Over the past several years, a program has been carried out to modernize the strategic missile defense of Moscow and the Central Industrial Region according to the modern A-135M project. The system components undergo the necessary updates without being removed from combat duty, after which they receive new capabilities and increase their characteristics. Recently, new details of the current modernization have become known.
According to the latest data
Due to the special importance of work on the A-135M and other missile defense systems, they are carried out in secrecy, but officials regularly disclose certain interesting data. New details of the current project were announced by the commander of the 1st Air and Anti-Ballistic Missile (Special Purpose) Army, Lieutenant General Andrei Demin, in an interview for Krasnaya Zvezda published on July 21.
Talking about the modern defense of Moscow and the Central Industrial Region, the general mentioned the S-50M air defense system, various radio-technical and anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as fighter and helicopter aviation controls. In addition, they remembered the existence of the A-135M missile defense system.
Now the A-135M is undergoing a modernization process according to a new project. According to the general, these activities are nearing their successful completion. Based on the results of the work performed, the main tactical and technical characteristics will double in comparison with the basic configuration.
The quality and range of detection and tracking of ballistic targets will be increased. The duration of the continuous operation of the system and its reliability will increase. In addition, the upgrade increases the hitting range of found and selected targets. However, the commander did not name the specific characteristics of the updated system.
In parallel, testing of new weapons and retraining of personnel continues. At the Sary-Shagan test site, anti-missile missiles from the A-135 are still being launched. At the same time, products of the old types are no longer used, and now only modern samples are used. For obvious reasons, specific models and indices are not provided.
Lieutenant General A. Demin did not name specific figures and indicators, limiting himself only to general formulations. However, such data are also of great interest. They complement the already known picture and clarify the goals and objectives of the current modernization of the A-135M system. In addition, it becomes possible to assess the characteristics and capabilities of the updated missile defense system.
A twofold increase in the main characteristics of detection means - the range and effectiveness of search and tracking - has been declared. Apparently, we are talking about improving the Don-2N radar station, which is the main surveillance tool in the A-135.
According to previously published information (its reliability is unclear), such a radar in its initial configuration is capable of detecting an ICBM warhead at ranges of at least 3, 5-3, 7 thousand km. Target location accuracy - angular minutes in coordinates and up to 10-15 m in range. It is not hard to imagine what the Don-2N station will be able to do based on the results of modernization with a twofold increase in the main characteristics.
It is believed that in the 2000s, only one type of interceptor missile remained in the A-135 system, known as the PRS-1 or 53T6.This product was created as a short-range intercept missile capable of attacking targets at ranges of no more than 100 km and altitudes of no less than 35-40 km. The defeat of the target is carried out using a nuclear warhead.
Over the past few years, test launches of the upgraded anti-missile missile have been regularly carried out at the Sary-Shagan test site. The product, known under the designations 53T6M and PRS-1M, is equipped with a new engine, which gives it increased flight characteristics. Also, various sources mention the update of control systems and the rejection of a special warhead.
All these measures ensure the growth of tactical and technical characteristics. How much did the range and altitude of interception, the accuracy of hitting targets, etc. have grown? - unknown. It is quite possible that General Demin had in mind a twofold increase in the range of anti-missiles. If so, the PRS-1M missiles will be able to control a larger area without the need to build new firing positions.
It should be recalled that as part of the development of the strategic missile defense system of Moscow and the Central Industrial Region, not only the modernization of the existing A-135 system is being carried out. It is known about the development of a new A-235 system, the components of which will have to supplement the existing facilities and ensure an increase in the overall effectiveness of the missile defense system.
The exact composition of the A-235 under development, also referred to as Nudol, is unknown. At the same time, among all its components, the greatest attention of domestic and foreign media is attracted by means of destruction - a new anti-missile missile with its own launcher.
According to various reports, a key component of the A-235 will be a promising self-propelled launcher carrying two new-type anti-missiles. This will make it possible to quickly transfer fire weapons to the required positions and, with minimal effort, change the ABM configuration in accordance with the current situation. At the same time, the new anti-missile missile will show improved flight performance, which has already been confirmed in several test launches.
The presence of different means of detection and control, as well as at least two missile systems, will seriously increase the overall potential of the strategic missile defense. The armed forces will have at their disposal a more flexible means capable of effectively responding to various threats. At the same time, all its components will show increased performance in comparison with current products.
At the final stage
In 2019, the leadership of the Ministry of Defense revealed general plans for the modernization of the strategic missile defense system. It was stated that the current program would be completed by 2022. In the future, these plans were repeatedly confirmed, and no change in the timing was reported. At the same time, officials regularly pointed to the successful completion of new stages of work, and now we are talking about the imminent completion of the modernization as a whole.
For obvious reasons, basic information about the principles of modernization, characteristics and capabilities of the updated components is not yet published. However, the Ministry of Defense regularly discloses various details. Such information is of great interest, and also allows you to gradually build up the big picture. So, thanks to the latest reports, one can understand the approximate level of characteristics of the updated A-135M and its value for the country's defense.
Thus, despite the lack of details, the overall situation looks optimistic. In the near future, thanks to the receipt of all new components, Moscow's missile defense will be reinforced again. And the next steps in this direction will be the completion of work on the modernization of the A-135M and the subsequent adoption of the new A-235.