The Continuing Brilliance of Russian Military Ingenuity - May, 2008

The Continuing Brilliance of Russian Military Ingenuity

Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent sociopolitical disaster that befell the Russian Federation during the 1990s, in many respects, the quality of Russian military technology/hardware today surpasses that of the West's. What amazes me here is that just several years ago the Russian Federation was in dire shape, economically and politically, and its armed forces were severely degraded both physically and morally. Needles to say, Vladimir Putin's FSB backed rise to power changed this situation. Large sums of money have been streaming into defense apparatus of the Russian Federation. As a result, Russia's defense industry has been rejuvenated once again. Geopolitically, Russia has been able to regain its composure, its self-respect and it has been able to rediscover its crucial role as a global superpower. Armed with a potent military, a very capable internal security/intelligence apparatus and virtually limitless natural wealth, Russia today is confidently looking towards an unchallenged existence in Eurasia within the twenty-first century. Russia's military genius, which seems to come naturally to them, and which it has always been famous for, is flowering once again. As skyrocketing global weapons sales attest, Russian weaponry also continues to have universal appeal. Needless to say, Russian arms have been widely acknowledged by military experts to be of the most reliable, most efficient (low maintenance), most cost effective, most user friendly and amongst the most lethal weapons systems on earth. With the following, I will attempt to highlight some of the high performance weaponry that are currently found within the armed forces of the Russian Federation.

Threats to Air Supremacy, PART 1:

Threats to Air Supremacy, PART 2:

American Stealth Vs Russian Plasma part 1/3:

American Stealth Vs Russian Plasma part 2/3:

American Stealth Vs Russian Plasma part 3/3:

Stealth - A Russian Invention (English subtitles) part 1:

Stealth - A Russian Invention (English subtitles) part 2:

Stealth - A Russian Invention (English subtitles) part 3:

Stealth - A Russian Invention (English subtitles) part 4:



Mig-31 Supersonic Long Range High Altitude Interceptor:

Su-25 Sentry Lion 2006

Main Battle Tank, T-90

Russian Armored Fist (video presentation):
M1 Abrams Vs T90 (video presentation):

The T-90S Russian battle tank embodies advanced scientific solutions and in terms of its combat and technical characteristics is not inferior to the best foreign tanks, rather, it outdoes them in some parameters. By the early-1990s, the Uralvagonzavod State Production Association had developed and put into series production the T-90S new-generation Russian gun-missile tank, incorporating the unique design solutions and the best layout and structural features of the T-72 and T-80 tanks. The Uralvagonzavod State Production Association developed the T-90S tank following a thorough analysis and understanding of the tactics and strategy of employment of tanks in a modern combat environment and on the basis of extensive experience gained in the operation of the T-72 tank in different countries, including the results of their tests in severe conditions.

The T-90S tank features characteristics that are typical of all other Russian tanks: low weight, small size, powerful weaponry and high mobility. The weight of the combat laden tank is 46.5 tons and its crew is three men. The T-90S tank retains the basic national tank design concept, i.e. the classical layout, where the main armament is arranged within a rotating turret, the propulsion plant and transmission are arranged in the hull's rear, and the crew members are seated separately: the commander and the gunner sit in the fighting compartment, and the driver in the driver's compartment. The T-90S tank's main armament is represented by a 125mm enhanced-accuracy smooth-bore gun mount featuring a built-in alignment system and an easily detachable barrel. The gun is stabilized in two planes and loaded by an autoloader, whose magazine stores 22 rounds to be fired first. The use of the autoloader has made it possible to bring the rate of fire to 7 or 8 rounds per minute, which is a significant advantage of this tank over the majority of its foreign competitors. The high level of fire power has been achieved through the installation of a gun that features better ballistic properties. It is also attributable to the enhanced gun's firing accuracy and longer range (including firing missiles), application of more powerful ammunition, improved characteristics of the fire control system, and reduced first-round firing preparation time...


Main Battle Tank, Chiorny Oriol (Black Eagle)

The newest Russian main battle tank named Chiorny Oriol was shown for the first time at the second VTTV-Omsk-97 International Exhibition of Armaments, Military Equipment and Conversion Products ended early September in Omsk, Siberia region, Russia. The tank was demonstrated at a distance of 500 meters from the spectators. During the demonstration, the tanks turret, gun and armament system were carefully concealed. Chief of the Main Armour Command of the Russian MoD, colonel-general Sergei Mayev, and Deputy Director General of Rosvoorouzhenie company, Sergei Bukharov, who have inspected the tank on a closed proving ground of Omsk Transport Machinebuilding Plant, refused to comment on its characteristics.

However, as well-informed specialists in Moscow report, the Chiorny Oriol represents a mobility test-bed of a 21th century tank and is a result of radical upgrading of the T-80U MBT carried out under the direction of the Designer General Boris Kurakin. The selection of the T-80U as a base for development of the 5th generation MBT derives from the fact that it is rightfully considered as the best MBT in the world which suc-cessfully combines all the basic performance characteristics: speed, maneuverability, fire power and protection system. The Chiorny Oriol has the same overall dimensions as the T-80U does, nevertheless it has a lower silhouette which makes it less distinctive on the terrain. The experts believe that in terms of combination of the basic charac-teristics such as maneuverability, fire power, armour piercing capability and protection this MBT will surpass the Western MBTs such as M1A2 Abrams, Leclerk and Leopard-2 by a factor of 1.5-1.7...


Infantry Fighting Vehicle, BMPT

BMPT (video presentation):

The Urals Transport Machinery Design Bureau Federal State Unitary Enterprise and the Uralvagonzavod Production Association State Unitary Enterprise demonstrated for the first time a new tank support combat vehicle (Russian acronym BMPT) at the 2nd Urals Exhibition of Armaments and Military Equipment held recently in Nizhni Tagil (Sverdlovsk Region, Russia). The concept of such a unique combat vehicle was conceived long ago, however its implementation was delayed. In 1997, the BTR-T heavy armored personnel carrier, developed on the basis of the T-55 battle tank, was demonstrated at the Exhibition of Armaments and Military Equipment in Omsk (Russia). Now, drawing on experience gained operating armored vehicles in local conflicts, designers have developed the BMPT combat vehicle on the basis of the most mass-produced T-72 battle tank. The combat vehicle features armor protection equal to that of the battle tank and powerful armament capable of neutralizing and defeating antiarmor-capable targets and manpower, and operates in a common battle formation.These features help significantly increase combat effectiveness of tank units and decrease their losses from enemy close-combat assets.

The BMPT’s hull is the same as that of the T-72 battle tank. It is provided with explosive reactive armor (ERA) on the frontal armor plate, ERA-applied screens to protect side plates, as well as grilled shields to protect the hull rear. The welded turret is provided with a filler and built-in ERA. The distinguishing feature of the BMPT combat vehicle is its low-profile turret mounted on a tank chassis. The turret is equipped with up-to-date weapons for defeating antiarmor-capable targets and enabling tanks to advance, leaving close antiarmor-capable targets for the BMPT to take care of. The BMPT crew consists of five men. The BMPT armament can effectively defeat both lightly armored ground and aerial targets and heavily armored tank-type ground targets. Its main armament consists of the 30mm 2A42 automatic gun and coaxially-mounted AG-30 or AGS-17A grenade launcher stabilized in two planes, and the Kornet ATGM system provided with a semiautomatic jamproof laser-guided system.

Infantry Fighting Vehicle, BTR-T

The BTR-T most distinguishing feature is its low-silhouette turret mounted on the tank chassis with a platform that mounts a modern gun-missile armament. The BTR-T can be used to transport motorized infantry subunits in eventual NBC and hostile fire environment and effectively defeat hostile targets. Extensive experience gained from combat actions, including local conflicts, dramatically revealed the need to protect the personnel of motorized infantry elements from modern means of destruction. Existing wheeled vehicles such as the BTR-80 and BRMD, and tracked vehicles like the BMP and MT-LB, cannot always provide protection for troops on the battlefield. While implementing the concept of maximum protection, the Design Bureau of Transport Machine-Building jointly with the Transport Mashine-Building Plant state-run production association developed and manufactured a prototype of the BTR-T heavy armored personnel carrier developed from the T-55 tank capable to fight modern means of destruction on a par with main battle tanks.

The T-55 tanks and their modifications became outdated and cannot be effective in current conditions. They were discarded from the inventory of Russia's Armed Forces. A great number of these tanks were delivered to many countries. And now they can be re-equipped to be used as heavy highly-protected armored personnel carriers. The plant plans to carry out the modernization of outdated tanks to convert them into BTR-T heavy armored personnel carriers using the customer's production facilities and delivering components from Russia. The BTR-T most distinguishing feature is its low-silhouette turret mounted on the tank chassis with a platform that mounts a modern gun-missile armament. The 30mm automatic gun and Konkurs ATGM are mounted on the turret. Such an armament is able to defeat both lightly armored ground and air targets and heavily armored ground targets. Reconfiguration of the crew compartments created enough space in the hull to accommodate a commander, driver and five assault troops. The vehicle's protection is dramatically increased due to installation of a smoke screen generating system, and improved anti-mine and built-in explosive reactive armor (ERA) protection systems.

Infantry Fighting Vehicle, BMP-3

BMP-3 (video presentation):

The BMP-3 is the latest IFV model of the Russian BMP family bearing the best design features of the BMP-1 (1966) and the BMP-2 (1980). Its missions are: to provide armour and NBC protection to infantry troops; to enhance their fire power and mobility in the battlefield; to engage enemy manpower (in the open or sheltered), pill-boxes and ground materiel including tanks and armoured vehicles as well as slow/low flying helicopters. The fire can be conducted from the vehicle stationed, moving or afloat. The design is characterized by the rear arrangement of engine-transmission compartment. The fighting compartment comprises gunner's and commander's stations in the turret. The control compartment in the front part of the vehicle accommodates central driver's seat with two side seats of assault party. The assault troops compartment divided from the engine compartment with a bulkhead accommodates 5 (7) men. Arrangement of hatches and doors is troops-friendly allowing their quick mounting and dismounting the vehicle on the move.

Armored Personnel Carrier, BTR-90

BTR-90 (video presentation):

The BTR-90 Armoured Personnel Carrier is a 21st century combat vehicle possessing high mobility, enhanced firepower and survivability due to innovations, implemented in design and armament. The BTR-90 APC outperforms significantly both well-known Russian APCs and up-to-date foreign-made APCs, due to its superior technical characteristics, enhanced fire power, mobility, and survivability. Both mechanised infantry and marines can employ this vehicle for fire support, personnel transportation, surveillance, reconnaissance, and patrolling tasks. A wide variety of highly mobile vehicles with sufficient armour protection for combat, command, control, communication, technical and medical support missions can be developed on the basis of the BTR-90 chassis. The BTR-90 APC has a closed hull made of welded armoured steel plates. The hull layout is developed on the basis of the combat experience in various regions of the world and expertise assessments.

The power plant is located in the aft, combat compartment - in the front, assault team compartment - in the middle of the body. This provides the most adventurous distribution of payload on the tires and favourable conditions for aimed employment of the APC’s organic armament and assault team’s weapons on the move, as well as concentration of fire of all weapons in front hemisphere. The commander and gunner are accommodated in the turret, and the driver and seven troopers - in the middle part of the vehicle. The commander is able to carry out all-round surveillance, target designation and, if necessary, take control over organic weapons. The members of the crew and assault team can use top hatches of the turret and the hull, as well as middle side doors for dismounting/boarding, even on the move. The organic weapon set is located in the rotating turret and stabilised in two planes. It comprises the 30-mm 2A42 automatic gun, 7.62-mm PKT coaxial machine-gun, and 30-mm AG-17 grenade launcher. The launcher of an up-to-date anti-tank guided missile system is installed on the turret to engage heavy armoured tank-type targets. A detachable launching unit allows launching anti-tank missiles from the ground also.

Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle, BRDM-2

In an attempt to improve the amphibious characteristics and increase the combat power of their wheeled reconnaissance vehicles, the Soviets produced the BRDM-2. This vehicle differs from the original BRDM in that the powerplant has improved and moved to the rear of the vehicle, and that a small 14.5mm machinegun-armed turret has been fitted. This turret is identical to that found on the BTR-60PB armored personnel carrier. The original BRDM (BTR-40P) first appeared in 1959. The BRDM-2 also is known as BTR-40P-2 or BTR-40PB (hence also BTR-40P-2rkh or BTR-40PB-rkh, etc.). It was first seen in 1966 and by the mid-1980s was rapidly replacing the BRDM in the Soviet and Warsaw Pact armies.


Russian Submarine Forces


Project 941 Typhoon Class Ballistic Missile Submarine (Nuclear Powered)

Typhoon Class Submarine(video):

During the Cold War the Typhoon submarines prowled the waters of the North Atlantic. These submarines do not have to submerge or go to sea to launch their long-range missiles. They are able to do so tied up at their docks. The Typhoon is the world’s largest submarine and was one of the most feared weapons of the Cold War. Each submarine is capable of carrying twenty long-range ballistic missiles with up to 200 nuclear warheads that were once aimed at the United States. NATO apparently derived the name 'Typhoon' from a 1974 speech by Leonid Brezhnev which mentioned a new SSBN called the "Tayfun". In fact, the Russian name for the class is "Akula" -- "Shark" -- which should not be confused with NATO's "Akula" SSN (which the Russians designate as "Bars"). The design of the Typhoon submarine is multi-hulled and bears resemblance to a catamaran. The submarine has two separate pressure hulls with a diameter of 7.2 m each, five inner habitable hulls and 19 compartments. The pressure hulls are arranged parallel to each other and symmetrical to a centerplane. The missile compartment is arranged in the upper part of the bow between the pressure hulls. Both hulls and all compartments are connected by transitions. The pressure hulls, the centerplane and the torpedo compartment are made of titanium and the outer light hull is made of steel. A protected module, comprising the main control room and electronic equipment compartment, is arranged behind the missile silos above the main hulls in a centerplane under the guard of retractable devices.


Project 935 Borei Class Strategic Missile Submarine (Nuclear Powered)

On 16 October 1996 Commander in Chief of the Russian Navy ADM Feliks Gromov announced that work would start on a new-generation strategic nuclear-powered submarine, which he said would be "two or three times more powerful" than any submarine currently in the fleet. The keel of the fourth-generation strategic missile submarine Yuri Dolgoruky was laid down at the Sevmash State Nuclear Ship-Building Centre at Severodvinsk on 2 November 1996. The keel-laying was postponed for a week after poor weather made it impossible for high ranking officials to attend, including First Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kokoshin, Presidential Chief of Staff Anatoly Chubais, Moscow mayor Yuri Luzkhov, and Admiral Gromov. Kokoshin described the new Yuri Dolgoruky as a state-of-the-art submarine with "substantial improvements" over those currently in service, and Chubais termed the new submarine "a totally unique thing, a submarine for the next century." The city of Moscow is sponsoring the project, as the lead vessel is named after Prince Dolgoruky, the traditional founder of the city. The wages of shipyard workers and the crew of the new boat will [reportedly] be paid by the city in the event that the federal government is unable to pay. So-called "Presentation" weapons were commonplace in the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War. Presentation weapons were almost always the result of monetary collections taken up locally and voluntarily, and offered towards the cost of various vehicles or other items in the name of some personality or entity. Thus, the workers of a factory, town, or even just local citizens could take up a collection and "buy" a tank or aircraft (etc.) in the name of their Factory, group, or perhaps a local or even national figure -- contemporary or historical. One of the oldest Russian annals, the Lavrenty Chronicle, was compiled in Nizhny Novgorod at the request of Prince Dmitry Konstantinovich. It contains "The Instructions to His Children of Vladimir Monomakh". Vladimir Monomach ruled in Kiev, the then capital of the Russian state, between 1113 and 1125. He was the father of Yuri Dolgoruky, the founder of Moscow. The meeting of Prince Dolgoruky and Prince Svyatoslav Olgovich on 04 April 1147 in Moscow is the oldest mentioning of Moscow in chronicles. This is the first submarine of the new Borei-class [Boreas], with a length of 170 meters, a body diameter around 10 metres, and a submerged speed of over 25 knots (over 45km/h). With about half the displacement of the Typhoon, the 935 class will nonetheless carry 20 SLBMs of a new type.


Project 949 Granit/Oscar I Project 949A Antey/Oscar II Cruise Missile Attack Submarine (Nuclear Powered)

The Oscar-class nuclear-powered cruise missile attack submarine, which displaces more than 18,000 tons when under water, is one of Russia's largest and most capable submarines. As with earlier cruise-missile submarine, the Oscar was designed primarily to attack American aircraft carrier battle groups. As with other Russian submarines, the Oscar features a double hull -- and inner pressure hull and an outer hydrodynamic hull, with eight inches of rubber between them to muffle sounds. American submarines have a single pressure hull, with additional hydrodynamic fairings, such as the cap that encloses the bow sonar dome. The 3.5 meter separation between the inner and outter hulls on the Oscar provides significant reserve buoyancy, and improved survivability against conventional torpedoes. These large submarines are said to be slow to dive and maneuver, though they are credited with a submerged speed of about 30 knots - sufficient to keep pace with their targets. The improved Oscar II is about 10 meters longer than the Oscar I, possibly making room for a quieter propulsion system, and feature upgraded electronic systems. The Oscar II is also characterized by a substantially enlarged fin, which should improve underwater manueverability, as well as the substitution of the Oscar-I's four-bladed propeller with a [presumably] quiter seven-blade propeller. The Oscars are rather poorly characterized in the open literature, with substantial discrepancies in reported submerged displacement [the upper estimates are probably closer to the mark] and maximum submerged speed [reportedly classified intelligence estimates have tended upward over time. Considerable confusion also exists as to the names of some units. During the Cold War essentially no information was publicly available concerning the names of Soviet submarines, and with the end of the Cold War the Russian Navy has exibited an annoying tendency to rename ships [a very un-American practice]. And unlike the American practice, in which hull numbers are generally assigned in a consecutive numerical sequence which corresponds to the chronological sequence of construction, the pennant numbers assigned Russian submarines [eg, K-141] do not conform to an apparent set pattern.


Project 667 BDRM Delfin Ballistic Missile Submarine (Nuclear Powered)

The Russian Navy operates seven Project 667 BDRM "Delfin" class strategic missile submarines. The submarines operate in the Northern Fleet and are based at the Saida Guba Naval Base. The submarines were built at the Severodvinsk Shipyard from 1981 to 1992. The first of class, K51, was commissioned in December 1985. In NATO countries they are referred to as the "Delta IV" class submarines. The submarine design is similar to Project 667 BDR ("Delta III" class). The submarine constitutes a double-hulled configuration with missile silos housed in the inner hull. The nose horizontal hydroplanes are arranged on the sail. They can rotate to the vertical for breaking through the ice cover. The operational diving depth of the submarine is 320 metres with a maximum depth of 400 metres. The propulsion system provides a run speed of 24 knots surfaced and 24 knots submerged. The submarine carries supplies for an endurance of 80 days. The surface of the submarine has an acoustic coating to reduce the acoustic signature. The "Delfin" submarines are strategic nuclear missile submarines designed to carry out strikes on military and industrial installations and naval bases.


Project 971 Shuka-B Akula class Attack Submarine (Nuclear Powered)

The Project 971 Shuka-B attack submarine multi-purpose submarine is capable of strikes against groups of hostile ships and against coastal installations. Designated the "Akula" class by the West, the submarine is officially designated Project 971 Shuka B (shuka is an aggressive breed of fresh water pike). Some 110 meters long, the Akula is double-hulled with considerable distance between the outer and inner hulls to reduce the possible damage to the inner hull. The hull is constructed of low magnetic steel, and divided into eight compartments, and features a distinctive high aft fin. The Project 971, using a steel hull, was initiated in 1976 when it became evident that existing industrial infrastructure was inadequate to mass produce the expensive titanium hulls of the Project 945 Sierra class. The performance of the Project 971 boats was a close approximation to that of the Project 945 design, though the later was significantly more expensive to build and maintain. It has 650 mm and 533 mm torpedo tubes which can use mines as well as Granat cruise missiles, antisubmarine missiles, and torpedoes. The submarines feature double hull construction, dramatically increasing the reserve buoyancy of the submarine by as much as three times over that of a single hull craft. Ballast tanks and other gear are located between the inner and outer hulls, and limber holes are provided for the free-flooding sections between the hulls. Akula class submarines incorporate limber hole covers that can be closed to reduce or eliminate this source of unwanted noise. Built to engage surface task forces and coastal facilities, the Akula submarine design was under constant upgrade. NATO designated the Project 971 boats as Akula I, and the Project 971U as "Improved Akula I" while Project 971A was designated Akula II. According to some reports the 'Akula-II' class has a 3.7 meter longer hull to accomdate a quieter propulsion system. There is some non-trivial disagreement between authoritative sources as to launch and commission dates for all units, as well as which units are 'Improved Akula' vs. 'Akuka-II'. The Akula is the quietest Russian nuclear submarine ever designed, and the low noise levels came as a surprise to Western intelligence. Russia claims the Akula is the quietest of its domestically built submarines and is fitted with acoustic countermeasure equipment.


Project 877 Kilo class Project 636 Kilo class Torpedo Submarine (Diesel-Electric Powered)

The Kilo Class (Project 877) submarine was designed for anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare in the protection of naval bases, coastal installations and sea lanes, and also for general reconnaissance and patrol missions. The Kilo is considered to be to be one of the quietest diesel submarines in the world. The submarine consists of six watertight compartments separated by transverse bulkheads in a pressurised double-hull. This design and the submarine's good reserve buoyancy lead to increased survivability if the submarine is holed, even with one compartment and two adjacent ballast tanks flooded. The foreplanes are positioned on the upper hull in front of the fin or sail. The command and control systems and fire control systems are located in the main control room which is sealed off from the other compartments. The Project 636 design is a generally improved development of the Project 877EKM Kilo class that represents an interim design between the standard 'Kilo' and the new Lada project. The Project 636 is actively promoted for the world market by the Rosvoorouzhenie state-owned company. This submarine has improved range, firepower, acoustic characteristics and reliability. Visually distinguished by a step on the aft casing, the length of the hull is extended by two frame spacings (2 x 600 mm). The additional length permitted increasing the power of diesel-generators and mounting them on improved shock-absorbing support, and reducing twofold the main propulsion shaft speed. Owing to these improvements, the submarine speed and sea endurance were increased, while the noise level was radically decreased. The low noise level of the submarine has been achieved with the selection of quiet machinery, vibration and noise isolation and a special anti-acoustic rubber coating applied on the outer hull surface. The Project 636 is equipped with six 533 mm forward torpedo tubes situated in the nose of the submarine and carries eighteen torpedoes with six in the torpedo tubes and twelve stored on the racks. Alternatively the torpedo tubes can deploy mines. The submarine can carry 24 mines with two in each of the six tubes and twelve on the racks. Two torpedo tubes are designed for firing remote-controlled torpedoes with a very high accuracy. All torpedo tubes and their service systems provide effective firing from periscope to operational depths. The computer-controlled torpedo system is provided with a quick-loading device.


Understanding the significance of the Topol M missile

Topol-M SS-27 Missile ICBM:


The Topol M is the latest version of the Topol missile that carries the NATO designation of SS-25. A road mobile version of this missile is referred to as Topol M1. The naval version of the Topol M is called the Bulava. A Topo M1 was successfully tested on November 1, 2005. The missile was launched from the Kapustin Yar test range in Astrakhan region and targeted at the 10th test range at Lake Balkhash (a.k.a. Priozersk) in Kazakhstan. A successful test of the Bulava was conducted on September 27.The missile was launched from the Dmitry Donskoy, a Typhoon class ballistic missile submarine towards a designated 'target' at the Kura test site on the Kamchatka Peninsula. An Interfax report datelined Oct 25, 2005 quoted Strategic Missile Troops Commander Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov as stating that Russian Strategic Missile Troops' will switchover to Topol-M land-based mobile missile starting early in 2006.

A Paradigm Shift

Russian officials, including President Putin, have repeatedly alluded to Topol M in the past few years as a weapon system that will correct the strategic imbalance that has inexorably crept in as Russia has struggled with its economic and political restructuring and the US has vigorously pursued Ballistic Missile Defense systems. For example, in an AFP story datelined Nov 17, 2004 President Putin reportedly told an annual meeting of high-level Russian military officers: "We have not only conducted tests of the latest nuclear rocket systems, I am sure that in the coming years we will acquire them." "Moreover, these will be things which do not exist and are unlikely to exist in other nuclear powers," Putin added.

From the tenor of the remarks made at the highest level it is evident that the Russians regard the Topol M / Bulava missiles as special. As more facts have emerged on these weapon systems it is becoming increasingly evident that the Russian confidence in these weapon system is not misplaced. More significant than the capabilities of the missile, which as we will see are formidable, is the shift in paradigm from quantity to quality in Russian weapon systems. Under this paradigm shift even as the number of Russian nuclear warheads drops their quality increases. Even as Russia does away with a large number of its rail mobile ICBMs it replaces them with a smaller number of harder to detect road mobile ICBMs. The Topol M missile weighs 47.2 tons and carries a warhead of 1,200 kilograms. Its range exceeds 10,000 kilometers. It is capable of carrying 10 MIRV warheads.

Tens years back, when Boost phase and Midcourse Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) systems were unheard of, the information above is all you would have cared to know. However, the above facts give you very little idea about the true strength of the Topol M - The fact that it is capable of evading all BMD systems - Boost Phase, Midcourse as well as Terminal. Boost Phase missile defense systems rely on detecting and targeting a ballistic missile within seconds of its launch. During this phase the missile presents a large slow target that can easily be detected using space based infrared systems because of its hot exhaust plume and then attacked using an Airborne Laser System. The US Air Force Space-Based Infrared System-High (SBIRS-High) system is expected to be in place by 2007. The system will consist of four primary satellites in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO), two spacecraft carrying infrared sensors in Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO), and a Mission Control Station (MCS) located on the ground.

SBIRS-High can provide targeting information on an ICBM to an Airborne Laser System within 10-20 seconds of its launch giving Airborne Laser System enough time to incinerate the missile electronics. Infrared sensors in SBIRS-High use scanning and staring elements. In a typical combat scenario, the "scanning" sensors will detect a missile launch, and the "staring" sensors will lock on to the missile itself and transmit detailed data to the Mission Control Station. A silo based missile can be stared at before launch since its location is known. Hence targeting information on the missile is available almost immediately. A road mobile missile like the Topol M can delay detection because it cannot be 'stared' at. Additionally, the Topol M missile uses three engines during boost phase to allow it to accelerate much faster than conventional ICBMs. The missile is also reported to be hardened to withstand sustained illumination by the laser fielded on the Airborne Laser System.

Mid Course Capability

A ballistic missile is most vulnerable to anti missile defenses during its mid course phase when it is follows a predictable ballistic trajectory. This also happens to be the longest phase of its flight to target. The Topol M and Bulava missiles employ a maneuvering warhead called the Igla. This warhead was first tested in February 2004 with an older version of Topol. The trajectory of Igla is not just difficult but, in fact, impossible to predict because the warhead has auxiliary engines that switch on and off randomly. The targeting system of the warhead keeps track of changes in the trajectory on account of these random engine firings and eventually guides the warhead toward its target. The Igla will reportedly also use IR counter measures and decoys to confuse any Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicles (Interceptors) that may target it during that phase. It may be noted that the interceptors planned to be deployed as part of the US GMD (Ground Based Midcourse Defense) are equipped with on-board discrimination to identify the true warhead from among decoys and associated objects.

Terminal Phase Capability

During its terminal phase the Igla warhead travels at hypersonic speeds (Mach 6) and employs electromagnetic shielding. The combination of stealth and maneuvering make it difficult for the either the IR sensors on an interceptor missiles or their ground based guidance radar of the interceptor missiles to track the Igla. Even if they do sporadically track the Igla the latter's Mach 6 speeds make an interception near impossible.


Clearly, the Topol M and Bulava missile systems represent a significant milestone in strategic weapon systems. They are currently not deployed in numbers large enough to threaten the US, and probably never will be. These systems signal an attempt by Russia to flex its technological muscles - not to threaten the US but alert it to power and excellence elsewhere. One thing the Igla warhead does not signal is the irrelevance of BMD. It is not technology that countries like North Korea and Iran can acquire for decades to come. If anything the Igla reiterates what the US has always claimed - Its BMD is not designed to upset its strategic balance with Russia but to reduce the threat from rouge nations.


Rude awakening to missile-defense dream

By Scott Ritter

On Christmas Eve 2004, the Russian Strategic Missile Force test fired an advanced SS-27 Topol-M road-mobile intercontinental ballistic Missile (ICBM). This test probably invalidated the entire premise and technology used in the National Missile Defense (NMD) system currently being developed and deployed by the Bush administration, and at the same time called into question the validity of the administration's entire approach to arms control and disarmament. From 1988 to 1990, I served as one of the American weapons inspectors at the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant in Russia, where the SS-27 and its predecessor, the SS-25, were assembled. When I started my work in Votkinsk, the SS-25 missile was viewed by many in the US intelligence community as the primary ICBM threat facing the United States. A great deal of effort was placed on learning as much as possible about this missile and its capabilities.

Through the work of the inspectors at Votkinsk, as well as several related inspections where US experts were able to view the SS-25 missile system in its operating bases in Siberia, a great deal of data was collected that assisted the US intelligence community in refining its understanding of how the SS-25 operated. This understanding was translated into several countermissile strategies, including aerial interdiction operations and missile-defense concepts. The abysmal performance of American counter-SCUD operations during the Gulf War in 1991 highlighted the deficiencies of the US military regarding the aerial interdiction of road-mobile missiles. Iraqi Al-Hussein mobile missiles were virtually impossible to detect and interdict, even with total American air supremacy. Despite all the effort put into counter-SCUD operations during that war, not a single Iraqi mobile missile launcher was destroyed by hostile fire, a fact I can certify not only as a participant in the counter-SCUD effort, but also as a chief inspector in Iraq, where I led the United Nations investigations into the Iraqi missile program.

The rapid collapse of the Soviet Union did not leave much time for reflection on the American counter-mobile missile launcher deficiencies. In mid-1993, the Department of Defense conducted a comprehensive review to select the strategy and force structure for the post-cold war era. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the threat to the US from a deliberate or accidental ballistic missile attack by former Soviet states or by China was judged highly unlikely. In Votkinsk, US inspectors observed a Soviet-era defense industry in decline. SS-25 missiles were produced at a greatly reduced rate, and the next generation missile, a joint Russian-Ukrainian design, was scrapped after a few prototypes were produced, but never launched. After the resounding Republican victory in the midterm 1994 congressional elections, a new program for missile defense was proposed covering three distinct "threat" capabilities ranging from "unsophisticated threats" (an attack of five single-warhead missiles with simple decoys), to highly sophisticated threats (an attack of 20 single-warhead SS-25 type missiles, each with decoys or other defensive countermeasures). Funding for this program ran to some $10.8 billion from 1993 to 2000.

When President Bush came to power in 2001, there was a dramatic change in posture regarding ballistic missile defense. The administration announced it was withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, clearing away development and operational constraints. At the same time, the administration laid out a comprehensive plan that envisioned a layered missile-defense system. After studying the SS-25 missile for years, the US military believed it finally had a solution in the form of a multitiered antiballistic missile system that focused on boost-phase intercept (firing antimissile missiles that would home in on an ICBM shortly after launch), space-based laser systems designed to knock out a missile in flight, and terminal missile intercept systems, which would destroy a missile as it reentered the earth's atmosphere. The NMD system being fielded to counter the SS-25, and any similar or less sophisticated threats that may emerge from China, Iran, North Korea, and elsewhere, will probably have cumulative costs between $800 billion and $1.2 trillion by the time it reaches completion in 2015.

However, the Bush administration's dream of a viable NMD has been rendered fantasy by the Russian test of the SS-27 Topol-M. According to the Russians, the Topol-M has high-speed solid-fuel boosters that rapidly lift the missile into the atmosphere, making boost-phase interception impossible unless one is located practically next door to the launcher. The SS-27 has been hardened against laser weapons and has a highly maneuverable post-boost vehicle that can defeat any intercept capability as it dispenses up to three warheads and four sophisticated decoys. To counter the SS-27 threat, the US will need to start from scratch. And even if a viable defense could be mustered, by that time the Russians may have fielded an even more sophisticated missile, remaining one step ahead of any US countermeasures. The US cannot afford to spend billions of dollars on a missile-defense system that will never achieve the level of defense envisioned. The Bush administration's embrace of technology, and rejection of diplomacy, when it comes to arms control has failed.

If America continues down the current path of trying to field a viable missile-defense system, significant cuts will need to be made in other areas of the defense budget, or funds reallocated from other nonmilitary spending programs. With America already engaged in a costly war in Iraq, and with the possibility of additional conflict with Iran, Syria, or North Korea looming on the horizon, funding a missile-defense system that not only does not work as designed, but even if it did, would not be capable of defending America from threats such as the Topol-M missile, makes no sense. The Bush administration would do well to reconsider its commitment to a national missile-defense system, and instead reengage in the kind of treaty-based diplomacy that in the past produced arms control results that were both real and lasting. This would not only save billions, it would make America, and the world, a safer place.


BA-111 Shkval underwater rocket

In 1995 it was revealed that Russia had developed an exceptionally high-speed unguided underwater missile which has no equivalent in the West. Code-named the Shkval (Squall), the new weapon travels at a velocity that would give a targeted vessel very little chance to perform evasive action. The missile has been characterized as a "revenge" weapon, which would be fired along the bearing of an incoming enemy torpedo. The Shkval may be considered a follow-on to the Russian BGT class of evasion torpedoes, which are fired in the direction of an incoming torpedo to try to force an attacking to evade (and hopefully snap the torpedo's guidance wires). The weapon was deployed in the early 1990s, and had been in service for years when the fact of its existence was disclosed.

Development begain in the 1960s, when the Research Institute NII-24 (Chief Designer Mikhail Merkulov) involved in the artillery ammunition research was instructed to launch the development of underwater high-speed missile to fight nuclear-powered submarines. On 14 May 1969, pursuant to a government resolution, NII-24 and GSKB-47 merged into the Research Institute of Applied Hydromechanics (NII PGM), which formed the basis of the present day 'Region' Scientific Production Association. Advances in the development of jet engines and fuel technologies, as well as outstanding results in the research of body motion under cavitation made it possible to design a unique missile with a dived speed much greater than that of conventional torpedoes. When the suction on the low-pressure side of the propeller blade dips below ambient pressure [atmospheric plus hydrostatic head] the propeller blade cavitates -- a vacuum cavity forms. There is water vapor in the cavity, and the pressure is not a true vacuum, but equal to the vapor pressure of the water. High-speed propellers are often designed to operate in a fully-cavitating (supercavitating) mode.

A high speed supercavitating projectile, while moving in the forward direction, rotates inside the cavity. This rotation leads to a series of impacts between the projectile tail and the cavity wall. The impacts affect the trajectory as well as the stability of motion of the projectile. The present paper discusses the in-flight dynamics of such a projectile. Despite the impacts with the cavity wall, the projectile nearly follows a straight line path. The frequency of the impacts between the projectile tail and cavity boundary increases initially, reaches a maximum, and then decreases gradually. The frequency of impacts decreases with the projectile's moment of inertia. Apparently fired from standard 533mm torpedo tubes, Shkval has a range of about 7,500 yards. The weapon clears the tube at fifty knots, upon which its rocket fires, propelling the missile through the water at 360 kph [about 100 m/sec / 230 mph / 200-knots], three or four times as fast as conventional torpedoes. The solid-rocket propelled "torpedo" achieves high speeds by producing a high-pressure stream of bubbles from its nose and skin, which coats the torpedo in a thin layer of gas and forms a local "envelope" of supercavitating bubbles. Carrying a tactical nuclear warhead initiated by a timer, it would destroy the hostile submarine and the torpedo it fired. The Shkval high-speed underwater missile is guided by an auto-pilot rather than by a homing head as on most torpedoes.

There are no evident countermeasures to such a weapon, its employment could put adversary naval forces as a considerable disadvantage. One such scenario is a rapid attack situation wherein a sudden detection of a threat submarine is made, perhaps at relatively short range, requiring an immediate response to achieve weapon on target and to ensure survival. Apparently guidance is a problem, and the initial version of the Shkval was unguided However, the Russians have been advertising a homing version, which runs out at very high speed, then slows to search. A prototype of the modernised "Shkval", which was exhibited at the 1995 international armaments show in Abu Dhabi, was discarded. An improved model was designed with a conventional (non-nuclear) warhead and a guided targeting system, which substantially enhances its combat effectiveness. The first tests of the modernised Shkval torpedo were held by the Russian Pacific Fleet in the spring of 1998.

The 'Region' Scientific Production Association has developed developed an export modification of the missile, 'Shkval-E'. Russia began marketing this conventionally armed version of the Shkval high-speed underwater rocket at the IDEX 99 exhibition in Abu Dhabi in early 1999. The concept of operations for this missile requires the crew of a submarine, ship or the coast guard define the target's parameters -- speed, distance and vector -- and feeds the data to the missile's automatic pilot. The missile is fired, achieves its optimum depth and switches on its engines. The missile does not have a homing warhead and follows a computer-generated program.

On 05 April 2000 the Russian Federal Security Service [FSB] in Moscow arrested an American businessman, Edmond Pope, and a Russian accomplice, on charges of stealing scientific secrets. A FSB statement said it confiscated "technical drawings of various equipment, recordings of his conversations with Russian citizens relating to their work in the Russian defense industry, and receipts for American dollars received by them." Pope, a retired US Navy captain who spent much of his career working in naval intelligence, was at the time of his arrest the head of a private security firm. On 20 April 2000 the FSB revealed that Pope had been seeking plans the Shkval underwater missile. Pope was detained during an informal contact with a Russian scientist who had participated in the Shkval's creation. The arrest of Daniel Howard Kiely, deputy head of the Applied Research Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University, came almost simultaneously. The laboratory led by Mr. Kiely has for many years been developing torpedoes for US warships and submarines. Professor Kiely had joined Pope in Moscow to offer technical advice and determine the tasks for Pope's further activity. Kiely was interrogated as a witness. His testimony and objects confiscated during the search proved his involvement in Pope's activities. Later the 68-year-old professor was released and allowed to return to the United States.

The objective of the High-Speed Undersea Weaponry project at the US Office of Naval Research is to develop the vehicle guidance, control and maneuvering capabilities for the quick reaction weapons. High-speed weapons could offer an advantage for Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) "close encounter" scenarios. The overall system response of a high-speed weapon for breaking off engagements with enemy submarines would be measured in seconds, rather than minutes. The High-Speed Undersea Weapons project has three tasks; Vehicle Guidance, Vehicle Control, and Test Bed Development. Vehicle Guidance deals with homing sensors, signal processing, waveform design, and autopilot commands that are used to guide (either autonomously or with external interaction) the weapon to its target. Vehicle control deals with control and maneuvering of the high-speed weapon with emphasis on stabilizing the supercavitating bubble cavity, and optimizing the flow for low drag. Technical issues include instability due to vehicle planing and tail slap, interaction between cavity with propulsion exhaust, and propulsion system transients, including startup. Test Bed Development is an ongoing effort that develops a test platform to test and evaluate S&T candidate systems such as homing systems, vehicle control, and propulsion systems.


The Sunburn Missile

I was shocked when I learned the facts about these Russian-made cruise missiles. The problem is that so many of us suffer from two common misperceptions. The first follows from our assumption that Russia is militarily weak, as a result of the breakup of the old Soviet system. Actually, this is accurate, but it does not reflect the complexities. Although the Russian navy continues to rust in port, and the Russian army is in disarray, in certain key areas Russian technology is actually superior to our own. And nowhere is this truer than in the vital area of anti-ship cruise missile technology, where the Russians hold at least a ten-year lead over the US. The second misperception has to do with our complacency in general about missiles-as-weapons probably attributable to the pathetic performance of Saddam Hussein's Scuds during the first Gulf war: a dangerous illusion that I will now attempt to rectify. Many years ago, Soviet planners gave up trying to match the US Navy ship for ship, gun for gun, and dollar for dollar. The Soviets simply could not compete with the high levels of US spending required to build up and maintain a huge naval armada. They shrewdly adopted an alternative approach based on strategic defense. They searched for weaknesses, and sought relatively inexpensive ways to exploit those weaknesses. The Soviets succeeded: by developing several supersonic anti-ship missiles, one of which, the SS-N-22 Sunburn, has been called "the most lethal missile in the world today."

After the collapse of the Soviet Union the old military establishment fell upon hard times. But in the late1990s Moscow awakened to the under-utilized potential of its missile technology to generate desperately needed foreign exchange. A decision was made to resuscitate selected programs, and, very soon, Russian missile technology became a hot export commodity. Today, Russian missiles are a growth industry generating much-needed cash for Russia, with many billions in combined sales to India, China, Viet Nam, Cuba, and also Iran. In the near future this dissemination of advanced technology is likely to present serious challenges to the US. Some have even warned that the US Navy's largest ships, the massive carriers, have now become floating death traps, and should for this reason be mothballed.

The Sunburn missile has never seen use in combat, to my knowledge, which probably explains why its fearsome capabilities are not more widely recognized. Other cruise missiles have been used, of course, on several occasions, and with devastating results. During the Falklands War, French-made Exocet missiles, fired from Argentine fighters, sunk the HMS Sheffield and another ship. And, in 1987, during the Iran-Iraq war, the USS Stark was nearly cut in half by a pair of Exocets while on patrol in the Persian Gulf. On that occasion US Aegis radar picked up the incoming Iraqi fighter (a French-made Mirage), and tracked its approach to within 50 miles. The radar also "saw" the Iraqi plane turn about and return to its base. But radar never detected the pilot launch his weapons. The sea-skimming Exocets came smoking in under radar and were only sighted by human eyes moments before they ripped into the Stark, crippling the ship and killing 37 US sailors.

The 1987 surprise attack on the Stark exemplifies the dangers posed by anti-ship cruise missiles. And the dangers are much more serious in the case of the Sunburn, whose specs leave the sub-sonic Exocet in the dust. Not only is the Sunburn much larger and faster, it has far greater range and a superior guidance system. Those who have witnessed its performance trials invariably come away stunned. According to one report, when the Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani visited Moscow in October 2001 he requested a test firing of the Sunburn, which the Russians were only too happy to arrange. So impressed was Ali Shamkhani that he placed an order for an undisclosed number of the missiles.

The Sunburn can deliver a 200-kiloton nuclear payload, or: a 750-pound conventional warhead, within a range of 100 miles, more than twice the range of the Exocet. The Sunburn combines a Mach 2.1 speed (two times the speed of sound) with a flight pattern that hugs the deck and includes "violent end maneuvers" to elude enemy defenses. The missile was specifically designed to defeat the US Aegis radar defense system. Should a US Navy Phalanx point defense somehow manage to detect an incoming Sunburn missile, the system has only seconds to calculate a fire solution not enough time to take out the intruding missile. The US Phalanx defense employs a six-barreled gun that fires 3,000 depleted-uranium rounds a minute, but the gun must have precise coordinates to destroy an intruder "just in time."

The Sunburn's combined supersonic speed and payload size produce tremendous kinetic energy on impact, with devastating consequences for ship and crew. A single one of these missiles can sink a large warship, yet costs considerably less than a fighter jet. Although the Navy has been phasing out the older Phalanx defense system, its replacement, known as the Rolling Action Missile (RAM) has never been tested against the weapon it seems destined to one day face in combat. Implications For US Forces in the Gulf

The US Navy's only plausible defense against a robust weapon like the Sunburn missile is to detect the enemy's approach well ahead of time, whether destroyers, subs, or fighter-bombers, and defeat them before they can get in range and launch their deadly cargo. For this purpose US AWACs radar planes assigned to each naval battle group are kept aloft on a rotating schedule. The planes "see" everything within two hundred miles of the fleet, and are complemented with intelligence from orbiting satellites.

But US naval commanders operating in the Persian Gulf face serious challenges that are unique to the littoral, i.e., coastal, environment. A glance at a map shows why: The Gulf is nothing but a large lake, with one narrow outlet, and most of its northern shore, i.e., Iran, consists of mountainous terrain that affords a commanding tactical advantage over ships operating in Gulf waters. The rugged northern shore makes for easy concealment of coastal defenses, such as mobile missile launchers, and also makes their detection problematic. Although it was not widely reported, the US actually lost the battle of the Scuds in the first Gulf War termed "the great Scud hunt" and for similar reasons.


The Onyx/Yakhont Missile

Major advances in the development of previous-generation weapon systems, combined with the latest scientific and technological achievements made in Russia's defense industry, have enabled the MBR&PA headed by Gerbert Yefremov, General Designer, to start developing the fourth-generation antiship missiles. The Yakhont-type antiship missile is designed to combat naval surface-ship groupings and single ships under heavy fire and electronic counteraction. The parameters and performance characteristics have become technically feasible due to the application of an array of unique design solutions and technology-intensive components and, above all, a supersonic ramjet sustainer motor, capable of operating in a broad range of speeds and altitudes, a noise-adaptive radar homing head, and a powerful onboard computer.

In the development of the missile, designers made use of a system approach, where different components, producing different output parameters, were integrated into a complex, well-tuned system capable of accomplishing its dedicated purpose with maximum efficiency. For the missile's capabilities, refer to the Figure. Due to the Yakhont's short flying time (its speed is 2.5 times greater than the speed of sound) and the long effective range of its seeker head, the targeting of the missile need not be very accurate. The ability to observe the entire target area from a high altitude, augmented by the enhanced capabilities of the antiship missile control system, make it possible to cue missiles to hostile ships in a group and discriminate false targets. After launch, Yakhont's early descent to a low altitude, combined with its supersonic speed and seaskimming flight mode in the homing phase, make it possible to avoid detection and tracking of the missile by even the target's most sophisticated air defense systems.

The missiles's compactness and maintainability on board its platform are not the least important factors determining its appearance. First of all it can be explained by the missiles's unique construction unrivaled in terms of the degree of integration of components. Basically, the entire missile - from the nose air intake to the nozzle exit section - is a propulsion plant arranged in an airframe. Except for the intake bullet, where the control system and warhead are arranged, all of the missile's internal spaces, including the ramjet motor air duct, are filled with sustainer motor propellant and accommodate the built-in solid-propellant booster stage. The missile is enclosed in a sealed launch-container. The fact that there is almost no clearance between the missile's fuselage and internal surfaces of the launch-container indicates that the degree of integration of components is very high. The missile size provides for a two- or three-fold increase in the number of the missiles carried on board a platform.

The launch-container is an integral part of the missile system. The missile is dispatched from the manufacturing plant, shipped, stored and delivered to the user in its launch-container ready for use at all times. The missile's systems check-out is made without removing the weapon from its launch-container. The launch-container, with the missile in it, is very simple to operate and maintain. It requires neither any liquid or gas for maintenance nor specific microclimate for storage and on board its carrier. All this simplifies operation and maintenance procedures and enhances the weapon's reliability. As the missile's basic features encompass the use of a launch-container, a wide range of launch angles and an advanced firing method which does not require flame deflectors, the missile can easily be blended into the architecture of various platforms. It should be noted here that launchers of different designs can be used: very simple rack launchers intended for installation on low-tonnage vessels of the "guided-missile boat - corvette" class or vertical-launch modular systems designed for installation on large-displacement surface ships, i.e. frigates, destroyers and cruisers.


Thus, we have good undertakings for the future and all reason to believe that the Yakhont antiship missile system will appear on the foreign market. Operators can rely on this system as it will ensure high operational effectiveness of their warships and security of sea borders. The Oniks missile has a typical Russian appearance, with folded delta wings in the middle and tail surfaces right behind them. The missile presently carries only a conventional penetration warhead, weighing 300 kg. It is propelled by a ramjet engine running on liquid fuel, with launch assisted by a solid-rocket booster. The missile flies on various trajectories up to an altitude of 20,000 m. Typically, it flies at 14,000 m at the high point of a high-low trajectory and at about 10-15 m at the low point of a low-low trajectory. Just before terminal engagement, the missile usually descends to 5-10 m. The maximum range is 300 km (high-low) or 120 km (low-low). At a distance of 60-80 km to the target the missile's radar switches on and searches for the target. As soon as the target is located, at a distance of about 25-30 km, the radar stops transmitting and works in passive mode only while the missile is directed into a computed point of intercept. Usually one out of every three missiles turns on its radar with the others being directed by the "leading" missile. There are also some other features that enhance the missile's air-defense-penetration capabilities. First of all, the missile is coated with radar-absorbent materials (RAM). The missile also has an onboard radar-warning receiver and analyzer, enabling it to initiate sharp maneuvers when necessary. The high speed of the missile - Mach 2.6 at high altitude and Mach 1.5-1.7 at low altitude - on the one hand helps in penetration of the enemy ship's air defenses, but on the other hand, it causes the missile to become aerodynamically heated, giving it a relatively high infrared signature.

The original export version, the Yakhont, was available starting in 1998. Since then, another export version has been under development called the PJ-10 Brahmos. It is a joint venture between Russia and India's Defense Research and Development Organization. The Brahmos is more or less a modified Oniks, adjusted to Indian requirements. Russia invested $122 million in the program, while India allocated $128 million. The first launch of the Brahmos missile took place in June 2001. The most recent test was conducted on February 13, 2003. After the trials, Indian sources claimed that a salvo of nine Brahmos missiles could destroy a group of three frigates under any conditions. According to some unconfirmed sources, the Brahmos will be used onboard India's newly built Shivalik-class frigates (also known as the P-17 project). The Brahmos differs from the Russian missile mainly in that it is launched vertically, whereas the Russian Yakhont is launched from angled launchers. A land-attack version of the Brahmos is also said to be planned. The missile is powered by a ramjet-type, liquid-fuel sustainer and a solid-rocket booster, which is used in the first seconds of flight. The missile's range is 300 km (high-low profile) or 120 km (low profile. These ranges include maneuvers, so theoretically a missile could reach longer distances if it flew directly. The missile's speed is Mach 2.3 at high altitude and Mach 1.5 at low altitude. The passive radar mode enables the missile to detect active jamming sources and use them for homing. This and other features of the missile's radar seeker make it very ECM resistant.


S-400 Triumf

S-400 Triumf (Russia deploys new air defence system):
Russia S-400 new air defence system:

The Triumf S-400 is a new generation of air defense and theater anti-missile weapon developed by the Almaz Central Design Bureau as an evolution of the S-300PMU [SA-10] family. This new system is intended to detect and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 km (2- 2.5 times greater than the previous S-300PMU system). The Triumf system includes radars capable of detecting low-signature targets. And the anti-missile capability of the system has been increased to the limits established by the ABM Treaty demarcation agreements -- it can intercept targets with velocities of up to 4.8 km/sec, corresponding to a ballistic missile range of 3,500 km. The system was developed through the cooperation of the Almaz Central Design Bureau, Fakel Machine Building Design Bureau, Novosibirsk Scientific Research Institute of Instruments, St. Petersburg Design Bureau of Special Machine Building and other enterprises. The Fakel Machine Building Design Bureau has developed two new missiles for Triumf.

* The "big" missile [designation otherwise unknown] has a range of up to 400 km and will be able to engage "over- the-horizon [OTH]" targets using a new seeker head developed by Almaz Central Design Bureau. This seeker can operate in both a semiactive and active mode, with the seeker switched to a search mode on ground command and homing on targets independently. Targets for this missile include airborne early warning and control aircraft as well as jammers.

* The 9M96 missile is designed to destroy aircraft and air- delivered weapons at ranges in excess of 120 km. The missile is small-- considerably lighter than the ZUR 48N6Ye used in the S-300PMU1 systems and the Favorit. The missile is equipped with an active homing head and has an estimated single shot kill probability of 0.9 for manned aircraft and 0.8 for unmanned maneuvering aircraft. a gas-dynamic control system enables the 9M96 missile to maneuver at altitudes of up to 35 km at forces of over 20g, which permits engagment of non- strategic ballistic missiles. A mockup of the missile was set up at an Athens arms exhibition in October 1998. One 9M96 modification will become the basic long-range weapon of Air Force combat aircraft, and may become the standardized missile for air defense SAM systems, ship-launched air defense missile systems, and fighter aircraft.



The Russian BUK-M1 (NATO code name SA-11 GADFLY ) surface-to-air medium-range missile system is designed to engage aerial targets, including aircraft, cruise missiles, helicopters as well as short range ballistic missiles (Lance missiles can be intercepted at a range of 20 km and altitude of 16 km). It can also "home on jam", in response to enemy jammers, as well as defeat incoming HARM anti-radiation missiles. The missile offers better maneuverability and improved capability compared with the earlier generation SA-6 which was combat proven during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Fully deployed the BUK M1 system can simultaneously engage up to six targets from any direction. A BUK M1 combat unit comprised of up to 72 missiles deploys into firing position in five minutes. The unit includes target acquisition radar, the 54K6E Command Post, up to six 9A310M1 Self-propelled AD Vehicle self-propelled transporter launcher vehicles carrying the 9M317 surface-to-air guided missiles, and up to six 9A39M1 loader-launchers. The BUK M1 is currently deployed with the Indian Army. The BUK M1 (SA-11) can engage aircraft targets flying at a maximum speed of 1,200 meters/sec. at ranges of 3 – 42 km, at an altitude of 150 to 25,000 meters. The ground based Buk M-1/2 ADMS is mounted on tracked vehicles for mobility and is designed for protecting mobile and stationary assets from a wide variety of air attacks. Each one can engage up to six targets attacking from any direction. The BUK M-1/2 consists of several elements including six Self Propelled Missile Carriers (9A310M1 / 2) carrying four missiles each, a 9C18M1 Target Acquisition Radar (TAR), a 9C470M1-2 Command Post (CP) vehicle and a 9A39M1 launcher/loader (LL). A Polyana D4M1 can control up to four of these systems.



Russian Pantsir-S1 -- best air defence money can buy:

Pantsir S1 was developed by KBP, as an upgrade of the Tungushka, offering extended engagement capability such as the use of both gun and missile on the move (Tungushka can use only gun), on the tracked system. The system also offers faster reaction time of 4 – 6 seconds (compared to 8 seconds for the Tungushka and 5 – 7 for Pantsir S1O). Like its predecessor, Pantsir S1 can also engage two separate targets simultaneously. The Pantsir is offered in a tracked, wheeled versions, installed on APCs such as BTR-80and trucks, such as the 8x8 Ural 5323 truck. The truck mounted version is loaded with 700 cartridges per barrel and twelve 57E6-E missiles (also known as 9M335 or the 9M311). The missile offers high kill probability (0.7 – 0.95) in an expanded envelope with extended range of 1.2 km to 20km, (1.5 – 18 km in Pantsir S1O version) and altitude of 5 m' to 10 km. The guns are designed for operation at a range of 200 m' to 4 km and altitude of 0 to 3,000m'. These missiles use a longer tandem boost motor to reach an altitude of 12,000 m'. The range of the radar was also extended to 30km, with simultaneously tracking of up to 20 targets, and engaging two separated targets at the same time. The launch customer of the Pantsir S1 was the UAE. The Pantsir S1 uses a multi-band radar with effective ECCM and high immunity to jamming. passive, low band IR target acquisition system, utilize signal processing and automatic target tracking. Pantsir S10 uses only one sensor – probably the passive IR system. The SA-19 missile uses SACLOS guidance, effective to a range of min 2,500 – 8,000 m,. 1RL-144M fire control system uses an E-Band search radar with a detection range of 18km and J band tracking radar. India has procured the system.



TOR M1 - misil antiaereo ruso:

The TOR-M1 surface-to-air missile system is a mobile, integrated air defense system, designed for operation at medium-, low- and very low –altitudes, against fixed/rotary wing aircraft, UAVs, guided missiles and precision weapon. The system is capable of operating in an intensive aerial jamming environment. The system is comprised of a number of missile Transporter Launcher Vehicle (TLV). A Russian air defense Tor battalion consists of 3 - 5 companies, each equipped with four TLVs. Each TLV is equipped with 8 ready to launch missiles, associating radars, fire control systems and a battery command post. The combat vehicle can operate autonomously, firing from stationary positions or on the move. Set-up time is rated at 3 minutes and typical reaction time, from target detection to missile launch is 5-8 seconds. Reaction time could range from 3.4 seconds for stationary positions to 10 seconds while on the move. Each fire unit can engage and launch missiles against two separate targets. Tor M1 can detect and track up to 48 targets (minimum radar cross section of 0.1 square meter) at a maximum range of 25 km, and engage two of them simultaneously, at a speed of up to 700 m/sec, and at a distance of 1 to 12 km. The system's high lethality (aircraft kill probability of 0.92-0.95) is maintained at altitude of 10 – 6,000 m'. The vertically launched, single-stage solid rocket propelled missile is capable of maneuvering at loads up to 30gs. It is equipped with a 15kg high-explosive fragmentation warhead activated by a proximity fuse. The system is offered as fully integrated tracked combat vehicle, or as a modular combat unit (TOR-M1T) comprising a truck mounted mobile control module and launcher/antenna units, carried on a trailer. Other configuration include separated towed systems, as well as shelter-based systems, for the protection of fixed sites.


Tunguska M1

Tunguska-M1 is a gun/missile system for low-level air defence. The system was designed by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau in Tula, Russia and is manufactured by the Ulyanovsk Mechanical Plant, Ulyanovsk, Russia. It can engage targets while stationary and on the move, using missiles for long-range targets and guns for close-in defence. It is designed for defence against both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters and can also fire on ground targets. Tunguska entered service with the Russian army in 1988 and has been exported to Germany, India, Peru and Ukraine. Morocco ordered 12 Tunguska M1 systems in December 2004. The Tunguska-M1 vehicle carries eight 9M311-M1 surface-to-air missiles. The missile (NATO designation SA-19 Grison) has semi-automatic radar command to line-of-sight guidance, weighs 40kg with a 9kg warhead. It is 2.5m long with a diameter of 1.7m and wingspan of 2.2m. The missile's maximum speed is 900m/s and can engage targets travelling at speeds up to 500m/s. Range is from 15 to 6,000m for ground targets and 15 to 10,000m for air targets. Two twin-barrel 30mm anti-aircraft guns are mounted on the vehicle. These guns have a maximum firing rate of 5,000 rounds per minute and a range of 3,000m against air targets. This extends to 4,000m against ground targets.


AT-14 Kornet

Kornet E is the name given to the export version of the Russian Kornet missile system. The system, first shown in 1994, has been developed by the KBP Instrument Design Making Bureau, Tula, Russia and is in production and service with the Russian Army and has been sold to the Syrian Army. Kornet is a third generation system, developed to replace the xxxot and Konkurs missile systems in the Russian Army. It is designed to destroy tanks, including those fitted with explosive reactive armour (ERA), fortifications, entrenched troops as well as small-scale targets. The system can be fitted to a variety of tracked and wheeled vehicles, including the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle, as well as serving as a standalone, portable system. The self-propelled Kornet missile system is manufactured by the Volsk Mechanical Plant, Volsk, Russian Federation. It was reported in April 2005 that the Kornet E missile system has been ordered by the government of Eritrea. The launcher fires Kornet missiles with tandem shaped charge HEAT warheads to defeat tanks fitted with ERA or with high explosive/incendiary (thermobaric effect) warheads, for use against bunkers, fortifications and fire emplacements. Armour penetration for the HEAT warhead is stated to be 1,200mm. Range is 5km. The missile has semi-automatic command-to-line-of-sight (SACLOS) laser beamriding guidance, flying along the line of sight to engage the target head on in a direct attack profile. The Kornet anti-tank guided weapon system is mounted on a cross-country, armoured chassis based on the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle which entered production in the late 1980s and is in service with the Russian Army. BMP-3 is a tracked, armoured, amphibious vehicle. It has a 500hp diesel engine, weighs 18.7t and is capable of a maximum speed of 70km/hr and range of 600km. The vehicle is equipped with night vision devices. The self-propelled Kornet missile system has the capability for automatic loading and the simultaneous launching of two missiles at a single target. 16 missiles can be carried. It has a crew of two. The KBP Instrument Design Making Bureau has recently developed the Kliver missile / gun turret based on the Kornet missile system, which can be mounted on a variety of vehicles including the Russian Army's BTR-80 armoured personnel carrier and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle. It can also be installed on small ships such as coastal patrol boats. The Kliver turret carries four Kornet missiles and a 30 mm 2A72 gun. The gun has a range of 4,000m and can fire at the rate of 350 - 400 rounds per minute. There is also a 7.62mm PKT machine gun. Total weight of the turret is around 1,500kg, including ammunition and missiles. The automatic fire control system includes ballistic computer, thermal sight, laser rangefinder and stabilisation system. The turret has a 360° traverse and an elevation of -15° to +60°.


AT-13 Metis

The METIS-M ATGM system is designed to defeat modern armoured targets with improved protection, including those equipped with explosive reactive armour, as well as fortifications and weapon emplacements, and other pinpoint targets. The system employs missiles with warheads of two types. The first is a tandem hollow-charge warhead designed to destroy modern and future tanks with reactive armour. The second is a fuel-air explosive warhead. It provides blast and incendiary effects comparable to those of large calibre artillery rounds and is capable of destroying light armoured vehicles, fortifications and small-size targets. The METIS-M missile is roll-stabilized in flight and the tracking flare is mounted eccentrically so that it traces a circle as the missile rolls. The IR tracking system derives deviation from the centre of this circle and steering sense from the movement of the flare. The missile is ejected from its launch container by a booster motor stage, then the main rocket motor ignites. This allows the weapon to be fired from a confined space, though a clear area of at least 2 m behind the launch tube is necessary. The system is designed to defeat armored targets, fortifications and weapon emplacements. The system components: launcher, containerized missiles, thermal sight and test equipment for the launcher and thermal sight. The missiles are fitted with warheads of two types: a tandem HEAT warhead and a thermobaric warhead possessing the high-explosive and incendiary effect of the 155mm artillery projectile. The system allows delivery of fire in the prone position from organized and deployed sites, firing from the standing foxhole position as well from the shoulder, and carrying the ATGM system in packs, with pack No. 1 containing the launcher and missile in the firing attitude and pack No. 2 accommodating two Metis-M missiles. Organizational and field maintenance of the ATGM system is carried out using test equipment. To train operators, use is made of field and computeraided trainers.


AT-15 Khrisantema

The development of the Khrizantema missile system provides the Russian Army with a weapon system that will significantly upgrade its antitank capability. Even with the improved capabilities the AT-14 Kornet has over earlier systems, an ATGM with all-weather, day or night, immunity to countermeasures, and fire and forget capabilities was still highly desired. In July 1996, Russia's KBM Engineering Design Bureau revealed a dual-guidance missile system with the desired capabilities. A new long-range ATGM, the Khrizantema (9M123), capable of firing six-kilometer-range supersonic missiles, incorporating both radar and laser command guidance receivers, is in its last stage of testing. KBM expects production to begin in 1998. The key role of the Khrizantema (Russian for "chrysanthemum") is to destroy armored vehicles at long range. In addition, it could be used to destroy bunkers, and to engage slow- or low-flying helicopters. The Khrizantema missile system is mounted on a modified BMP-3 infantry combat vehicle chassis. The chassis is designated the 9M157-2, and has the amphibious capability of the BMP-3. Two models of the 9M123 missile have been developed. One has a tandem high-explosive antitank (HEAT) warhead; designated the 9M123-2, it apparently can penetrate over 1000 millimeters of steel armor protected by explosive reactive armor (ERA). The second model, the 9M123-F-2, has a high explosive warhead. The maximum range of the missile is 6000 meters with a maximum speed of 400 meters per second; thus it is supersonic. The missile has two movable control surfaces at its rear, with four wrap-around wings about three-quarters of the way down its body toward the rear. For the first time in the world, an automatic radar target detection and tracking system, with simultaneous missile control during its guidance to the target, was developed for the Khrizantema ATGM. The unique feature of the missile is that it has two modes of guidance: automatic, where it is guided by a roof-mounted radar; and by a semi-automatic laser beam rider, using the sight mounted in the front of the hull on the right side. There is no known comparable missile in the West under development or in service with a similar guidance system.



In the effort to develop an effective successor to the RPG-7, the solution was the RPG-29 Vampire, introduced in the late 1980s to counter tanks with reactive armor. RPG-29 was adopted by Soviet Armed Forces in 1989 shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has since been employed by the countries that emerged out of the former Soviet Union as well as insurgencies in the Middle East and elsewhere. In the 2006 Israeli war in Lebanon, the RPG-29 was effectively used by Hezbollah to knock out IDF Merkava's and has also been used by Palestinians in Gaza. RPG-29 Characteristics The RPG-29 has a 105mm bore, firing rocket driven grenades with an effective range of 300 meters (984.25 ft) or more. The RPG-29 weighs 11.5 kg (25.4 lb), breaks into two concealable loads, and can be fitted with modern laser or night optics as well as thermal sensors. It is effective against armored and soft-skinned vehicles, fortifications and buildings, and rotary winged aircraft. The RPG-29 can used with a fixed mount and fitted with advanced fire control equipment. Two 105mm (4.1 in) munitions are designed for the RPG-29: PG-29V tandem rocket; TBG-29V thermobaric rounds. The PG-29V is designed to defeat tanks equipped with advanced armor, including explosive reactive armor (ERA). The PG-29V penetrates 750mm of homogeneous armor or 600mm of such armor, fitted with add-on ERA. The PG-29V has a diameter of 105mm (4.1 in), and 1.1 meter (43 in) length. It weighs 6.1 kg (13.5 lb), containing a warhead of 1.4 kg (3 lb) high explosive charge, conformed to produce shaped charge action. Penetrating over 1.5 meters (4.9 ft) of reinforced concrete, PG-29V can also be effective against bunkers and log-and-earth structures (3.7 meters deep or 12.1 ft) and brick walls (penetrating 2 meters of brickwork or 6.6 ft). Direct fire effective range is 300 meters (984.25 ft). The TBG-29V round uses thermobaric composition for devastatingly effective use against buildings and lightly armored or soft-skinned targets. Direct fire effective range is 50 meters (164 ft) with 2,000 meters (6,562 ft) maximum range using a ballistic trajectory. There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.


ISKANDER-E: Missile System Of The 21st Century

The Kolomna Engineering Design Bureau is the leading developer of precision-guided tactical and theater missiles for the Ground Forces. In creative cooperation with leading research and design organizations and plants of the defense industry as well as the Defense Ministry Research Institute, the KBM Engineering Design Bureau has created a number of missile systems (division-level Tochka (SS-21) with a range of up to 70 km, army-level Oka (SS-23) with a range of up to 400 km, corps-level Tochka-U with a range of up to 120 km) that superseded the first generation missile systems of the Ground Forces (9K72 with 8K14-1 liquid-propellant missile, 9K52 with the 9M21unguided solid-propellant missile,ensuring effective engagement only if nuclear-tipped). The particular features of the aforementioned systems are: high accuracy of fire, a short time of readiness for launch, independence of combat assets, a high degree of prelaunch preparation automation and sufficiently high effectiveness of conventional warheads. That was evidently the reason to include the Oka missile system in the Soviet-American treaty on the elimination of their intermediate range and shorter range missiles, although its maximum guaranteed range was only 400 km. The conclusion of the 1987 INF Treaty and the decision not to use theater nuclear weapons set a number of principally new requirements for modern missile systems:

- use of non-nuclear destruction weapons only;

- precise accuracy of fire;

- control throughout the entire flight path;

- broad range of effective warheads;

- availability of battle management automation and information support systems, including preparation of standard information for correction and terminal guidance systems;

- possibility of integration into global satellite navigation systems (GSNSs), such as GLONASS and NAVSTAR;

- ability to engage hardened targets;

- increase in the number of engaged targets per unit of time;

- ability to penetrate air and missile defenses;

- capability to engage moving targets.

To meet the above requirements, the KBM Engineering Design Bureau has created the Iskander-E missile system. The Iskander-E missile system has embodied the best scientific, technical and design achievements in the field of theater missile systems; in terms of its design and high combat effectiveness it is an absolutely new-generation weapon which outperforms existing Scud-B, Tochka-U, Lance, ATACMS, Pluto and other missile systems.

The Iskander-E missile system is designed to engage:

- hostile fire weapons (SAM and missile batteries);

- fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft at parking areas;

- air and missile defense facilities;

- command posts and communications nodes;

- vital pinpoint and area targets;

- critical civilian facilities.

Owing to the implementation of terminal control and guidance methods, control throughout the entire flight path, a broad range of powerful warheads and integration of the onboard control system with various correction and homing systems as well as a high probability of combat mission accomplishment in heavy hostile jamming environments, type targets are engaged by one or two Iskander-E missiles, which in terms of effectiveness is equivalent to the use of a nuclear munition. For the first time in the world a missile system with a firing range not exceeding 300 km is capable of accomplishing all combat missions using conventional warheads and having two missiles on a launcher, which substantially increases the fire power potential of missile units.

Iskander-E missile system's features ensure:

- highly precise and effective engagement of various types of targets;

- possibility of concealed preparation, combat duty and delivery of effective missile strikes;

- automatic computation and input of a missile flying mission by the launcher devices;

- high probability of combat mission accomplishment in heavy hostile jamming environments;

- high probability of trouble-free missile operation during launch preparation and in flight;

- high tactical maneuverability due to cross-country combat vehicles mounted on all-wheel drive, chassis, and strategic mobility owing to transportability of the missile system by all types of transport facilities, including transport aircraft;

- automation of missile unit battle management, immediate processing of intelligence data and their dissemination to appropriate command levels;

- long service life and ease of operation.

In terms of performance characteristics, the Iskander-E missile fully complies with the provisions of the missile technology non-proliferation agreement. This is a deterrent weapon for local conflicts and a strategic weapon for countries with limited living space. A long firing range, permitting the use of the system from the depth of own troops location, and a short time of stay on a launch site make the system virtually invulnerable to conventional destruction weapons. The research conducted by specialists of leading Russian military research centers has demonstrated that in terms of the effectiveness-cost ratio the Iskander-E missile system outperforms the best foreign counterparts by five to eight times.

The system structure, its control systems, automated battle management and information support make it possible to promptly meet to new requirements without substantial modification of combat assets and, as a result, to guarantee a long lifespan. Provision is made for the modernization of the Iskander-E system to improve the accuracy of missile strike, reduce missile expenditure to one piece per target and adapt the system to the transportation and electronic facilities of a potential customer. Continuous (or periodic) maintenance of system components by highly qualified Russian specialists is also possible.

The composition of the missile system makes it possible to ensure the full cycle of its combat employment, including battle management, information support, maintenance, and crew training, without additional expenditures. The composition can be specified in a contract in compliance with customer's requirements. In addition, at foreign customer' request, missiles can be outfitted with various warheads. In terms of the attained combat potential level, the Iskander-E missile system, which is at the final stage of flight tests, is unrivaled in the world and is a 21st century weapon.



Of greater significance for Russian security, on December 25 2007, the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF) test-fired the RS-24 for the second time. The RS-24 is a MIRVed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). [6] Following the pattern of the first test of the system in May 2007, the SRF conducted the recent test from a road-mobile launcher, its preferred mode of deployment for the new missile. According to a statement by Russian Defense Minister Anatoliy Serduykov, the missile carried three warheads. This is in contrast to the first test, which apparently only simulated multiple warheads. From as early as 1996, experts have speculated that the missile can carry up to seven light warheads. Although the RS-24 is a MIRVed ICBM, it is very similar to the single-warhead Topol-M in its general design and dimensions. The RS-24 is often considered a MIRVed version of Topol-M, but with a larger first stage to avoid violating the START I Treaty’s prohibition on increasing the number of warheads on existing types of ballistic missiles. The ability to place MIRVs on the Topol-M, with minimal modifications of the missile, was openly anticipated as early as the mid-1990s by then-Commander-in-Chief of the SRF Vladimir Yakovlev and Topol-M’s chief designer Lev Solomonov, who stated that this was simply a matter of “time and money.” Speaking after the successful December 25 launch, SRF Commander- in-Chief Colonel-General Nikolai Solovtsov disclosed that he expected the SRF to adopt the RS-24 for full-scale deployment in approximately three years: “[We] will need to conduct several more test launches, probably no more than five, before the RS-24 ICBM can be adopted. In terms of timing, this could take up to three years.” Thus, the new missile is scheduled to enter service in 2010-11, after the expiration of the START I Treaty in December 2009, and would not be subject to its restrictions. According to an anonymous SRF representative, the RS-24 is intended to replace the older liquid-fuel MIRVed RS-18 (SS-19) and RS-20 (SS-18) ICBMs and “in the future RS-24, along with the single-warhead ICBM RS-12Ms (Topol-M) will become the core of the strike assets of the SRF.” The solid-fuel RS-24, however, will not fully substitute for liquid-fuel SS-19s and SS-18s, which have very large throw-weights. For that reason, the SRF continues to lobby for a new liquid-fuel MIRVed ICBM. In September 2007, former SRF Chief of Staff Colonel-General (retired) Viktor Yesin stated that the draft of the long-term plan for the SRF mentions the possibility of procuring a new liquid-fuel ICBM some time after 2012. If such a contract is awarded, said Yesin, the new missile should be ready for deployment seven to eight years later. Yesin explained that the decision about whether the SRF will buy the new missile depends to a large extent on whether the United States decides to deploy a large-scale missile defense system capable of affecting Russia’s deterrence capability. According to Yesin, if the United States decides against deploying such a system, Russia’s currently planned and deployed solid-fuel ICBMs should be sufficient.


A Closer Look at Russia's Strategic Bomber Force

TU-160 BlackJack Strategic bomber

Tu-160 "Black Jack":

In the beginning of the 70-th years in reply to the American program of creation supersonic strategic bomber A-1A in USSR was conducted competition of the projects multimode strategic bomber with a wing of changed geometry. In 1980 the first copy new bomber, received a title Tu-160 was constructed. In 1981 Tu-160 for the first time was lifted in an air. In 1986 at the Kazan airfactory the assembly serial Tu-160 began. In 1987 the first serial machine has arrived in AF. According to the initial plans, it was supposed to manufacture a series from 100 Tu-160, however now on financial reasons the order have reduced up to 40 machines. Tu-160 - largest from all before created as in USSR, and abroad bombers. The plane is executed under the integrated scheme with smooth interface of a wing and fuselage. The wing of changed geometry ensures flight on various structures, saving high performances both on supersonic, and on a subsonic velocity. Bomber has all-moving vertical and horizontal installations, that in a combination to integrated arrangement and low disposition of crew considerably reduces EPR. A feature of a construction of a glider is the titanum

beam representing total kesson with points of a turn of consoles of a wing. To a beam which is taking place through all plane, fasten ana main force elements of a glider. Bomber “hose - cone” is equipped by a system of refuelling in an air of a type. The receiving bar(boom) fueltank receiver in a non-working position is cleaned(removed) in a nose of a fuselage before a cabin of the pilots. The crew Tu-160 places in two two-place cabins equipped with the seats K-36DM. The power plant consists of 4-th DTRDF of a construction of Kuznetsov OKB, placed in two gonolas under fixed parts of a wing and have adjustable air intakes with a vertical wedge. Into structure BREO enter the complex including an astronavigational system, inertial navigational system, PrNK, radar, intended for detection of the ground and marine targets at a long distance, optical-electronic bomber sight, active and passive inproved systems REF is shock - navigational. In a tail cone the containers with IR by traps and dipole reflectors are placed. In an extreme back part of a fuselage is located thermal locator, discovering coming nearer with an aft hemisphere missiles and planes of the enemy.

The total number of digital processors which are being available onboard a plane, exceeds 100. The job of the navigation officer is completed by 8 digital COMPUTERS. The crew cabins are equipped with electromechanical indicators and indicators on ELT. Each from the pilots has on one information indicator on ELT. The job of the navigation officer is equipped with several indicators on ELT both with round, and with rectangular screens. The plane is equipped with an analog electroremote control system. For the first time in a jet airstructure for management of the serial heavy machine the handle of interceptor type, instead of steering wheel is applied. For improving conditions of a habitability for want of intercontinental flights bomber is equipped with a sleeping place, toilet, by elctronic cabinet for warming up of food. Structurally Tu-160 is close American strategic bomber A-1, but in difference from him(it) all combat load bears on the internal suspension, that considerably reduces EPR of a plane. The plane is equipped with threebased chassis with twin bottles on sprockets. Main racks threebase, forward rack monoaxial. Tu-160 can be used not only as usual bomber, but also as a peculiar first stage for a conclusion in space satellites. In this case under a fuselage the special winged rocket “Burlak” is suspended. This combination allows to start to polar orbits of height 500-700 kms the companions by a mass of 300-500 kgs with the minimum costs. Heavy multimode, multiple objective strategic bomber Tu-160 on a unanimous evaluation of the experts is by the most high-power strategic aviation complex in the world.



Tu-22 Blinder and Tu-22M Backfire (rare historical video):

The BACKFIRE is a long-range aircraft capable of performing nuclear strike, conventional attack, antiship, and reconnaissance missions. Its low-level penetration features make it a much more survivable system than its predecessors. Carrying either bombs or AS-4/KITCHEN air-to-surface missiles, it is a versatile strike aircraft, believed to be intended for theater attack in Europe and Asia but also potentially capable of intercontinental missions against the United States. The BACKFIRE can be equipped with probes to permit inflight refueling, which would further increase its range and flexibility. After designing the TU-22, the Tupolev design bureau started working on a new bomber that was based on the TU-22. Initially Tupolev considered modifying the TU-22 by changing the angle of the swept wings and equipping it with more powerful engines. However after developing the design "106" and various analysis, the design did not meet the flight characteristic requirements. Tupolev also developed the design "125". The aircraft was supposed have two VK-6 engines, a range of 4500-4800 km and an operating speed of up to 2500 km/h. The design provided for the use of titanium alloys and advanced electronic systems.

In 1962, the "125" design was examined by the Government but rejected, as the T-4 aircraft designed by KB Sukhoi was accepted. As an alternative to the T-4 aircraft, KB Tupolev developed the "145" airplane which was a modification of the TU-22. This airplane represented a multi-mode supersonic bomber which was capable of flying at subsonic speed at small altitudes and at supersonic speed to overcome air defenses. The range at subsonic speed was supposed to be 6000-7000 km. The wings are swept-back and had a variable geometry to meet the speed and range requirements. The aircraft should carry Kh-22 air-to-surface missiles which had already been deployed on other aircraft. After activities on the T-4 bombers were halted, KB Tupolev was officially charged with building the "145" aircraft in 1967. The new bomber was intended to have a maximum speed of 2300 km/h and a range of 7000 km without refueling. It received the designation TU-22M.

The Tu-22M designation was used by the Soviets during SALT-2 arms control negotiations, creating the impression that the Backfire-A aircraft was a modification of the Tu-22 Blinder. This designation was adopted by the US State and Defense Departments, although some contended that the designation was deliberately deceptive, and intended to hide the performace of the Backfire. Other sources suggest the "deception" was internal, because this made it easier to get budgets approved. According to some sources, the Backfire-B/C production variants were believed to be designated Tu-26 by Russia, although this is disputed by many sources. At Tupolev the aircraft was designated the AM.

Many of the development steps in manufacturing the AM were unique in their time. Special attention was given to the construction of the variable sweep wing - the basis of the whole project. The mid-mounted wings are variable, swept-back, and tapered with curved tips and a wide wing root. Two turbofan engines are mounted in the body, with large rectangular air intakes and dual exhausts. The fuselage is long and slender with a solid, pointed nose and stepped xxxxpit. The body is rectangular from the air intakes to the exhausts. The tail fin is swept-back and tapered with a square tip. The flats are mid-mounted on the body, swept-back, and tapered with blunt tips. The wing consists of a center section and two outer panels that have five fixed positions with respect to the leading edge sweep. The two-spar centre section has a rear web and bearing skin panel. The outer wings are secured to the centre section with the aid of hinged joints. The high-lift devices include three-section slats and double-slotted flaps on the outer wings (extension angle: 23~ for takeoff and 40~ for landing) and a tilting flap on the centre section.



The Tu-95 BEAR was perhaps the most successful bomber produced by the Soviet aviation, enjoying long service in a variety of roles and configurations. It was the only bomber deployed by any country to use turbo-prop engines, which provided extraordinarily long endurance at speeds only slightly less than comparable turbojet-powered heavy bombers. Development of the TU-95 intercontinental bomber began in the early 1950s after series production of the medium-range TU-4 started.. Initially, several designs were considered, including a modification of the TU-4 and production of a new aircraft with piston engines. Prototypes of these aircraft were developed and tested from 1949 through 1951, it was concluded that bombers with piston engines could not provide adequate performance for the intercontinental attack mission. In March 1951 development of the T-4 intercontinental jet bomber began. However, KB Tupolev did not support the development of a bomber with turbojet engines, believing that the proposed AM-3 jet engines would not provide for the required range of more than 10,000 km. As an alternative, KB Tupolev proposed an aircraft with four turbo-prop engines that would provide a range of more than 13,000 km and speeds of more than 800 km/h at altitudes of 10,000 meters. The aircraft-design was designated as "95".

The design of the wings drew heavily on the experience gathered by Tupolev and the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TSAGI) during the development of the swept wing TU-16. The wings of the "95" were swept back at an angle of 35 degrees, allowing the placement of a large bomb bay behind of the torsion box of the wings' central unit at the aircraft's center of gravity. The Bear's wings are mid-mounted, swept-back, and tapered with blunt tips. Its engines consist of four turboprops with contrarotating propellers located on the wings. The engine nacelles extend well beyond the wings’ leading edges. The fuselage of the Bear is tube-shaped with a rounded nose that tapers to the rear. It also has a stepped xxxxpit and a tail gun compartment. The tail of the aircraft is a fin that is swept-back and tapered with a square tip.

The greatest difficulties during the development were the engines. After studies on different engine combinations and versions, the final design of the aircraft incorporated four turbo-prop engines with a thrust of about 10,000-shp. In the late 1940s, the most powerful turbo-prop engine available was the BK-2 prototype which had significantly less thrust (4800-shp). In the early 1950s OKB-276 N.A. Kuznetsov developed the TV-2 engine and the TV-2F booster engine with a thrust of 6,250-shp. while work on the TV-12 engine with sufficient thrust for the "95" aircraft continued. After consideration of Tupolev's proposals, on 11 July 1951 the government officially approved the development of the "95" aircraft: Two versions were built, one with eight TV-2F engines coupled through the reduction gearbox in four pusher-tractor tandem pairs, and a second version with four TV-12 engines. N.I. Bazenkov became the chief designer of all subsequent TU-95 versions. When he died in 1975, N.V. Kursanov took over as chief designer, and from the end of the 1980s, D.A. Antonov became head of the program.



Russian bombers on exercise:

Russian Bear is back:

Russian Film on Tu-95MS Bomber:

Tu-160 "Blackjack":

TU - 160 Белый лебедь (бомбардировщик Ту-160) Part 1:

TU - 160 Белый лебедь (бомбардировщик Ту-160) Part 2:

TU - 160 Белый лебедь (бомбардировщик Ту-160) Part 3:

TU-22 Backfire vs Aircraft Carrier (clip from the movie The Sum of All Fears):