Russia prioritizes nuclear triad, hi-tech weaponry in future wars
01/08/2008 16:22 MOSCOW, August 1 (RIA Novosti) - The nuclear triad of ballistic missiles, nuclear-powered submarines and strategic bombers will remain the core of the Russian armed forces for the next two decades, a draft military doctrine says.
The document called "The new face of the Russian Armed Forces until 2030" is still being developed by the General Staff and will be ready, according to some military sources, by the fall 2008.
The first part of the doctrine is an assessment of Russia's geopolitical role in the world and the variety of external global, regional and local threats to its national security, including military ones.
The second part covers the development and restructuring of the Russian armed forces with priority given to information technologies and warfare, space technologies and even nanotechnologies.
The draft document says the Russian armed forces will rely heavily on high-precision conventional weaponry developed on the basis of artificial intelligence and nanotechnologies.
Nanotechnologies are already widely used in special alloys for armor, "stealth" technologies and explosives, but Russian designers of new weapons systems are planning to extend their application even further - to create miniaturized and highly effective weapons on the battlefield including remote-controlled aerial vehicles, mini-submarines, mini-boats and robots.
At the same time, Russia will continue to maintain a strong nuclear potential as a reliable deterrent to potential threats. Russia's nuclear arsenal currently totals about 4,147 warheads on 848 delivery vehicles.
Russia's Strategic Missile Forces will continue the deployment of new ballistic missile systems, the modernization of strategic command-and-control networks and the development of enhanced warheads and their delivery vehicles.
At present, Russia deploys Topol-M (NATO reporting name SS-27) ballistic missiles as the mainstay of its land-based component of the nuclear triad. As of December 2007, Russia's SMF operated 48 silo-based and three mobile Topol-M missile systems.
The country will put an average of three mobile and 3-4 silo-based Topol-M ballistic missile systems into operation every year.
Russia will also modernize and expand its fleet of strategic bombers and create a national air-and-space defense network.
According to various sources, the Russian Air Force currently deploys 141 Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers, 40 Tu-95MS Bear bombers, and 14 Tu-160 Blackjack planes.
Russia plans to build at least one new Tu-160 bomber every one or two years to increase the number of available aircraft to 30.
According to the new doctrine, the Russian Navy will prioritize the deployment of fourth-generation nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft-carrier task groups.
Russia will completely modernize the naval component of its nuclear triad by 2016.
Fourth-generation Borey-class nuclear-powered submarines armed with Bulava ballistic missiles will form the core of Russia's fleet of modern strategic submarines.
Aircraft-carrier task groups will consist of an aircraft carrier, escort ships and support vessels.
"Three task groups will be in service with the Northern Fleet and another three with the Pacific Fleet," a defense ministry source said.
Russia is gradually shifting the focus of its geopolitical interests toward the Arctic and will increase its military presence in the region.
The Defense Ministry has already announced plans to expand the presence of the Russian Navy in the world's oceans, including the Arctic, and extend the operational range of submarines deployed in the northern latitudes.
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