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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

System A-235 /
RTC-181M complex 14TS033 /
ROC "Nudol"

ASAT Anti-Satellite Capabilities

The prospective anti-missile and anti-space defense system Nudol was developed by JSC Concern EKR Almaz-Antey. In the US Department of Defense, the Nudol complex was designated PL-19 (" PL "- the index of missile systems originally tested from Plesetsk).

  1. The launch of August 12, 2014 - from the Plesetsk site - according to the data of the US Department of Defense was unsuccessful, however, according to the web resource, was successful;

  2. Launch April 22, 2015 - Plesetsk - according to the data of the US Department of Defense and web resource, was unsuccessful;

  3. Moscow carried out a successful flight test of its new anti-satellite missile in November 2015, becoming the second nation to arm its military with space warfare weapons. Russia's direct ascent anti-satellite missile, known as Nudol, was successfully tested on 18 November 2015, according to defense officials familiar with reports of the test. It was the first successful test in three attempts, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

  4. Start-up May 25, 2016 - Plesetsk - successful; The fourth launch, the successful test missile of the rocket, it is not known for what purpose the rocket was launched - over the satellite or simply by a suborbital trajectory

  5. The launch on December 16, 2016 - was carried out from the "base in the central part of Russia" (the Kapustin Yar test site?) - a successful one.

  6. According to the publication "The Diplomat" with reference to the unnamed official representatives of the US Department of Defense, on March 26, 2018 in Russia, from the Plesetsk testing range, another successful test of the missile for anti-satellite interceptor took place. According to the information of the said representatives of the US Department of Defense, this was the sixth test of the Nudol missile (including the fourth successful, according to them), and the first, produced from a standard mobile launcher designed for this complex (before that, launchers).

Russia now joined China as the only nations with strategic space warfare weapons. In October, China conducted a flight test of its anti-satellite missile, the Dong Neng-3 direct ascent missile. Analysts said anti-satellite missiles could cripple US intelligence, navigation, and communications capabilities that are critical for both military operations and civilian infrastructure.

The Russian test was a concern for Washington, Representative Mike Pompeo, a Kansas Republican, told the paper. "As President Obama cuts our defense budget and seeks to ally with Putin, the Russians continue to develop their technological abilities to weaponize space and to take out our national technical means kinetically and through cyber," said Pompeo, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

"We can foolishly turn a blind eye to these developments, or acknowledge this threat and develop our own capabilities to ensure that our satellites military and commercial are not susceptible to attack or blackmail."

Former Pentagon official Mark Schneider said the Russian test highlights the failure of the United States to prepare for space warfare. "There is an enormous asymmetry in play regarding space weapons," said Schneider, now with the National Institute for Public Policy.

"For decades the Congress has prevented the US from putting weapons in space and even developing a ground-based ASAT capability," Schneider said. "There is no such constraint upon the Russians and Russia violates arms control treaties when this is in their interest to do so and they find ample opportunity to do this."

A February 2015 unclassified Defense Intelligence Agency report to the Congress stated that "Chinese and Russian military leaders understand the unique information advantages afforded by space systems and are developing capabilities to deny US use of space in the event of a conflict," Schneider added.

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