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.
|Sea-Launched Ballistic Missiles|
|Air-Launched Ballistic Missiles|
|Ground-Launched Cruise Missiles|
|S-2||4K-87||SSC-2||SALISH / SAMLET|
|Sea-Launched Cruise Missiles|
|659||6 - P-35 / SS-N-3||1960||Echo I|
|675||8 - P-35 / SS-N-3||1962||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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