A strategic deterrence system is being created in Russia, against which even in the long term there will be no acceptable protection. This will make our "partners" sit down at the table of constructive negotiations.
It would seem that the routine event - the November meeting of the President with the leadership of the Armed Forces, special services, law enforcement agencies and the military-industrial complex held on November 9 - caused a serious resonance, especially in the Western media. The front sheet of the slide presentation, which contained in a very compact form the idea of a fundamentally new nuclear deterrence system, got into the camera of one of the Russian TV channels that covered this meeting. Her name - "Status-6" now knows the whole world. The conclusions made on the basis of the analysis of the slide are presented in the article “Leakage under the microscope”. But a more thorough understanding of the development is still ahead.
This is a system, undoubtedly, an extraordinary one. In theory, it should not emerge in the media space. Involuntarily there is an assumption about the unauthorized disclosure of military (state) secrets.
Disclosure or throw?
More recently, repeated cases of leakage of classified information from the highest officials in the Defense Ministry and other ministries and departments of Russia did take place. But today is a completely different time. It’s impossible to believe that a military leader of the highest rank has misread such important information by mistake - for sure he will seriously pay for at least his career. There remains a version of the intentional stuffing - "information bomb." However, everything is not so clear here. Three options are allowed.
The first one assumes that the information about the Status-6 system has been inserted under the condition that Russia cannot technologically and technically create such a system. The goal is to scare the adversary with a “bubble”, force it to make certain concessions or deploy work on resource-intensive defense programs in dead-end directions. Something like the Americans did, voicing the concept of SDI. The second variant of deliberate “flare” implies that the possibility of producing such weapons Russia exists, but in the long term. The goal is the same: to shift the attention of the enemy, to incline to concessions. In the third option, the information provided is quite true and our country has everything necessary to develop such a system in a relatively short time. In this case, we are making it clear to the “partners” that it is time for them to stop and begin a constructive dialogue with Russia.
To correctly determine what happened, we will look for answers to three main technical questions.
1. Is it possible in principle to create such a destructive weapon and will it have the expected effect?
2. Is the project technically feasible?
3. Is there a political and military-strategic need for its appearance?
Let's start with the third. It is obvious that the need for fundamentally new weapons arises if it is not possible to fend off new threats with the available means. It seems that today Russia has such a need. Our economic and defense potential is not in a position to compete with the US and the more so with NATO. Let us pay attention to the fact that today in the Russian Federation positions of supporters of the West are strong, mainly in the highest echelons of state administration, including the military-political one. In the course of a massive information and psychological warfare, one of the key problems may be the guarantee of execution of an order to use strategic nuclear forces. The large number of their personnel does not ensure the absolute reliability of the execution of such an order, especially in the conditions of possible civil confrontation in society. This problem should be solved by minimizing the personnel involved in strategic nuclear deterrence, whose numbers will remain within the limits determined by the ability to provide absolute (or close to it) guarantee of power loyalty and psychological readiness to use the system regardless of the situation in society and personal emotions.
Another important requirement is invulnerability from existing and prospective defensive systems of a potential enemy or high resistance from its resistance, as well as the possibility of causing unacceptable damage to the aggressor even in the most adverse circumstances, including the complete defeat of the Armed Forces and the destruction of the state itself.
Compliance with these conditions will provide guaranteed strategic deterrence. The analysis gives grounds to conclude that there is a political and military-strategic need for the production of such weapons.
We now turn to the first question about the reality of creating weapons of such destructive power. To answer it we turn to stories. In 1961, in the USSR, a nuclear weapon was exploded without exaggeration of the apocalyptic caliber - 58 megatons of TNT equivalent. At the same time, the bomb itself turned out to be relatively small - just 32 tons. Such a monstrous explosion can cause enormous damage, but the subsequent processes will be much more serious - megatsunami (with an explosion under water in certain points of the World Ocean) or the initiation of supervolcanoes and volcanic activity in general. The newspaper “Military Industrial Complex” wrote about this in detail in the article “Nuclear Special Forces”. As applied to the Status-6 system, it is about more serious things than simply initiating destructive geophysical processes or mega-tsunami, namely the creation of zones of high radioactivity, excluding the existence of almost all forms of life. In this vein, it is appropriate to recall the so-called cobalt bombs, which are thermonuclear ammunition with a cobalt sheath-59. An inactive cobalt-59 turns into a relatively short-lived (half-life is about 5,5 year), but extremely radioactive cobalt-60. According to experts, just a few hundred kilograms of such a substance is enough to destroy all life on the territory of the whole continent. Making a cobalt shell weighing several tons for multi-megaton thermonuclear ammunition equivalent enough for mega-tsuns to be born is not a problem.
Thus, the emergence of weapons of such monstrous destructive power is in principle likely.
It remains only to figure out how realistic its development is in Russia.
And there is no protection
Let's analyze the declassified slide to see if the elements of the Status-6 system shown there can implement the declared characteristics? To be more precise, we are talking about only one component - the super-torpedo. First of all, you should pay attention to its dimensions. They are determined with sufficient accuracy by the ratio of the torpedo and the nuclear submarine, under the keel of which it is depicted. The length of the torpedo is slightly less than a third of the length of the submarine, and its caliber is about a fifth or sixth of the diameter of the carrier hull. It should be noted that both of its potential carriers - Belgorod and Khabarovsk - are nuclear submarines (APL). Their sizes are classified, but comparable to known submarines (we will rely on the characteristics of the smallest known Soviet / Russian ones).
Judging by the configuration of the hull, these are by no means particularly small-sized special-purpose ships, similar to the nuclear submarine of the 1851 project with nuclear power units of very low power. They look like a full-fledged submarine. Therefore, the comparison is based on the smallest boat of the 705 project. Its length is about 80 meters, and the largest case diameter is approximately 10 meters. Thus, the estimated length of the supertorpedo is 22 – 24 meter, caliber is 1,5 – 2 meter (fully corresponds to the proportions of the design and the known torpedoes of “normal” size), combat weight is 50 – 70 tons minimum. This is the displacement of a small submarine. Accordingly, the warhead - from 10 to 15 tons.
Can such a device reach the range of 10 thousands of kilometers? Yes. There are no people in it, that is, everything that ensures the habitability of personnel is not necessary. This sharply, significantly reduces the required displacement of the apparatus while maintaining the same tactical and technical characteristics. There is no need for ammunition, weapons reloading system - the torpedo has a single combat unit. Therefore, it is quite possible to equate to a normal submarine. The range of such ships today reaches 4000 – 5000 nautical miles, that is, almost 9000 kilometers, which is quite consistent with the characteristics stated on the slide. The power plant (EC) is possible both ordinary and nuclear. Normal power plant should be only air-independent, providing movement at full range in a submerged position. True, the travel speed is most likely to be relatively small, within the limits of the lowest noise level - 8 – 12 nodes. Nuclear power plant is achievable to build on the basis of a small-sized reactor with a capacity of several megawatts. Such in the USSR and Russia were made and are made today. Lack of personnel minimizes radiation protection requirements. The reactor is fully capable of being launched in automatic mode after the separation of the torpedo from the carrier. In this case, a very high speed of its course is allowed on the entire trajectory - up to 50 and more nodes.
That is, the creation of such a torpedo is not a problem, and in the short term. All the necessary components are already in place and partially produced in Russia. It remains to clarify the reality of the appearance of the corresponding mega level warhead.
As already noted, the megabomb made in 1961 had the weight of the entire 32 ton. That is, modern Russian science is quite capable of producing cobalt ammunition with a power of 100 – 150 megatons and even more within the 15-ton warhead. In addition, these estimates are based on the minimum indicators of the likely size of the supertorpedo. In fact, they can be much larger. Consequently, there will be more warheads (up to 20 – 25 tons). Thus, the project under discussion in modern Russia is quite technically and technologically feasible, and in a relatively short time.
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Requirements for the accuracy of the output of the supertorpedo to the area are very low. An error of even a few nautical miles will not lead to a noticeable decrease in impact efficiency.
Thus, most likely, on November 9, there was a deliberate information leakage aimed at demonstrating to our “partners” that a strategic deterrence system is being born in Russia, against which even in the long run no acceptable protection will be created (simply because the consequences of its use are global catastrophic) and thus make them sit down at a table of constructive negotiations.