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Alex GORKA | 02.01.2018 | SECURITY / DEFENSE

Russia’s Military in 2017: Qualitative Leap in High-Precision Strike Capability

A broad overview of Russia’s military capability in 2017 shows that the country’s reorganized and rearmed military is radically different from what it once was. The lessons have been learnt to make it much more efficient than the force that defended South Ossetia and Russian peacekeepers from Georgia’s attack in 2008. The armed forces are going through the period of transformation with sophisticated cutting-edge high-precision weapons given high priority. Addressing the Defense Ministry Board, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the new 2018-2027 State Armament Program puts special emphasis on equipping forces with high-precision air, land and sea weapons.

2017 was the year when the Russian military used sea-launched Kalibr, air-based Kh-101 and Iskander surface-to-surface missiles in Syria.

The December 2017 board meeting was the first time the use of Iskander in Syria was admitted publicly. In 2017, the system entered service with the 152nd Guards Brigade stationed in the Kaliningrad region as a response to NATO beefing up forces near Russia’s border.

Is Syria, Iskander was used to knock out high priority targets. Sufficient accuracy, range and reliability allow it to function as an alternative to air forces operating under the conditions enemy’s active countermeasures, including fighters and air defenses. The Iskander-M has a range of 500 km and achieves a circular error probable (CEP) of 5–7 meters. The ballistic missile travels at hypersonic speed of 2100–2600 m/s (Mach 6–7) at a height of 50 km and can be re-targeted during flight in case of engaging mobile targets. It needs only about 10 minutes to take position and fire.

The system’s range is enough to cover almost the entire territory of Syria. It can fire cruise missiles to hit stationary targets and ballistic missiles to knock out enemy’s high value assets on a battlefield. Iskander can strike long before an aircraft, which has to take off, overcome the distance and take position to launch its weapons.

In 2017, it was announced that the Iskanders will replace the aging Tochka-U ballistic missile systems by 2020 as part of an ongoing refurbishment and improvement scheme. Last year, Russian military started to form and train special operations units of spotters used to provide coordinates to guide the Iskander-launched missiles as they streak toward the target. In Syria, spotters operate in the enemy’s rear.

The Kh-101 stealth air-to-surface missile launched by Tu-95MS and Tu-160 strategic bombers has become a battle-proven weapon in 2017 used to achieve an overwhelming level of “shock and awe” against the adversary in Syria. The experience shows it is very reliable.

The range is 5,000 km. Video evidence provided by drones confirms the fact that all the targets were hit directly. The missile was tested in 2015 and 2016 to be used as part of operational plans in 2017. In 2017, Kh-101 missiles destroyed the enemy’s infrastructure in Deir-ez-Zor. In July, the missiles destroyed three large arms and ammunition depots, and a terrorist command center near the city of Uqayribat in the province of Hama. The strike was delivered from the range of about 1,000 kilometers.

The Syrian experience is used to develop a new cruise air-to-surface missile. Russia’s Tactical Missiles Corporation is working on the “Article 715” or 9-А-2362. The missile is actually a smaller version of Kh-101 destined for the Tu-22М3 long-range bombers as well as the Su-34, Su-30, Su-35 and Su-57 tactical aircraft.

Sea-based Kalibr missiles have been used since 2015. Its range exceeds 1,500km – less than the range of the Kh-101. The strong point - the missile can be installed on almost of types of ships. The Russian sailors call it “calibration” – the ability to be adapted to various types of surface ships and submersibles.

In 2017, it was announced that the Kalibr missiles will be installed on the new Steregushchiy-class corvettes (project 20380). At present, the ships of this class are armed with Kh-35U anti-ship missiles.

The “calibration” process includes Leader, the new ice breaker, which is destined to break through ice up to 4.5 metres thick, and keep the Northern Sea Route and Arctic coast open all year round. This is very unusual – something nobody else has done. Leader is not a warship but it will carry special containers with weapon systems, including anti-ship Kh-35 and Kalibr anti-ship missiles. As one can see, the Kalibr allows to have well-armed fleet at relatively small cost capable of striking surface and land targets from various platforms at thousands of miles away.

3M22 Zircon, a hypersonic cruise missile was going through testing in 2017, so it could enter in production this year as planned. It is capable of speeds of around Mach 5.0-Mach 6.0 (7,400 kilometer per hour (4,600 mile per hour). At a cruising altitude of 30,000 m its kinetic energy at impact is 50 times higher than existing air-ship and ship-to-ship missiles. The projectile can travel covering 155 miles in 2.5 minutes, which is faster than a sniper's bullet. The enemy will not have enough time to get scared, let alone react. The missile is expected to enter into production this year.

2017 will be remembered by the Russian military as the year of making great strides towards arming the military with high tech long-range precision guided conventional weapons. This is a qualitative leap to make the Russian military second to none.

"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

Posts: 15720 | From: A 059 Btn 16 FF MSC | Registered: Oct 2001  | Report this post to a Moderator
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sounds like a puff piece bit of russkie propaganda. What was the source?
Russia still has limited manpower, limited budget, and much of their hyped weapons and gear does not go into full production, nor is it as effective as advertised.

Nemo me impune lacesset

Posts: 496 | From: 27th FF, 1st Batt. | Registered: Oct 2001  | Report this post to a Moderator

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Mannlicher, yeah this was put out by the Russians. Much may be propaganda but I'm sure there's a kernal of truth within it.

BTW...good to see you're still around. Haven't seen you in years.

"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

Posts: 15720 | From: A 059 Btn 16 FF MSC | Registered: Oct 2001  | Report this post to a Moderator
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If you study Russian history in depth you will find this is the way they always fight a major War. First they have a tune up war, make improvements, then fight the real war they wanted.

For example the Russo-Japanese war tuned the Russian Military up for WW1. Russian government overthrow was something they never figured. Spanish Civil War was the tune up for WW2. Afghanistan and Desert Storm were the labs that showed them which of the tactics and equipment was lacking. They have been making corrections and improvements since then. Then we had the Ukraine to test the US's resolve. This they have had to rethink since Trump got in office, but they also know how UNPREPARED we are right now. Just a matter of them figuring the odds of actually winning a war with us now.

Posts: 2616 | From: Tennessee | Registered: Oct 2001  | Report this post to a Moderator

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Russia's Putin unveils new nuclear missile

Thu, 1 March 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed a slew of new defense systems Thursday, including a new prototype missile that "can reach any point in the world" and a supersonic weapon that cannot be tracked by anti-missile systems.

Delivering his annual State of the Union address, Putin announced increased capabilities in the defense sector, saying that Russia "should not forget about security," following a speech that had initially focused on domestic issues. Putin also said that, if attacked, Russia was ready to use nuclear weapons.

"We see increased opportunities with the armed forces," he said. "We've done a lot to strengthen our army and navy and they are equipped with modern weaponry."

He showed the audience a video of how one of the prototype missiles would work, explaining that the new system would have no limitation on range. "It can attack any target, through the North or South Pole, it is a powerful weapon and no missile defense system will be able to withstand," the president said.

'Listen to us now'

Telling the audience that more was to come, Putin also said Russia had another weapon that was a "small nuclear power energy system" — a nuclear warhead — that can be deployed on a cruise missile system that can also, he claimed, "avoid all interceptors."

He said the country had tested this cruise missile with the "nuclear power energy unit" in 2017 and it was successful. Russia would start manufacturing this now, he added.

"This is unheard of and nobody else has such a system in the world. They might create something like this in the future but by then our guys will have created something new as well."

Putin joked that the two new strategic nuclear weapons he described — the global cruise missile and the subsurface unmanned vehicle — did not have names yet and lawmakers could submit their suggestions via the Defense Ministry website.

Showman-like in the delivery of his address, Putin told the audience "but even this is not the end," unveiling a system capable of destroying intercontinental targets with "hypersonic speed."

"I'm pleased to inform you that after certain experiments, we are sure that soon Russia's strategic missile forces will have a new system capable of destroying intercontinental targets with hypersonic speed and high-precision, able to maneuver both in terms of its course and altitude. There are no systems like that in the world."

He said Russia had been open about the development of such a system but that "nobody listened to us, but listen to us now." Lawmakers gave Putin a standing ovation at that point.

300 new models of weaponry

Speaking more generally about the new developments, he said Russia had adopted 300 new models of weaponry providing the armed forces with 18 new ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles), two submarine-based ballistic missiles. He added that the country had commissioned three new nuclear submarines and also increased the number of its high-precision long-range missiles.

He said Russia had developed new weapons as a response to the U.S.' withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty in 2002. The treaty, signed between the U.S. and then Soviet Union in 1972, barred the countries from deploying defenses against strategic ballistic missiles.

Russia has complained repeatedly about the U.S. placing anti-ballistic missile systems on its doorstep, as a result of what it called "eastward NATO expansion", in the form of the global missile defense system in Romania and Poland.

Putin said that if Russia had done nothing in response, its nuclear potential could have been undermined. Instead, Russia had responded by creating weapons that could bypass the U.S.' global missile defense system.

"After the U.S. withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty we've been working hard to develop new promising weaponry systems and this enabled us to make a big step forward creating new strategic arms … U.S. global missile systems are mainly against ballistic missiles and these are the core of our nuclear deterrent. This is why Russia has been developing extremely effective systems to defeat missile defense and all our ICBMs are equipped with such systems now," he said.

'I'm not bluffing'

Putin insisted that Russia had no plans to attack anybody or to take anything away from anybody, saying "we have everything we need."

But he wanted the weapon development to act as a warning. "I'm not bluffing," he said, adding that Russia was ready to defend herself.

"I hope all these things I have said will sober up any potential aggressor and any unfriendly steps taken towards Russia like deploying missile defense systems and expanding NATO towards our borders. Militarily, this is no longer effective and financially, this is no longer viable and eventually, this is just nonsensical for the people who do this."

"Russia's growing military power is just a guarantee of peace on our planet," he insisted, and it would preserve the balance of powers in the world.

"Those who have been creating new arms races over the last 15 years, imposing unlawful sanctions on Russia to hold our country back, I would like to say, 'All the things you were trying to hold back have already happened, you were unable to hold Russia back.'"

Underwater drones

He also said Russia is developing new underwater drones that can carry nuclear warheads. These were described as un-manned, noiseless submarines that move at ultra-deep levels and at high speed. "This is just fantastic," Putin said.

"There is no defense system that can cope with such subsurface vehicles that can be equipped with conventional or nuclear weapons, attacking coastal defenses and infrastructure facilities." These underwater drones were 100 times smaller than a conventional submarine, Putin noted.

The State of the Union address is the last one that Putin will make before a president election on March 18. Putin is expected to win the election comfortably and enter a fourth term of leadership.
Don’t rely on these historic fallout shelters in case of a nuclear attack

"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

Posts: 15720 | From: A 059 Btn 16 FF MSC | Registered: Oct 2001  | Report this post to a Moderator

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