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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


UR-100N UTTH (NATO-Stiletto)

UR-100N UTTH will be used as carriers of the Avangard hypersonic combat unit. For the first time, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the complex in a message to the Federal Assembly in March 2018. The Strategic Missile Forces reported that the first Avangard complexes would take up combat duty until the end of 2019. In the future, the UR-100N UTHP will be replaced with advanced Sarmat ballistic missiles. The Avantgarde combat unit was developed in NPO Mashinostroenia. It is able to fly in dense layers of the atmosphere at hypersonic speed, maneuvering along the course and altitude and overcoming any missile defense.

The first regiment with the UR-100NUTTH was put on alert on 06 November 1979. Between 1980 and 1982 UR-100N missiles with a single warhead (SS-19 variant 2) were replaced by the UR-100NUTTH (SS-19 variant 3) which used MIRVed warheads. The replacement of all UR-100N missiles was completed in 1983. In 1984 the UR-100NUTTH reached its maximum operational inventory of 360 missiles. From 1987 on they were gradually replaced by the silo based version of the SS-24.

When START-1 was signed in 1991 the Soviet Union had a total of 300 UR-100NUTTH missiles stationed in both Russia and Ukraine. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine claimed ownership of all missiles located in its territory. In compliance with the START treaty provisions Ukraine is in charge of the dismantling the launchers for the SS-19 missiles. However, all nuclear warheads that were deployed in Ukraine were dismantled by Russia.

Some 170 launchers remain in Russian territory, of which only ten of the launchers have been deactivated, not dismantled. In December 1995 Strategic Rocket Forces Commander Colonel General Igor Sergeyev announced a policy under which the service life of the SS-19 would be extended from 10 years to 25 years. The missiles will remain on alert at least through 2005, and the missiles that were deployed in the early 1980s will likely serve even beyond this.

Following the ratification of the START-II treaty by the Duma, Russia was obliged to dismantle all ground-based ICBMs with multiple warheads. Under the treaty provisions a total of 105 of the UR-100NUTTH missiles can be retained provided they are downgraded to carry only one warhead rather than the six they were designed to carry. In June 2001 a 26-year-old SS-19 missile was test fired in order to test the reliability of the 20+ year old system. The tests suggested that the system could remain in service beyond 2005. The Stiletto missile was fired from Russia's space base at Baikonur in Kazakhstan. The test came just a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to deploy multiple nuclear warheads on Russian missiles as a countermeasure to the proposed US missile defense deployment. The Stiletto could be re-equipped to carry up to six warheads.

As of 01 April 2005 Kommersant reported that the Strategic Missile Force of Russia had 496 ICBMs, including 226 silo-launched (86 heavy missiles R-36MUTTH and R-36M2 Voevoda, 10 medium missiles UR-100NUTTH, and 40 light missiles RS-12M2 Topol-M) and 270 mobile ground-launched missiles RS-12M Topol. By 2010, the Force may have no more than 313 ICBMs, including 154 silo-launched (40 R-36M2 Voevoda, 50 UR-100NUTTH, and 64 RS-12M2 Topol M), and 159 mobile ground-launched missiles (144 RS-12M Topol and 15 RS-12M1 Topol M). The number of warheads on the ICBMs will be reduced from 1,770 to 923. [upon close inspection these numbers don't exactly add up and are internally inconsistent, based on standard warhead loading assumptions].

A firing was held in November 2006 to test the performance characteristics of the RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) to extend its service life by one year, from 29 to 30 years. Following numerous test launches, RS-18 missiles were considered to be highly reliable. About 97 silo-based Stiletto missiles were deployed as of mid-2008 in the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, with each missile carrying six warheads.

Russia test-fired an old Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile on 22 October 2008 as part of efforts to check on the weapon's reliability and extend its service. A spokesman for Russia's strategic missile forces, Colonel Alexander Vovk, said the military launched the RS-18 missile from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. He said the launch confirmed its reliability. As a result of the successful launch at 13.10 Moscow time (09:10 GMT), the Stiletto ICBMs, which had so far been operational for 29 years, will remain on combat duty beyond 2010 [reports that the October 2008 test supported a decision to extend use of the missile until at least the year 2031 are based on a misunderstanding]. The launch confirmed the service life of the missile, which had been set to 31 years earlier in 2008 after a successful launch in October 2007. Moscow started using the RS-18 missile, which NATO calls the SS-19 Stiletto, in the 1970s. Russia's strategic forces have conducted regular test launches of missiles to check their performance. The military has repeatedly extended the lifetime of Soviet-built weapons as the government lacks the funds to replace them quickly with new weapons.

The terms of operation of intercontinental ballistic missiles UR-100N UTTH (NATO-Stiletto), carrying combat duty as part of the Strategic Missile Forces (Strategic Rocket Forces), have been extended for over 36 years. So long ballistic missiles will serve for the first time in the world, Alexander Leonov, general director and general designer of the NPO Mashinostroyenia (part of the Tactical Missile Armament Corporation) , said in an interview with TASS 28 May 2019. "Missiles UR-100N UTTH have the longest time spent on combat duty, now these periods are extended over 36 years, which ensures the operation of the complex in accordance with the plans of the Strategic Missile Forces. The task of ensuring such long-term operation of the complex while maintaining world, "- said the agency interlocutor. He noted that "the task of further extending the service life of the UR-100N UTTH is also worth it."

Leonov noted that a lot of research and development work was carried out to extend the service "Stilettov". In particular, the safety margins of the power structures were determined, the condition of the walls of the fuel tanks of these rockets was carefully checked, the state of the rocket fuel components was analyzed, and tests were carried out in climate chambers.

VPK Mashinostroeniya JSC, in the current year, will continue to extend the life of UR-100N UTTKh ("Stiletto") intercontinental ballistic missiles over 36 years, CEO Alexander Leonov told reporters 31 January 2020. "We continue to work on this, there are such the tasks assigned to us by the Ministry of Defense. This year we will continue to work to extend the deadlines. How much it will be possible and how much it will be necessary, "Leonov told reporters on Friday, answering the question of whether the UR-100N UTTKh service life will be extended. In 2019 it became known about extending the life of Stilet rockets to 36 years.




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Page last modified: 04-02-2020 13:45:26 ZULU