“Every weapon system shown in your program is in fact unique. None of the systems have a foreign counterpart. The main objective is strategic deterrence.”
31 July, 2018
Now we have the editor-in-chief of the “Arsenal Otechestva” journal, retired colonel, and military expert, Victor Murakhovsky, online.
—Hello, Victor Ivanovich.
—What’s your assessment of the new weapons’ technical performance? What’s unique about them?
—Every weapon system shown in your program is in fact unique. None of the systems have a foreign counterpart. The main objective is strategic deterrence. Due to new technologies, new technical solutions, the new systems ensure strategical stability in the fields of both strategic nuclear weapons and conventional arms, without spending additional resources. By doing so, it’ll secure the peaceful development of the Russian Federation.
Speaking about the hypersonic cruise missile system, it has practically completed the combat testing stage and it can be put into serial production. The development of the rest of the systems is in different stages at the moment. The “Sarmat” ballistic missile is going through flight development tests. It’ll take 18-24 months to complete the tests and put the system into service.
Speaking about the “Avangard” ballistic missile system, I remind you, they are hypersonic, maneuverable, and capable of evading ABM defense systems. They are already in serial production and are being put into service for some missile systems.
Speaking about the unlimited-range cruise missile and the submersible craft which is, in fact, unlimited in range, too, their main feature is the creation of the world’s first compact nuclear power unit which enables the flight and cruising of these items up to any distance set by our military command.
These crafts don’t have any foreign counterparts. I emphasize that all of this work is being carried out within the current State Armament Program, and they didn’t require any additional resources.
—These missiles are capable of maneuvering at great speeds. Can we say they can’t be intercepted by any ABM defense systems?
—Yes, I agree with you. In fact, no anti-aircraft or anti-missile systems are effective against hypersonic targets which can maneuver both horizontally and vertically. All of the anti-missile systems are only effective against targets moving along ballistic, meaning predictable, flight paths. They can be calculated…
—Let’s go deeper into the details about the “Kinzhal” hypersonic missile.
—If a missile maneuvers, they can’t calculate an intercept point.
—Victor Ivanovich, could you tell us about the “Kinzhal” missiles in details?
—The “Kinzhal” hypersonic ballistic missiles are mounted onto MiG-31K fighters, which are hypersonic as well. In Akhtubinsk, a squadron equipped with the systems successfully accomplished all tests in the fields of technical conditions, capabilities of the system, and tactical employment, meaning the preparation for the flight test and their usage against certain targets.
I remind you, the missile is capable of hitting both sea and land targets. In fact, putting these missiles into service negates the efforts of other countries on the creation of aircraft carriers and marine assault teams which can threat Russia from the ocean. I mean, we, using quite a cheap and asymmetric means, respond to the efforts and developments in the field of naval forces which can threaten the Russian Federation.
The missile maneuvers along the entire flight path both vertically and horizontally and it operates at a speed of ten times faster than the speed of sound. It also means none of the anti-aircraft and anti-missile defenses installed on ships can counteract them since the missile trajectory is unpredictable for them.
—Speaking about the “Sarmat” missile, what are its advantages over its predecessor? What does “short powered flight” means? Why is it impossible to intercept it?
—The missile is designed to replace Soviet super-heavy R-36 missile which was named “Satan” in the West. Unlike the R-36, due to the use of new rocket engines and a new fuel formula, it has become possible to shorten the powered flight when the first and second stage engines are operating. It allows a failure to detect the missile launch by the missile warning systems of foreign states.
It also prevents target prediction by a foreign anti-missile defense system. Besides, the “Sarmat” missile, due to its new propulsion system, is effective against targets located on the other side of the planet, not only over the North Pole, where ABM systems are deployed, but over the South Pole as well, which is absolutely uncovered for any engagement with the “Sarmat”. Taking this into account, a “Sarmat” can be equipped with an “Avangard” hypersonic maneuvering unit, a counter to such a missile, even theoretically, is out of the question. No investment, no development of ABM systems will help in this case.
—Victor Ivanovich, what are the prospects for usage of “Peresvet” military laser systems? Which targets can they be used against?
—To all appearance, such systems deployed in the Strategic Missile Forces can be used to cover the regions of our intercontinental ballistic missiles. Such systems allow the suppression of electro-optical intelligence means aimed at our Strategic Missile Forces as well as ballistic warheads of different homing missiles which use the contrast image of the target. It means that we can considerably increase the survivability of our Strategic Missile Forces and eliminate the possibility of their negation by both nuclear and conventional means in the worst case of the development of a conflict. I hope we won’t have to use such systems. At least, we have this means of deterrence which allows us to maintain strategic balance.
—Thank you, Victor Ivanovich.
We had the editor-in-chief of “Arsenal Otechestva”, retired colonel and military expert, Victor Murakhovsky.