Satan”? Yes, it was. This is the P-36orb Scarp. She not only insured, but also perfectly complemented it. Outwardly similar to the "Satan" "Scarp" differed in the method of delivery of the combat charge. The booster rocket output charge power 2,3 MT, equipped with engines, directly into space. It turned out a kamikaze ship maneuvering in orbit filled with Hiroshima 150. The distance to the target for this “satellite” did not matter, and the direction of attack was not fundamental either. True, for America it was all very important, because the attack of an object from any direction made its defense almost impossible. At least, it certainly would not have caused delight among Americans because of the prohibitively expensive missile defense. If the "Satan" in American strategists caused an intractable headache, then his "space" version infuriated them. This is the real embodiment of “star wars”, and not the cartoons that his overseas friends showed to Gorbachev.
Unfortunately, Р-36orb will not help us - not because we removed it from combat duty, according to the SALT-2 Agreement (no one is looking at these “treaties” now). The fact is that the "peaceful" version of this rocket, prudently left in a series by the Soviet Union, was produced in Ukraine. This is the above mentioned "Cyclone".
You involuntarily ask yourself a global question: why did the USSR in the class of heavy ICBMs have two types of missiles, but Russia does not “want” to have one? Before that, we were stupid gamblers, but now we are smarter? Maybe then we had bad defenses, but now everything is fine? The answer is obvious: the opposite is true. It is necessary to understand without illusions that without the balanced triad of the quantity and quality of the ICBM of Russia, it will not be possible to exist within its colossal boundaries. Let me remind you that Russia is at least twice as large as any other state, and that is not counting the vast territories of the Arctic shelf for which we have unilaterally declared our right. Here we would have such indicators in terms of GDP, or at least in terms of population, but this is far from the case. According to GDP, we are in the 6-th place, and in terms of population, Russia is in the 10-th place, “gallantly” passing even such countries as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nigeria ahead.
It is no secret to anyone what the world is fighting for control over natural, water and energy resources. How and how we will defend all this is a question of our existence in the coming decades. Stalin's words that "if we do not strengthen, we will be crushed," today are as urgent as ever. We, in the format of this article, will think about how to strengthen Russia at least in terms of nuclear forces.
"Angara" instead of "Satan"?
Now that we have a brief idea of our rocket shield, we can ask ourselves the question: maybe Angara can help us with something? Let me remind you that we do not have a heavy class ICBM for the future. Here begins a series of interesting coincidences and oddities.
The first thing that catches your eye is the “fifth column” comments. No one speaks directly about whether Angara can be an intercontinental ballistic missile, but indirectly they are voicing a lot of replicas that we will refute.
Their most common saying is that “Angara” is difficult (even impossible) to adapt for launching from a silo launcher (silo silo), and, as always, they do not put forward any arguments, and if they say so, for informational background. This is one of the favorite "their" methods, to speak out indirectly, if you obviously know that you will lose the information battle.
To begin with, let's pay attention to an amazing “coincidence”: the dimensions of the “Satan” are very similar to the dimensions of the “Hangars 1.1 and 1.2”. Only the unification with the heavy-class ICBMs can explain the diameter of the "Angara". Agree that the diameter of 2,9 m is suspiciously small for a rocket, the variants of which are going to deliver to the orbit cargoes of mass 50 tons. Let me remind you that the diameter of the Falken module is 3,7 m, and that of Zenit is 3,9 m, and here this is such a “mysterious” minimalism. Obviously, the "Angara" planned to lower into the mine.
Now let's see how the Angara can start from the silo. There are three ways to launch a rocket from the mine - this is a gas-dynamic, mortar and mixed start. The technical problems of launching a rocket from a mine by the gas-dynamic method are solved by equipping it with gas-diverting ducts. This is the easiest type of start, it is practiced all over the world. Much more difficult, especially for the 200-ton rocket, is a mortar ("cold") start. In this method, the rocket is ejected from the silo due to the pressure generated in a closed volume by an external source, for example, a powder pressure accumulator (PAD) or a steam-gas generator. The rocket engine is launched at the same time after the rocket leaves the mine. Here it is only necessary to adapt the "Angar" to the already developed "cold" start for the "Satan". There are no fundamental technical difficulties. True, there may be a problem with the reliability of the Angara engine start. As you know, to start the engine "Angara" you need three components - kerosene, oxygen and ignition, and for "Satan" only two - heptyl and amyl. There is nothing terrible about this, firstly, the problem is technically solvable, and secondly, you can take advantage of a mixed start when the engine starts directly in the transport and launch container.
As you see, there are no principal difficulties in turning the “Angar” into a “mine” ICBM of a heavy class. True, “these people” often express another “argument”: a “heptyl” rocket can stay in a long state for a long time, and a “kerosene” one needs to be refueled just before launching, “vaguely” hinting, as they say, to mine a rocket in a mine? The fact is that “Satan-Voevoda” also refuels directly in the mine launcher, there is nothing terrible here. More terrible than that is to fill the rocket with highly toxic components, such as heptyl and amyl, not to mention the fact that they must be safely delivered to the silo. We do not even take into account that the cost of the heptyl pair is higher than that of kerosene, and significantly. It can be said that it is better to fill the Angara ten times than the Satan once.
As a result, all their “negative arguments” about refueling can be merged into one: at the time of the start of a nuclear war, “Satan” will be in a refueled state, and the “Angara” will not.
This argument from the whole "pleiad" of statements is more or less significant. We will analyze it in more detail.
Imagine that our potential adversary has launched its missiles, and in 20 minutes they will reach targets in our country. Here the “experts” are starting to make an elephant out of a fly: they say, Russia is covered with nuclear “mushrooms”, like a forest after the rains, and our soldiers in a hurry cannot fill the Angara with kerosene.
To begin with, as soon as the enemy’s missiles take off, almost immediately, with a “return visit”, our Topol and Yars will fly to meet them. Further, in pursuit of the "Poplars", rush "Stilettos". But whether it is necessary to “hurry” to “Angara” is a question.
We have already said that the "mine" based missiles are weapon guaranteed retribution, that is, they are launched after a nuclear strike. So, there is enough time to pour in kerosene and oxygen into the rocket, especially since the refueling technologies are not standing still.
Now let us ask one more question: why should we keep the Angar with empty tanks, and not fill it in advance? A nuclear war will fall on us like snow on our heads, or will some events precede it?
In aviation, there are different levels of alert. Willingness number XXUMX - when the plane is fully ready to fly, stands in the parking lot with the engine turned on, and in its cockpit sits a pilot, fully ready to fly. Willingness number XXUMX - when the plane is fully ready to fly, stands in the parking lot with the engine off, and the pilot is near the aircraft. And so on. Question: why can't our heavy class ICBM units also be divided according to readiness levels? There is only one principle: the lower the security class of the silo, the higher the degree of readiness of heavy ICBMs and, accordingly, the opposite. Depending on the degree of international tension, it is possible to raise or lower the degree of combat readiness of all battalions of heavy ICBMs, that is, they both loaded the rocket and leaked the fuel back. As you can see, there is nothing complicated here, all the more dangerous.
Finishing the topic of refueling, it is necessary to say that when you start to deal with the PC-20 control system and, accordingly, with the rocket launch algorithm, it becomes clear that Kiev and Kharkov instrument-makers were quite professional in their duties. "Protection against fools" on "Satan" is made at a high level, and anecdotes about the jar with the brine on the red button are inappropriate here.
In this question we are interested in the real time of preparing the rocket for launch. Only a few are aware of this topic, and nobody can write about it at all. It is not surprising that the thought that among these “units” there are Americans, leads our military to despair, and this “despair” reinforces the “catastrophe” of the civilian version of the Belka rocket. We can definitely say that the preparation time of the PC-20 for launch is considerable, not like in the films (the reverse ten-second countdown, and the rocket flew).
With reference to the "Angara" we say that the preparation of the rocket for launch will necessarily be combined with the refueling of it, if, of course, it is not already refueled. And now, in order for the “fifth column” to finally knock out the only flimsy visor, I would say that even the Korolev ICBM P-7 in the 50-s stood at the Clesetsk for a month, and how many can “hold” without repacking the Angar, only God knows.
I hope that the reader has dispelled the last doubts about the suitability of the "Angara" to the class of heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles. As for the civilian variants of this rocket, everything was said above. Do not forget that the manned space flight on the Angara from the Vostochny cosmodrome in 2017 has not been canceled yet.
“Angara” is a guarantee of our peaceful sleep and a confident future for our descendants. In the next decade, this rocket may become the absolute record for mass character and its effectiveness. But it can happen the other way around: in three years it will turn into an “obsolete dead-end branch of the space industry”.
As we have seen, even a constructively and technologically perfect project (which is even in real embodiment) can be canceled by an unwise political decision. We, who love our Fatherland, need to do everything possible and impossible in order for Angara to take place. Otherwise, we will fail.