Vladimir Putin, the President of then Republic confirmed today that began deploying new strategic weapons that are virtually immune to enemy missile defense capabilities.
These weapons include a hypersonic air-launched surface attack missile and surface-launched weapon, that can be used with a nuclear or conventional warhead.
Russian planners believe the new weapons follow innovative designs making them immune to current and future ballistic missile defenses. Representing new weapon categories, both systems are not likely to be covered by the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
– a Air-Launched Missile:
According to Putin, the Russian Air Force has already inducted an air-launched hypersonic missile known as ‘’ ( ).
The missile is available in nuclear or conventional armed configurations.
It is launched at high-speed level flight (formthat can reach a speed of Mach 2.8 at high altitude).
The missile flies at hypersonic speed, 10 times greater than the speed of sound, it is manoeuvring in all parts of the flight trajectory.
This allows it to overcome all existing and future air-defence and missile-defence systems, delivering to the target nuclear and other warheads at a distance of more than 2,000 kilometres
Avantguard – Dodging the Interceptors at Mach 20:
The Russians also develop surface launched hypersonic missiles that will be able to ‘glide’ on the upper atmosphere at Mach-20, twice the speed of the Dagger.
The new Avantguard missile has already been tested and, according to President Putin, has entered production.
The weapon uses a ballistic missile to ascend and reach the initial speed.
Once it reaches this speed Avantguard separates from the launcher to begin its fast glide on the edge of the atmosphere.
Built of advanced composites materials it is capable to withstand the high temperatures associated with moving in the atmosphere at such high speed.
Designed as a hypersonic glide body, the arrow-like aerostructure is built to withstand temperatures of 1600-2000 degrees Celsius.
Russia has begun testing of a new, 200-ton liquid rocket intercontinental ballistic missile known as.
This ICBM has sufficient range (11,000 km) to hit any target on earth, using polar trajectory.
The reentry speed of the warhead is so high, making its Multiple Independently-targeted Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs) immune to interceptors.
Moreover, some of these warheads will consist of the new hypersonic glide bodies developed in Russia, making them even more difficult to defeat.
The Sarmat is expected to enter service by 2020, replacing Soviet era RS-36M Voyevoda
ICBMs, which have constituted the backbone of Russia’s silo-based strategic nuclear forces for the past 25 years.
However, the program has encountered multiple delays and it is highly unlikely that the missile will be operational by then.
Some of the delays in testing were “due to the unpreparedness of the silo-based launcher,” according to Russian media reports.
“With the total weight of over 200 tons it has a short active flight path, which complicates its intercept by ABM systems,” Putin said on March 1.
“The new heavy missile’s range, the number and yield of its warheads are greater compared to the Voyevoda missile.”
The new ICBM will reportedly be twice as light as the Voyevoda.
As I explained last year:
The Sarmat can reportedly carry 10 heavy or 15 (some sources say 16) lighter warheads. The new ICBM can allegedly also be fitted with a new hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), the YU-71, currently in development under the secret Project 4202. (…) The YU-71 is a warhead purportedly capable of penetrating any Western missile defense system. (…) Each warhead [allegedly] has an explosive yield of up to 750 kilotons.
In his address, Putin noted that a new HGV has purportedly entered serial production.
“I can tell you that we have all this already and it works well.
Moreover, Russia’s industry has begun to batch-produce this system.
It is yet another type of strategic weapon at Russia’s disposal,” he said.
“We’ve called it Avangard.” The Yu-71 and Avangard appear to be one and the same system.
Additionally, the Russian president noted:
New composite materials have allowed for coping with the problem of keeping the winged vehicle under control during a prolonged flight amid plasma. In fact, while approaching the target it looks like a meteorite. A fireball. The temperature on its surface may reach 1,600-2,000 Celsius. Control of the winged vehicle remains reliable all the way.
Nuclear Propulsion Helps Avoid Enemy Defenses:
According to Putin, Russian scientists have succeeded to miniaturize a nuclear propulsion system that offers power to weight ration 100 times better than current propulsion systems.
This reactor can be fitted into cruise missiles and autonomous underwater weapons, enabling such compact platforms to be used as strategic weapons, and attack anywhere on the face of the earth.
Putin confirmed the nuclear propulsion was successfully tested last year and demonstrated the capability to generate the propulsion required for the launch and cruise phases of such weapons.
Nuclear propulsion means that the PRO – a future cruise missile designed to use this system could operate at ranges 12 times larger than the range achieved by conventionally powered weapons. Maintaining a low-level flight profile, but not limited by range, such a moderately stealthy missile will be able to circumvent air defenses and use unexpected attack profiles unfeasible with conventional weapons.
U.S. sources confirmed the Russians have tested a nuclear-powered cruise missile but indicated such a test failed over the Arctic, but no radioactive traces were reported by European pollution monitoring.
Neither the nuclear-powered cruise missile nor the torpedo was mentioned in the recently released U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).
Attack from the depths: Another weapon being pursued by the Russians is a type of a ‘nuclear-powered torpedo’, designated by the Russians as a ‘Nuclear Powered, Multi-purpose Ocean-going Unmanned Underwater Vehicle’ – an autonomous underwater vehicle that deploys from submarines and designed weapon.
This future ‘underwater cruise missile’ will be able to operate deeper than any manned submarine or conventional torpedo and sail over inter-continental distances.
It will be able to travel underwater at high speeds and navigate and maneuver underwater better than conventional platforms.
Armed with conventional or nuclear warheads, to eliminate strategic targets such as aircraft carriers at sea or naval vessels at their home ports.
Enhancing Missile Defense:
The diversification of Russia’s nuclear arsenal is a clear indication that Russian nuclear war planners are deeply concerned over advances in U.S. interceptor-based missile defense systems and fear for their second-strike capability.
Russia is also enhancing its own missile defenses.
The A-235 (PRS-1M) interceptor was recently tested, and the Prometheus S-500 air- and the missile-defense system is undergoing testing, scheduled as the successor of the current S-400 system.
Moscow also pursues anti-ballistic missile systems using missile interceptors and directed energy weapons.
In recent months, Russian missile scientists have tested the A-235 (PRS-1M) – a short-range missile interceptor designed to replace the A-135 (53T6) anti-ballistic missile (ABM) interceptor system that defends the Russian capital since 1995.
These interceptors are no longer in production, but their propulsion system needs replacement.
The A-235 (PRS-1M) has the same size of 53T6 as it is designed to deploy from the same silos.
The new missile was tested twice in recent months and is scheduled for deployment by the end of 2018.
The new solid propulsion is designed to accelerate the weapon to a speed four kilometers per second.
It also uses a new guidance increase resistance to countermeasures.
in his speech today Putin also addressed a high-energy laser weapon being developed for the military purpose.
No details about the system were provided, but a video showing the unit in a two-truck mounted field formation was released, showing a large beam director installed at the tip of large truck hauled container.