A new Rudolf [Rudolph] satellite strike system will be developed within the framework of the new state arms program 2018-2027, Deputy Head of the 46th Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense Oleg Achasov announced at a hearing in the Federation Council, . This complex was announced publicly for the first time on 30 November 2017.
The provenances of the "Rudolph" nomenclature is unclear. Normally Russian programs have generic names [eg Almaz, Yantar, etc] or names that are descriptively specific [eg, Kinzal = dagger]. Artillery is full of all kinds of plants - peony, hyacinth, tulip, cornflower, acacia, etc... The proper name "Rudolph" is not uncommon in Russia, eg Rudolph Nureyev, and the story of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer is well known in Russia.
The fact that work is underway on the creation of anti-satellite weapons in Russia was previously announced by representatives of defense enterprises and the Ministry of Defense. In this regard, in particular, the Bylin electronic warfare complex was mentioned.
According to Vladimir Zverev, First Deputy General Director of the Radioelectronic Technologies Concern , the complex is capable of conducting detailed analysis in a complex electronic environment, to identify priority radio-suppression objects and to optimally control radio-interference complexes, including when operating in the radio frequency tuning mode, as well as to implement a spatially distributed method of radio-suppression ".
But “Rudolf”, based on the statement of Oleg Achasov, is something else. "It is planned to create or complete the creation of ... a Rudolph mobile anti-satellite missile system, a Tirada-2C and other ground-based and electronic radio-electronic destruction complex for communications satellites," he said. There is no detailing of this information.
The 46th Central Research Institute is an enterprise that oversees the development process, and carries out "mutual understanding" between the army and the military-industrial complex. Apparently, the Almaz-Antey concern is engaged in concrete development, for which this issue is one of the core ones. Actually, its latest anti-aircraft missile systems are already capable of shooting down satellites. But for them this task is not the main one - air defense systems and air defense systems are primarily designed to intercept both aerodynamic targets, which include aircraft, cruise missiles and drones, and ballistic missiles.
The arsenal of the ZRS-500 includes a missile, which is unofficially called the "satellite fighter." Given that the S-500 is a mobile complex, it is logical to “personally” transfer this missile to a wheeled chassis and equip it with appropriate systems for detecting space targets to be destroyed and guiding missiles at them.
Relatively speaking, the 77H6-H1 missile, which can hit targets at an altitude of up to 200 km, is capable of playing the anti-satellite role. That is, satellites located in low orbits are reachable for her. It is at these altitudes that the vast majority of military spacecraft operate. This is explained by the fact that reconnaissance satellites from low orbits are better able to "see" ground objects and capture military electromagnetic radiation. Also, a significant role has recently been played by the time it takes for the signal to travel from the earth to the satellite and back for space communication devices.
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