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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Theater / Operational Missiles

After the US withdrawal from the INF treaty to eliminate missiles with a range of 500-5,000 km, Russia intends to move its ship- and plane-based missiles to land. On 02 February 2019, President Vladimir Putin announced a mirror response to the US withdrawal from the INF arms control treaty. As a result, the coming decade will see the appearance in Russia of ground installations able to hit enemy bases at distances from 500 to 5,500 km.

First of all, the presidential order involves moving Kalibr-type missiles from sea to land. Not only are they to be integrated into ground-based weapons systems, but upgraded with hypersonic technologies capable of circumventing all existing enemy missile defense systems. The Russian military is considering the Iskander-M missile system as the carrier of the land-based Kalibr. The former is currently deployed in Kaliningrad on the border of Eastern Europe to counter the US missile shield in Poland. These systems’ arsenal is now set to be expanded with new precision weapons capable of hitting targets as far away as the Mediterranean.

Another item in the new “ground upgrade” list is the latest hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missile for MiG-31 interceptor aircraft. Military sources state that this is currently the only air missile able to fly at Mach 8. In the words of Colonel-General Sergei Surovikin, commander-in-chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces, the air-launched version of the Kinzhal can strike targets at a distance of more than 2,000 km without entering the enemy’s air defense zone.

The shortcomings of the Russian architecture of non-nuclear deterrence include, perhaps, the lack of modern marine systems. The construction and modernization of nuclear submarines and large ships capable of carrying the Caliber is rather slow. Therefore, the main carriers of such missiles in the fleet are small missile ships (RTOs) and diesel submarines. While the Medium and Shorter-Range Missile Treaty was in force, RTOs were considered as a relatively inexpensive platform capable of moving along inland waterways - the ersatz of land launchers. After the collapse of the INF Treaty, the shortcomings of this option of deploying long-range cruise missiles become more noticeable: those that have no means of combating submarines and are very limited in terms of air defense missile systems cannot be considered sufficiently effective and stable.

Part of this question, it is hoped, will be closed by the continuation of the construction of nuclear submarines of Project 885 Ash and the modernization of Soviet-built submarines of Projects 971 and 949A with the inclusion of the Caliber in the armament of these boats. At the same time, the question of the construction of large warships - carriers of the "Caliber" remains open, the volume and pace of which today do not allow even counting on replacing the existing Soviet-built destroyers and cruisers.

The lack of such carriers does not allow counting on ensuring, if necessary, a constant presence (and deterrence) where the characteristics of RTOs are technically lacking, and the covert presence of submarines and the periodic overflights of long-range aviation will be politically insufficient. However, it is believed that the new state the weapons program should partially correct this situation by increasing the volume of construction of modern surface ships - carriers of cruise missiles.

The Russian Navy

Theater Missile Facilities

Theater Launch Site Types

Russian Designations Bilateral
Western Designations
Ballistic Missiles
R-1 8A11 SS- 1 SCUNNER
R-2 8K38 SS- 2 SIBLING
R-3 8A67 none none
R-11 8K11 SS-1B SCUD-A
R-300 9K72 Elbrus SS-1C SCUD-B
R-5 8K51 SS- 3 SHYSTER
R-12 8K63 Dvina SS- 4 SANDAL
R-14 8K65 Usovaya SS- 5 SKEAN
TR-1 9K71 Temp [none] [none]
RT-1 8K95 [none] [none]
RT-15 8K96 SS-14 SCAMP
RT-25 8K97 [none] [none]
RT-21M? 15Zh45 Pioneer RSD-10 SS-20 SABER
15Zh53 SS-28 SABER/2-RV
9K714 Oka OTR-23 SS-23 SPIDER
9K716 Volga [none] [none]
9K720 Iskander SS-26 STONE
Sea-Launched Ballistic Missiles
R-27K 4K18 SS-N-13 [none] KY-9
Air-Launched Ballistic Missiles
9M730 Knizhal SS-N-13 [none] KY-9
Ground-Launched Cruise Missiles
EKR none none
Tu-121 [none] [none] [none]
OS-24 Komet SSC-1 SEPAL
Kh-35 3M24 Uran SSC-6 Sennight
R-500 9M728 Iskander-K SSC-7
....9M729 ........ SSC-X-8
Sea-Launched Cruise Missiles
10X J-1
P-1 Shchuka SS-N-1 SCRUBBER
P-35 3M-44 Pityorka SS-N-3 SHADDOCK
P-70 4K-66 Ametiste SS-N-7 STARBRIGHT
P-120 4K-85 Malakhit SS-N-9 SIREN
P-350 4K-77 Bazalt SS-N-12 SANDBOX
P-500 4K-80 Bazalt SS-N-12 SANDBOX
P-700 3M-45 Granat SS-N-19 SHIPWRECK
P-750 3M-24 Grom SS-N-24 SCORPION
S-10 3M-10 Granat SS-N-21 SAMPSON
S-10 3M-10 Kalibr SS-N-30
T3K22 3M22 Zircon SS-N-?? TBD

Podvodnaya Lodka Atomnaya Raketnaya Krylataya
Nuclear-Propelled Cruise-Missile Submarines

Characteristics NATO
ClassName Missile Entered
651 Juliett
659 6 - P-35 / SS-N-3 1960 Echo I
675 8 - P-35 / SS-N-31962 Echo II
670 Skat 8 - P-70 / SS-N-7 1968 Charlie I
670M Skat-M 8 - P-120 / SS-N-9 1974 Charlie II
661 Anchar 10 - P-120 / SS-N-9 1969 Papa
949 Granit 24 - P-700 / SS-N-19 1982 Oscar I
949A Antey 24 - P-700 / SS-N-19 1986 Oscar II


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Page last modified: 31-10-2019 16:54:20 ZULU