Missile defense system A-135 "Amur" in 2018. Modernization continues

Missile defense system A-135 "Amur" in 2018. Modernization continues
Missile defense system A-135 "Amur" in 2018. Modernization continues

In the early nineties, the missile defense system of Moscow and the central industrial region A-135 "Amur" took over on experimental combat duty. In the middle of the same decade, the complex was officially adopted and entered into full-fledged combat duty. Over the past decades, various components of the unique system have become obsolete morally and physically, resulting in a new modernization program. A number of important activities aimed at updating and improving the A-135 system were carried out last year.

The first news about the Amur system last year appeared at the end of January. As the TV channel "Zvezda" reported, the crew of the "Don-2N" radar station conducted exercises to detect and repel a massive nuclear missile strike from a mock enemy. According to the legend of the exercise, the enemy launched a large number of ICBMs from all major directions. Radar "Don-2N" successfully detected all these targets, and also allocated "real" combat units and took them for escort. Anti-missile launches were not carried out as part of this training.


In the context of the exercises at the Don-2N station, curious statements were made. The head of the department of combat algorithms and programs, Colonel Ildar Tagiyev, told the press about the current work and their specifics. According to him, the A-135 system is currently undergoing a deep modernization aimed at improving its characteristics. The peculiarity of the current work is that the modernization is carried out without removing the system components from combat duty.

Soon, the Russia Today news agency published new details of the current program. It also quoted Colonel I. Tagiyev, who noted that in the near future new missile defense systems should take over on duty. They will differ from the existing ones in wider possibilities. At the same time, even now the Amur system is capable of repelling a strike from any direction. At that time, according to the officer, the modernization of the missile defense complex was in the final stages.

On February 5, the Department of Information and Mass Communications of the Ministry of Defense announced a new exercise of the A-135 missile defense system. The combat crew of the Don-2N radar station and other components of the system again had to look for training targets and practice actions to repel a massive nuclear missile strike.

New reports on the development of domestic missile defense appeared just a few days later. On February 12, the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper announced a new test launch of an interceptor missile. According to the newspaper, a new launch of an upgraded anti-missile of an unnamed type took place at the Sary-Shagan training ground in Kazakhstan. The product successfully hit a conventional target and showed the specified accuracy. Also in the publication of "Krasnaya Zvezda" they again mentioned the ongoing modernization of the missile defense system of Moscow and the central industrial region.

The Defense Department soon released a video of the test launch. It should be noted that the Ministry of Defense and Krasnaya Zvezda did not indicate the type of the tested anti-missile in their publications.Nevertheless, among experts and on specialized resources, an assumption appeared, according to which the modernized PRS-1M / 45T6 rocket passed new tests. For some time after the article and video, the discussion of a promising missile and its potential in the context of the development of a domestic missile defense system continued. Even the lack of data on the new project did not interfere with such a discussion.

On April 1, the press service of the Ministry of Defense spoke about the next test launch of the upgraded interceptor missile. The leaders of the event noted that the launch was successful, and the anti-missile was able to hit the conditional target at the specified time. A video was also published showing the process of preparation for launch, as well as the exit of the rocket from the launcher and the beginning of movement along the trajectory. As before, the product was called a "modernized rocket" - without specifying the type and modification.


On July 20, the military department again spoke about the test launch of the anti-missile and published a video from the test site. As before, the launch was successful and ended with the destruction of a conditional target that imitated the means of a nuclear missile strike of a conditional enemy. Again, no technical details were disclosed.

The next test launch of an interceptor missile of a new modification - presumably PRS-1M - was reported on August 30. Together with a short press release and publication in the official publication of the Ministry of Defense, a video filmed at the Sary-Shagan training ground was also published. Once again, the anti-missile tests were recognized as successful. The product entered the specified trajectory and hit the conditional target.

On the first day of winter, the military department reported on the next test launch of the anti-missile. The calculation of the aerospace forces prepared the upgraded product for launch, and then used it to hit a conditional target. The latter was successfully hit, and the rocket confirmed the inherent characteristics.

On December 6, the command of the anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense of the Aerospace Forces of Russia summed up the results of the outgoing year. In the past 2018, units of the air defense-missile defense forces conducted a total of more than 220 exercises of various levels. At the same time, however, the command did not specify what proportion of such events were carried out with the aim of training and testing the skills of calculating the strategic missile defense of Moscow. Only two such exercises were mentioned in official reports from the Ministry of Defense.

At the same time, it is known that in 2018 the Aerospace Forces carried out five test launches of the modernized interceptor missile intended for use as part of the updated A-135 Amur system. Due to the high responsibility and secrecy, detailed plans in this context were not reported, but it was mentioned that the new missile could enter service in the near future.


According to known data, the development of the A-135 "Amur" anti-missile defense system started in the early seventies. The new system was considered as a replacement for the existing A-35 complex. Due to the extreme complexity of the program, development work on a large number of individual projects was carried out for a long time - until the early nineties. In particular, to test all the main elements of the future combat system A-135 at the Sary-Shagan training ground, an experimental complex A-135P was built.


At the very end of the eighties, the A-135 "Amur" system, deployed in the Moscow region, passed state tests, after which it received a recommendation to be put on duty. Soon, the components of the system began experimental combat duty, which lasted for the next several years. Only in 1995 was the official acceptance of the missile defense system into service with the subsequent putting on combat duty.

According to open sources, several main components were present in the A-135 system.The task of monitoring the situation and searching for targets in the atmosphere and transatmospheric space is assigned to the 5N20 Don-2N radar station. The radar is linked to the command-computing center 5K80, the main element of which is the Elbrus computer complex. This element of the system provides processing of data on targets and control of fire weapons.

Radar "Don-2N" is capable of simultaneously tracking over a hundred ballistic targets. In parallel, it can control the guidance of several dozen interceptor missiles. In different sources, the number of guided missiles varies from 30-40 to 100.

In the past, the Amur system included 51T6 long-range interceptor missiles. According to various sources, at least two firing complexes with such weapons were on duty. 51T6 missiles could attack ballistic targets at ranges of at least 300-350 km and at altitudes up to 150-200 km. The 51T6 interceptor missile was in service until 2005. It is curious that due to the general secrecy regime, such a decision by the Ministry of Defense became known only a few years later - already at the beginning of this decade. After abandoning the 51T6, the A-135 system was left without means of intercepting the long-range echelon.

The 53T6 short-echelon interceptor missile, also known as PRS-1, remains in service. This product is capable of striking ballistic targets at ranges up to 100 km and altitudes up to 40-50 km. Initially, such a missile was an addition to the 51T6 interceptors with a longer range. According to foreign data, five firing complexes with 12 anti-missiles on each are on duty now - a total of 68 PRS-1 missiles, ready for immediate launch.

At present, a large-scale program of modernization of the A-135 missile defense system is being carried out, the goals of which are to update various components and improve the main characteristics of the complex as a whole. In a number of sources, the Amur modernization project is referred to as A-235 and under the code “Airplane-M”. According to the news of recent years, the A-135 modernization project has already reached the stage of direct renewal of the material part.


Last year, the replacement of equipment for the Don-2N radar was mentioned. It also appears to be carrying out similar procedures on other components of the missile defense system. An important feature of the program is the execution of work at facilities without interrupting their combat duty. Due to this, the Aerospace Forces gain new opportunities, but at the same time they do not even temporarily lose the ability to solve their problems.

Since 2017, the Russian defense industry has been testing a promising PRS-1 interceptor missile based on the serial 53T6 at the Sary-Shagan test site. The exact characteristics of the PRS-1M are still unknown; the same is the case with information about the capabilities of such an anti-missile. However, earlier in different sources the expected growth of the main characteristics appeared. According to some estimates, the rocket will also be able to carry out the so-called. kinetic intercept - to hit the target due to a direct collision with it.


According to the statements of officials, the existing missile defense system of Moscow and the central industrial region in its current form is capable of fully solving the assigned tasks. She can monitor the surrounding space, identify threats in a timely manner, and then respond to them in the correct way. The entire system, which includes several separate components for different purposes, can repel a massive nuclear missile strike using modern weapons.

The A-135 "Amur" system has a fairly high potential, but the Ministry of Defense and the military-industrial complex are carrying out a program for its modernization. This project provides for the upgrade of the materiel through the introduction of new components, including a promising interceptor missile.It is expected that this will lead to an additional increase in the main tactical and technical characteristics and combat qualities.

The modernized missile defense system will be able to continue service and, if necessary, correctly respond to emerging threats. The modernization program has not yet been completed, but some of its stages have already been completed. Thus, over the next few years, "Amur" will be completely renewed with all the desired results.

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