The command “Attention, start!” Is formed on the CP SPRN only when there is a real danger of a nuclear missile strike on the territory of the Russian Federation. After this, events unfold rapidly. Automatics decides everything, but the last word on striking back, of course, remains with the country's military-political leadership.
Check "for lice"
In the 1995, the apocalypse did not happen, because the Norwegian rocket turned out to be meteorological, which immediately became clear. But the situation on the manual was heated to the limit. “The launch of the rocket was detected at once by three of our stations: in Skrunda, Murmansk and Pechora,” recalls Lieutenant-General Anatoly Sokolov, at that time commanding the army of the anti-personnel missile system. - The information really went straight to the “nuclear suitcase” of the country's president. But the General Staff did not start working on it, because literally in a few seconds the EWS rejected the first information: the rocket’s trajectory was not aimed at the territory of the Russian Federation. ” Nevertheless, at that moment no one could unequivocally guarantee that a second, even more serious command would not follow the first one: “Missile attack!”. And this is war.
“I still think: it was a cynical test of our combat readiness and operability of equipment,” Lt. Gen. Sokolov is convinced. “But the PST system showed itself from the best side.”
After the collapse of the USSR, Russia was still quite weak, nevertheless the check for lice failed, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had to explain that the launch of the BR was carried out without official notification of neighboring countries and the USA, which was required in accordance with international treaties.
Another less disturbing incident occurred 3 September 2013. In 10.16 MSK, the EWS detected the launch of two ballistic missiles in the Mediterranean. He spotted the crew of a separate radio unit in Armavir. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu informed President Vladimir Putin. As it turned out, the launch was carried out under the joint test program of Israel and the US missile defense system. Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said then: the situation again showed that Russia is ready for all sorts of actions under any circumstances.
In February, the 2016 of the APH system turned 45. It works, as always, regularly, and already on new algorithms and microelectronic base.
The answer to cannibals
The missile attack warning system was put on alert on 15 February 1971. At that time, it included ground-based radar stations, a data transmission system, and a command post. The main task is to detect a possible ballistic missile raid on the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries, develop appropriate warning signals and bring them to the highest political and military leadership of the country.
“Established in accordance with the resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers, it was one of the first weapon systems in which the task of detecting a BW, forming warning information and bringing it to consumers was fully automated,” the retired Major General said not without pride Viktor Panchenko, former deputy army commandant for armaments. He served on the system from its inception to the 1992 year. He was promoted to head of the combat algorithms department of the KP, chief engineer of the node (Murmansk), division, deputy commander of the APN army for armaments. The birth and development of the system took place before his eyes. Its construction and launch into combat mode was a retaliatory measure caused by the planning by the US military-political leadership since 1961, launching more and more large-scale nuclear missile strikes against the Soviet Union.
Then the United States adopted a “flexible response” strategy, along which along with massive use of nuclear weapons against the USSR weapons allowed its limited use. The military-political leadership of the United States sought to create a quantitative and qualitative composition of the SNF that would allow "guaranteed destruction" of the Soviet Union. To this end, in the middle of 1961, a Unified Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP-2) was developed, which was supposed to be used for delivering deadly attacks to approximately six thousand objects in the USSR. The air defense system and control centers of the state and military leadership were to be suppressed, the country's nuclear potential, large groups of troops and industrial cities were destroyed.
By the end of the 1962, the Titan and Minuteman-1 ICBMs were put into service in the United States; on the combat patrols in the North Atlantic, there were up to 10 submarines with ballistic missiles Polaris A1 and Polaris A2 equipped with nuclear head in parts. Given the patrolling areas of the submarines and the tactical and technical characteristics of the BR, the raid was to be expected from the north and north-west.
The idea of creating a barrier for early detection of BR, owned by Alexander Mints and supported by Vladimir Chelomey, was approved by Dmitry Ustinov, while the chairman of the Military Industrial Commission at the Council of Ministers of the USSR. In determining the principles of operation, the design of equipment and combat programs, the construction and maintenance of the project involved hundreds of different enterprises that are part of more than ten union ministries. Tens of thousands of specialists gave knowledge, enthusiasm and energy to the creation and then to the combat use of the EWS. Constant control of work was carried out by the military-industrial complex under the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the General Staff, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Defense Forces.
The first requirements imposed on the EWS were the highest accuracy of detecting the potential enemy's attack by the BR, excluding the formation and issuance of false information. Partly contradictory, these requirements are nevertheless successfully implemented in equipment and combat programs.
The first stage of the missile warning system consisted of two powerful radar hubs located in the Baltic States and the Murmansk region, and a command post in the Moscow region, interconnected by a high-speed data transmission system and forming an early warning system. Organizationally, he was part of the formed warning division.
Nodes were created on the basis of the Dniester-M radar, developed at the radio-technical institute under the general guidance of Academician Mints. Structurally, it consisted of two “wings” united by a computer complex and a control point, which together with the engineering complex made up a radar center. Radar equipment and equipment were located in a stationary two-story building. Transceiver horn antennas 250 long and 15 meters in height were mounted on two sides in the annexes. The coverage area of each radar was 30 ° in azimuth and 20 ° in elevation. The detection range of the head parts of ballistic missiles is up to three thousand kilometers. At the same time, the node recognized and accompanied 24 targets, transmitting information about them to the control in the current time mode. From the moment the threat was detected at the sites to the report to the highest political and military leadership of the country, only a few dozen seconds passed.
The entire amount of information from all stations of the USSR was updated in five seconds. The performance of computer systems provided the processing of incoming information in real time. The speed of a computer was billions of operations per second. And it was provided by domestic cars of a series M of the main designer Mikhail Kartsev.
Of course, there were problems. For example, the work of the Murmansk knot was hampered by the aurora borealis, which hammered the locator, as a result, it was possible to miss the passage of an enemy rocket. I had to develop special programs to suppress the signal from this natural phenomenon. And at the Sevastopol station - to solve questions of refraction from the Black Sea.
Interestingly, all components were created virtually without prototypes. The installation, adjustment, docking of equipment were carried out directly on the nodes, and the equipment and the combat programs were completed immediately. The personnel of the units took part in the works, who gained additional knowledge of the structure and operation of the radar station. Such a system of training officers, and subsequently junior specialists, proved to be very effective.
After the creation of the EKR Troops in 2011, the SPRN connection (RKO organization) was transformed into the Main Missile Attack Warning Center (APC HZ), which today is part of the Space Forces of the Russian Federation Air Force. Here, the tasks of issuing a warning of a rocket attack on government and military control points, the formation of the necessary information for the Moscow missile defense system, and data on space objects for the corresponding control system are solved.
The structure of the EWS includes two echelons - space and ground. The first includes the grouping of spacecraft designed to detect BR launches anywhere on the planet in real time. They are traced with telescopes and infrared spectral analysis. Figuratively speaking, the entire territory of the United States is divided into districts, each of which is looked after by a certain satellite, and with it a specific officer. Say, Sidorov is responsible for California, Petrov - for Virginia. They determine the base from which region of the United States launched a rocket. Experts know that, for example, on the basis of Mayonot only ballistic missiles. And if the start from there, it means that the combat BR went. The spacecraft determines the place of launch, and the combat crew determines the type of rocket.
The second echelon includes a network of ground-based radar stations (RLS), which today detect objects in flight at a distance of up to six thousand kilometers. Compared with the Soviet period, it has doubled.
In order to improve the capabilities of the missiles on the territory of the Russian Federation, a new generation radar network is being built, created using high prefabrication technology (VZG). They will create an impenetrable radar field around the borders of Russia that tracks BR launches from different directions. Thus, the losses of such stations in Skrunda (Latvia), Gabala (Azerbaijan), as well as those that were on the territory of the Russian Federation, but fell into disrepair or were destroyed during perestroika, as under Krasnoyarsk, will be compensated.
VZG provides for the design, manufacture and testing of structurally and functionally complete radar components directly at the enterprises. The assembly of the station from standardized macromodules of container type and verification in full are carried out at the place of deployment. At the same time for the deployment of the radar requires only a minimally prepared site. Construction takes a year and a half, while reinforced concrete predecessors took five to nine years to complete.
The open architecture involves the creation of various stations based on typical components that can be changed, built up, re-formed in relation to the purpose of the complex and the tasks set. This is the main difference of the new technology from the old, where the design has not changed until the end of operation.
Modern radars have higher technical and tactical characteristics. They have a much lower level of energy consumption and equipment. The service process is optimized, as a result of which the number of personnel involved is several times lower than before.
At present, four new Voronezh radars deployed in the Leningrad, Kaliningrad, Irkutsk regions and the Krasnodar Territory are on alert for radar monitoring of missile-prone areas in designated areas of responsibility. Two more stations - in the Krasnoyarsk and Altai Territories - have started experimental combat duty. Preparations for the preliminary tests of the VZG radar in the Orenburg Region have been completed. In 2015, the construction of the station in the Arctic Circle began. The issue of deploying another one in the European north of the country is being worked out.
Creating a network of high-tech radar VZG will allow in the shortest possible time to increase the capabilities of the domestic missile warning system and to strengthen the continuous radar control.
Hour X: counting for seconds
When preparing and carrying combat duty with the help of special software, the most difficult conditions of the radar situation are simulated in the established areas of ground-based responsibility, as it was at the time of my stay at the PRN center in Solnechnogorsk. Combat calculations have worked out the implementation of strict standards for the detection, classification, maintenance of ballistic targets and space objects, the formation of warning information.
In accordance with the incoming Voronezh radar of the Irkutsk separate radio-technical unit, the 11.11 discovered a ballistic missile, which was immediately assigned the 3896 number, the М1 type (ballistic missile) was determined, the launch point was in the Sea of Okhotsk Sea, the drop point was the Alien battlefield (Russian Federation). After that, the report of the commander of the duty forces to the head of the Center went on to say that there were no comments on the functioning of the detection means. In 11.12, that is, in less than one minute (56 tracking time, sec.), The command “Attention, start! The second echelon, I spend the analysis ".
After the Elbrus high-speed computers mathematically confirmed that the trajectory ends in the territory of the Russian Federation, a command appeared on the board: “Missile attack!”. The commander of the PZ PN duty personnel on duty reported the result of express analysis on target No. 3896: exact start and fall times, firing range (3600 km), flight altitude (845 km). The head of the Center of Information Services immediately ordered the submission of a report to the command post of a special-purpose army ...
In reality, the report to the military-political leadership of Russia on the rocket attack is made by the duty general, who is on the Central Dispatch Center of the General Staff of the Russian Federation (now the National Center of Control and Administration).
One can imagine what responsibility at these hour X will be on these people: on the basis of their report, the president of the country will have to decide on a retaliatory strike. Error is not allowed. And although the complex, we repeat, is automated, the role of the combat crew is not reduced: the system then works well when all the equipment is operational and follows the specified algorithms, the information links are not broken.
But even this is not the most important thing. There can be several missile attacks, they will be made from different directions, and the number of warheads can reach dozens, even hundreds. Then the moment of truth will come. Of course, human capabilities do not allow identifying and identifying all goals, choosing the most important among them, and determining the sequence of defeat. This is only capable of supercomputers.
The signal of a rocket attack will also be received at the central, reserve and alternative command posts of the highest management level, types of the Armed Forces, headquarters of military districts, naval fleets and the missile defense system of the Moscow region. With the help of special equipment, the President of Russia will establish contact with the Minister of Defense, the Chief of the General Staff and the Central Staff of the General Staff. During such a session, the situation is assessed, a decision is made on the necessary actions.
On all his
Over the 45 years of the existence of an SPRN, there were no false positives. They are impossible, because when developing combat algorithms, very high requirements are placed on the reliability of information, and many various filters and limiters are in its way.
There are, for example, so-called combustible satellites, which are dangerous because they can theoretically be qualified as a ballistic missile. When the system detects a BR, it automatically compares its characteristics and trajectory with those listed in the catalog. In addition, the EWS does not work by itself, but in collaboration with the Center for Control of Outer Space, which takes into account all objects in orbits.
When the USSR created this system, managed without import, he developed unique equipment. In many ways, this is why only Russia, reminds the General Director of OJSC RTI, Sergey Boev, owns the technologies for creating VZG radar stations.
Over the past years, without interrupting combat duty, the MNS has gone through several stages of modernization using the latest element base. Its structure was introduced more powerful radar with a phased antenna array and a space flight, which includes the grouping of special spacecraft and ground control points.
In the interests of the EWS, a new satellite entirely consisting of domestic components was launched, and the most complex collective display board, which was also created entirely on the Russian element base, was replaced by the APC HZ. In the complex and responsible sites today apply only our chips.
During the reforms that were carried out even before the advent of the Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, due to underfunding, the rhythmic cycle of commissioning new objects and launching satellites was partially disrupted. As we recall, from the army and fleet then fired about 40 thousand officers. For two years in colleges and some academies, the selection of cadets and students was stopped. However, thanks to skillful leadership and the inherent margin of safety, the system withstood all this.
An eloquent figure: for 2015, 39 targets of launching ballistic missiles and space rockets were detected by means of the main center of the APN, of which 25 is of foreign manufacture, 14 is of domestic origin.
“In 2015, we had a special command and staff training on real launches from the Sea of Okhotsk, the Barents Sea, and Plesetsk,” said Major General Igor Protopopov, head of the Main Military Missile Attack Center. - To work on the three objectives were involved three nodes. The passes were not allowed: everything that was included in the area of responsibility was taken for escort. ”