It's time to forget about the threats of Euro missile defense

It's time to forget about the threats of Euro missile defense

In the protracted discussions between official representatives of Russia and the US / NATO on cooperation in the European missile defense system, there are two positive results so far: the first is that negotiations continue, the second is that the Russian leadership has ceased to insist on a sectoral approach as the only option for cooperation. It can be assumed that the president and the prime minister finally dared to tell that Russia is not capable, at least until the end of the current decade, to defend itself or others from a rocket attack.


It is explained quite simply. As far as is known, an effective C-400 complex for intercepting air targets has not yet been tested by ballistic targets, and it is difficult to predict how the entire test cycle will pass and when it may end. In addition, judging by the published characteristics (the range of destruction to 60 km, height - to 30 km), he could intercept warheads only operational-tactical missiles, which neither Europe nor Russia do not threaten. We can talk only about the protection of military contingents outside of Europe.

As for the C-500 complex, which they promise to develop by 2015, the process of its development and testing remains even more uncertain. Igor Ashurbeyli, who was in charge of the development of air defense and missile defense systems at Almaz-Antey GSK, said quite honestly about the actual timeframe for creating this complex.

According to him, even the conceptual design of the complex has not yet been completed, and defense enterprises are going to sign obviously impossible projects in order to start work, having received funding. And there are no such feats that the Defense Ministry requires in terms of completion of development.

It is also necessary to take into account the problems of providing tests with targets that imitate real ballistic targets. As far as we know, only the Topol-E missile capable of simulating the trajectories of medium-range missiles can provide targets for flight tests of the C-500 complex. The successful completion of the field test process will require at least a dozen launches of the Topol-E missile, which will entail significant financial costs. Following this, it is necessary to ensure the deployment of mass production of the C-500 complex.

The Americans tested their missile defense systems such as THAAD and Idzhes with CM-3 antimissiles on real ballistic targets 10 – 15 in a few dozen launches and only now brought them to some conditional level of performance. The fact that Russia has nothing to offer for European missile defense is well known to our partners in the United States and NATO. They will be able to judge the state of flight tests of the C-500 on the facts of launches of Topol-E target rockets.


The possibility of intercepting warheads of medium and intercontinental missiles of the Russian ABM A-135 missile system of the Moscow region deserves a separate assessment. Even at the height of the Cold War, it was impossible to recognize the use of this system with nuclear warheads of intercept and long-range interceptors as safe because it could provoke nuclear fireworks over its territory while attempting to hit any target, including warheads with conventional explosives or even blanks launched for provocative purposes. .

In the middle of 90, I had the opportunity to participate in a meeting of the Defense Ministry board, at which they considered the question of adopting a modernized version of the A-135 system for service. Before that, there were lengthy discussions with leading academics of the Russian Academy of Sciences invited to the board meeting about the danger and inadmissibility of using nuclear interception, and they agreed with this. My arguments included, in particular, that nuclear explosions over the Moscow region would have caused a significant part of communication systems and centralized control of the country from the center to be destroyed by an electromagnetic pulse.

Of course, in the case of a massive nuclear attack, this would no longer matter, but even this does not sufficiently justify the use of nuclear antimissiles, since the aggressor would know about the limited potential of the A-135 system and could assign additional nuclear warheads to Moscow.

At that meeting of the collegium, in essence, I was alone in opposing the adoption of this system, believing that only the A-135 radar (Danube-3Y, Danube-3M and Don-2H) should be adopted . It is difficult to convey the storm of criticism that has come down on me from the developers and command of the videoconferencing system. Nevertheless, the Minister of Defense Pavel Grachev, summing up, said that in the current situation he would not put to the vote the issue of adopting the system, setting it aside for a separate meeting only of the board members. Later, the results of the voting showed that the opinions of the board members were evenly divided, and the question was again postponed.

I believe that my presentation was not the main reason for such results. A number of members of the board were not sure of the expediency of adopting such a system, but did not openly speak. The Minister of Defense was aware of this, and therefore I was admitted as an opponent.

In the end, under the pressure of the military-industrial lobby, the A-135 system was put into service. As I was then quite reasonably explained, since the development of the system is complete, it must be put into service, otherwise the developers will not receive the legally expected awards, prizes, etc. This is quite understandable and well known from the practice that has developed in the USSR. After some time, the liquid missile interceptor missile interceptor were withdrawn from service.

In the next decade, Russia has nothing to offer as a contribution to the so-called sectoral missile defense system to protect its and the surrounding territory, which our partners are well aware of. Of course, in politics they use various methods of misleading opponents, but this can be justified only if there is at least some material basis behind this, or the opponent does not know anything at all. But when there is neither one nor the other, this is a frank bluff, which is exactly what is perceived during the negotiations, which does not add weight to the Russian proposals.


The president and prime minister of Russia deny the presence of missile threats to Europe and Russia. However, the assertion that there are no missile threats from the south today is true to the same extent that there is no missile defense system to protect the territories of Russia and Europe. Creating such a missile defense system after the appearance of a real missile threat would be a strategic miscalculation.

At the same time, assessments of missile threats from Iran and North Korea were carried out quite recently by quite competent Russian and American experts in the framework of projects of the East-West Institute and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. A detailed state and perspective developments of North Korean and Iranian ballistic missiles and spacecraft launch vehicles are presented. The information obtained allows us to predict the timing of the creation of increased range missiles.

Iranian “Shahab-3M” (“Gadr-1”) missiles with a forced propulsion system and a control system of increased accuracy reach a range of up to 2000 km with a payload of 750 kg. By reducing the payload to 500 kg, the range increases by more than 200 km. Iranian mobile two-stage Segil-2 solid-fuel missiles have a range of 2200 – 2400 km with a payload of 750 kg. With the consistent improvement of the structural materials of the hulls of propulsion systems and rockets, up to the use of composite materials, the range of these missiles will increase to 3500 km. The time needed for Iran to produce extended-range ballistic missiles is quite comparable with the planned deployment time of the European missile defense system.

Even more important is the prospect of Iran creating a nuclear weaponssuitable for equipping rockets. A number of independent expert outlook materials have also been published on this issue, including by the staff of the above-mentioned IISS. Not only foreign, but also Russian experts agree that Iran is capable of creating a nuclear warhead in about one year. True, some of them believe that this is possible after the Iranian leadership makes a political decision. Only it is necessary to take into account that the authorities will not inform about the adoption of such a decision, and the fact that the decision has already been made cannot be excluded.

In this regard, it is worth noting that the head of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano, announced on September 12 an intention to publish new information confirming the confidence that Iran is building a nuclear warhead. In particular, it is noted that Iran is blocking the IAEA’s ongoing four-year attempts to verify incoming information that the country has secretly developed a project and drawings related to a nuclear warhead in a rocket, and conducted experiments to undermine the nuclear charge, as well as other components in the framework of the weapons program.


Regarding the potential threat to the Russian strategic nuclear forces from a deployed European missile defense system, the following should be noted. Russian official representatives of the SM-3 maritime and ground-based anti-missiles at four stages, THAAD complexes and X-band radars, GBI strategic anti-missiles, together with the missile warning system radars of Russia, are viewed as a threat to Russia's nuclear deterrence potential.

In this regard, it is necessary to emphasize once again that, as has been repeatedly noted, it will take an average of five antimissiles to intercept one Iranian missile with simple countermeasures. Russian ICBMs and SLBMs are equipped with much more effective missile defense systems that have been developed for several decades and continue to be in the stages of modification and adaptation to advanced missile defense systems. Evaluations by American and Russian independent experts have shown that intercepting only one warhead would require up to 10 strategic GBI interceptors. Therefore, to plan their use for intercepting Russian missiles seems completely irrational.

In this regard, the new missile defense architecture in Europe will not have any impact on Russia's nuclear deterrent potential. And on the basis of common sense, it is impossible to understand why the country's leadership, despite the authoritative statement by the MIT General Designer Yuri Solomonov that no Russian missile defense system poses a threat, continues to declare the danger of the European missile defense system to the nuclear deterrence potential of Russia.

Theoretically, the danger for Russia could arise only in the event of a massive build-up of land, sea, air and space frontiers to intercept missiles and warheads in all parts of their flight trajectory under the star wars program, which is associated with a return to nuclear confrontation and a new arms race. However, the likelihood of such a radical aggravation of relations between Russia and the United States is negligible. But even with this scenario, the United States could not fully protect itself from the retaliatory strike. It can be argued that the obstacles to cooperation have nothing to do with military security problems, but lie in the sphere of political differences beyond the framework of the missile defense problem.

All these arguments are based on the relic concept of mutual nuclear deterrence of Russia and the United States, which not only makes no sense after the end of the confrontation between the two world systems, but also serves as a strong obstacle to full cooperation in many areas of security, which many years have been talking and writing reputable experts.


The lack of anti-missile systems necessary for the European missile defense system in Russia should not be an obstacle to close cooperation in the integration of information missile defense systems of Russia, the United States and Europe, which significantly increases the effectiveness of the Russian missile defense system. The first steps may well be the development and coordination of the architecture of integrated information systems.

In this direction, a considerable amount of research in the framework of Russian-American projects has recently been carried out. The Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative (Russia, USA, NATO - EASI) works very intensively on this topic.

In addition to the systems and means of warning about the missile attack of Russia and the United States, it is advisable to include fully modern and highly effective radars of the Moscow A-135 “Danube-3U”, “Danube-3М” and Don-2Н missile systems (which provide detection of ballistic targets at a distance of 6 thousand km, their tracking and anti-missile guidance) and US missile defense radars planned for basing in Europe.

A unified information system cannot be sectoral by definition. It is created to increase the efficiency of solving a common task: information from any systems that detected rocket launches goes to the Center, where all information is processed, and duplication only increases detection efficiency. In the future, when comparable intercepting means of interception will appear in Russia, the principle should be the same: those antimissiles that can hit the target are launched. And if Russia and the United States are simultaneously targeting the target, this will only increase the effectiveness of interception, which will always be finite. It should be borne in mind that the missile defense system must be fully automated, since the account goes on units of minutes and even seconds, and it is this system that must choose the best means of interception. To understand the KP in whose sector it is, time will not be.

In this regard, it is necessary to note the attitude towards the sovereignty of Russia and the United States / NATO in the protection against rocket attacks. It is believed that each of the parties involved will defend its own territory, although the existence of agreed operational protocols is allowed, allowing one side to intercept a missile flying through its territory if it is aimed at striking the other side.

These provisions can be adopted at the initial stage as a result of a lack of trust between the contracting parties and as statements of the firmness of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty that is persistently repeated by the NATO Secretary General and representatives of Eastern European countries. Although this article does not say that security should be provided only by NATO without outside help. One can only interpret this article in terms of NATO’s responsibility for the security of alliance members. But such an interpretation is in conflict with the already real-world interaction in neighboring areas of security.

For example, in June 2011, the fighters of Russia and NATO participated in a joint anti-terrorist exercise "Alert Sky-2011", which provided the main focal points in Moscow and Warsaw and local locations in Russia, Poland, Norway and Turkey. At the same time, Polish airplanes, together with the Russian, carried out interceptions of the “intruder” and its support in the general airspace, without linking their actions with the notorious sovereignty. Similar exercises were conducted with the participation of Turkish and Russian fighters.

You can also ask a question about the role of the 5 article in maintaining the technical condition of hundreds of Russian armaments that are still in the armed forces of Eastern European countries, etc. In other words, the security of NATO countries is ensured not only by its own forces. All the more untenable is the reference to this article in the formation of the architecture and plans for the use of joint missile defense, which, as noted above, should function in an automatic mode, and without the intervention of "sovereign" command and control centers, find the best solutions for intercepting attacking missiles by the means currently used most effective regardless of affiliation.

This may be a joint missile defense system in the long term, and while searching for a compromise of the United States, in order to somehow move forward in connection with Russian persistence, they propose to form two separate missile defense systems that coordinate their potentials as a framework agreement. This was stated by Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Vershbow, who had just visited Moscow. In parallel with this, he said, it is proposed to create two joint missile defense structures, one of which is the Data Integration Center from the Russian and NATO radars and satellites, the other the Center with Russian and NATO officers, which should carry out round-the-clock planning and coordination of the two missile defense systems .


The first Center is, in essence, reanimation at the new stage of the decision of the presidents of Russia and the United States from 1998 on the creation in Moscow of the Center for the exchange of data of missile attack warning systems (DPC), which was largely ready, but not completed by various secondary reasons. One of them, as far as is known, was the intention of the American side to filter some of the information from its warning system.

Under new conditions, the issue of filtering data should be resolved separately. You can, of course, filter out false signals from warning systems separately in the control centers of each side, but for this you need at least to agree on filtering algorithms before transmitting information to the common Center. It seems, however, that it would be advisable to filter all the information from the warning systems of the parties in the common Center and not to fear a large amount of false alarms. Since it is more important not to miss the real signal of missile launches than to jointly handle a large amount of false alarms.

Judging by what Alexander Vershbow said, the Americans are inclined to the so-called virtual data center, in contrast to the one that was agreed upon earlier, which provided for finding joint duty crews of Russia and the United States. Now it is proposed to exchange information between national duty shifts through secure Internet channels. The Virtual Center has both advantages and disadvantages. But in terms of the combination of pros and cons from the point of view of the reliability of the information received and the elimination of misunderstandings, the best option seems to be face to face work.

Another important area of ​​cooperation should be considered the resumption of the interrupted series of joint computer exercises with the United States and NATO on theater missile defense, followed by the expansion of these exercises outside the theater of operations. A total of nine training sessions were conducted in the Russia-USA and Russia-US-NATO formats. It is important to return to this practice, due to which a certain success was achieved in working out the conceptual apparatus and compatibility of information systems and interception tools. Breaks in such exercises lead to the loss of accumulated experience due to the departure of specialists, the emergence of new technologies. At the same time, it is expedient to conduct joint research work for the transition from computer exercises to full-fledged command-staff trainings and further to the use of real anti-missile systems of Russia and the United States on a test site basis.

The problems and obstacles to the formation of full-fledged cooperation between Russia and the United States / NATO in the construction of European missile defense and global missile defense are obviously connected with the political guidelines of the ruling groups, which remain the excessive distrust of the parties as an undiminished vestige of the Cold War. In the Russian official circles, there is an assumption that, in the event Russia agrees to cooperate on information systems, the United States under such a cover will continue to deploy the European missile defense system according to its plan. It is impossible to exclude this, only an alternative to such a scenario is even worse. Because in this case, the Americans are still implementing their plan, and Russia will not have any channels of influence on this process.

Separately, it should be noted the requirement of Russia for legally binding guarantees that the European missile defense system, like the global missile defense system, will not be directed against the potential of the Russian strategic nuclear forces. It seems that the United States already agrees to provide some political guarantees, but so far the reaction of Russia is unclear. In this regard, it is time to discuss the “mirror situation” around the creation of a widely advertised aerospace defense, which, by the way, naturally splits into two technologically and organizationally unrelated systems - air defense and missile defense. Whatever the defenders of the VKO claim about the need to hit new American objects such as the HTV-2 hypersonic aircraft, the existence of a substantial and interesting journal of the same name can be considered the only positive result. But this is a separate topic (see the article “What is aerospace defense” “NG” from 01.03.2007).

It is obvious that the missile defense system of this system is intended primarily to repel a nuclear attack, that is, to reduce the nuclear potential of the United States, Britain and France. And if guarantees of the “harmlessness” of the European missile defense system for Russia are required, then what about the same guarantees with respect to EKR?

No matter how these problems are solved, the fact that the lack of cooperation in deploying missile defense systems in Europe will inevitably cause another anti-missile crisis between Russia and the West before the acquisition of strategic capabilities by the systems included in this missile defense system remains invariably important.

On the other hand, cooperation in building an European missile defense system may be crucial for the transformation of mutual nuclear deterrence, which is useless in the new system of military-political relations. Since joint missile defense means a transition from partnership to an allied relationship, in which mutual nuclear deterrence is naturally excluded.

Obstacles to achieving deep partnerships between Russia and NATO are the result of persistent phobias and prejudices of the Cold War. On the one hand, there are working numerous cooperation programs between Russia and NATO, economic ties are constantly growing, on the other hand, there are programs to ensure military security, in which, for example, Russia’s main priority is to protect against an aerospace attack, which nobody but NATO, led by the United States, can not commit. It is obvious that the maintenance of a lost sense of deep mutual distrust is actively used by military-industrial groups for lobbying large-scale programs for the development and deployment of new weapons and military equipment.

Under these conditions, the hope for steps towards a close partnership of former rivals to counter real threats is mainly due to the influence of authoritative international movements, recommendations of the Pugwash movement, the Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, NTI activities led by the four American "wise men", the Japanese-Australian Commission Evans - Kawaguchi, Global Zero, etc.

Glimpses of such influence already appear. For example, the US Senate resolution on ratifying the new START Treaty explicitly states that the state of mutual nuclear deterrence between the US and Russia does not meet the security interests of the two states and must be transformed. The Russian four of the most authoritative "wise men" (E.Primakov, I.Ivanov, E.Velikhov, M.Moiseev) called for a transition from nuclear deterrence to universal security. The hope remains to "reach out" to the leaders of Russia, the United States and Europe.
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