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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


RS-24 / SS-29 / Barguzin
New Rail-Mobile ICBM

Russia will restart production of railway-based intercontinental ballistic missiles [Russian and Western designations unknown], with prototypes to be deployed by 2020, a senior Russian defense industry official said on 26 December 2012. Work has already begun on the prototypes, which will utilize exclusively domestically-made components, The railway-based combat missile system will carry Yars or Yars-M intercontinental ballistic missiles

Russia's Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology has started an R&D program to develop new rail-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) systems, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said on 23 April 2013. The work is in the initial stages, he said, adding the cost of the program has yet to be determined. He provided no timeframe for the program. The Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology is the developer of the Bulava (submarine-based) and Topol and Yars (land-based) ballistic missile systems. A prototype system could be deployed by 2020, a Russian defense industry official told RIA Novosti in December. The new missiles will be half the weight of their decommissioned Soviet analogues, allowing them to fit into one railcar, he added.

The original rail-mobile system included SS-24 Scalpel missiles which weighed 104 tons, required three locomotives to move, and were so heavy that they damaged railroad tracks. The missiles were based on trains in order to make them harder to find than stationary launchers, complicating a counter-strike. The Soviet military deployed its first rail-portable long-range missile in 1987, and had 12 of them by 1991.

Rail-mobile missiles were removed from service in 2002 and the last base dismantled in 2007 under the START II arms reduction treaty with the United States. However, the treaty’s successor, START III, agreed in 2010, does not prohibit development of rail-mobile ICBMs.

The new SS-X-?? (31??) rail-mobile ICBM will almost certainly be based on the mass limits of a little over 50 metric tons utilization of the existing RS-24/SS-29 ICBM design. The new rail mobile ICBM must remain light enough to not tear up the Russian Federation standardized railroad system rail mass capacity. By reducing the mass and utilizing the existing size missile will allow the railcars to have its mass considerable reduced. By developing a filament wound launch tube similar to what was developed for the SS-18 launch and transport may also reduce the launch equipment mass as a modification of the existing semi-mobile launch equipment. Obviously the trade studies will focus on those kinds of modifications because of the R&D time limits.

Russian military analyst Alexander Konovalov said this apparent return to cumbersome Soviet concepts, even in revamped form, was a “bad idea” and that missile trains were outdated. The return to missile trains is an apparent response to US plans to position elements of its missile defense system in Eastern Europe, said Konovalov, the president of the Institute for Strategic Assessment, a Moscow-based private think-tank. Russia has claimed the US missile shield will affect its launches, but Konovalov said that the threat is exaggerated. He added that the missile trains were outdated technology. “We’re better off developing telecoms systems, unmanned drones and precision weapons, not these monsters,” Konovalov told RIA Novosti, speaking about the missile trains.

The schematic design of Russia’s future railway-based combat missile complex Barguzin, to be recreated under the president’s decision, has been finalized and work is now in progress on design documentation, the commander of Russia’s strategic missile force, Colonel-General Sergey Karakayev, said on 16 December 2014.

“Creation of the newest railway-based missile is underway in accordance with the presidential instructions. It is being developed exclusively at enterprises of the national defence-industrial complex. It will embody the latest achievements in combat missile building,” Karakayev said. The work on the Barguzin complex is proceeding “in strict compliance with the approved schedule.”

“At the moment the industry is designing the complex and manufacturing the hardware for testing. It should be noted that the schematic design phase is over and design documentation is being developed,” Karakayev said. Barguzin is being developed at the Moscow-based Institute of Thermal Engineering. Previously, it delivered the Bulava missile.

Karakayev said Barguzin will build up from the experience of its Soviet predecessor. Such railway complexes armed with solid propellant rockets Molodets were withdrawn from service in 2005. The strategic missile force commander said Barguzin would considerably surpass its predecessor in terms of accuracy, flight range and other parameters, which will allow to keep it operational at least till 2040. Karakayev said the strategic missile force would in fact re-create a multi-component group on the basis of three missile complexes based in silos, on mobile truck chassis and on railway cars.

One train of Russia's future railway-based combat missile system Barguzin will carry up to six intercontinental ballistic missiles and will be equivalent to a regiment, a defense source told TASS on 26 December 2014. "One regiment of the recreated new-generation Barguzin system will be able to carry six Yars or Yars-M intercontinental ballistic missiles," the source said. He added that one Barguzin division will comprise five regiments. Barguzin is expected to remain in active service at least till 2040.

Barguzin - Nomenclature

Barguzin is a strong eastern wind on Lake Baikal, and there is also a river there of that name. There is even a Russian folk song about exile called “Barguzin Wind. Lake Baikal is too vast to be perceptibly affected by its tributaries; hence the surface waters drift from shore to shore entirely according to the direction of the atmospheric currents. The general movement towards the south-west lasts only during the prevalence of the polar wind, which, in the southern part of the lake, is called barguzin, because it seems to come from the bay to which the river Barguzin flows. The contrary wind, blowing from the west and south-west, takes the name of kulttik, from the village standing at the western angle of the lake. Besides these more prevalent winds, sudden squalls and storms sweep down through the valleys and side gorges, frequently changing the direction of the waves, or raising streaks of surface foam across the heavy ground swell.

Natural Barguzin Sable is the crown jewel of furs. The Russian sable is found only in Siberia, and it is one of the most beautiful of all furs. Valued per square inch fine Russian sables are the highest priced furs in the world. The finest Russian sable come from that part of Siberia known as the Barguzin district. This is a heavily timbered part of Siberia and the sable found here are rarely exposed to the sunlight. The result is that their fur is a rich deep dark brown color that glistens with life and lustre. These fine skins have a few white hairs scattered through them which really heightens the effect of their beautiful gloss. In the old days of the Czar's regime these skins were known as Imperial Sables and belonged to the Czar and most of them were used by the Imperial Family.

The Barguzinsky Nature Reserve was established in 1916 with an area of 650,000 acres (263,000 hectares) to protect the habitat of the Barguzin sable. The very finest Russian sables as described above are a rich deep dark brown in color, appearing almost black, with a few white hairs sprinkled aleng the back of the pelt. The Amur sable which comes from the Amur river, vary considerably in color, some of them being a light mouse color. They are very beautiful in fur, and the quality of the fur is splendid, but they are not as valuable as the choicest selected Imperial Barguzin or the Kamchatka sables, on account of their color being very much lighter.




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