Strategic conventional forces: carriers and weapons

Strategic conventional forces: carriers and weapons
Strategic conventional forces: carriers and weapons

In the first article, "Strategic conventional weapons," the task of strategic conventional weapons is formulated as inflicting damage on the enemy, significantly reducing its organizational, industrial and military capabilities from a distance, minimizing or eliminating the likelihood of a direct combat clash with the enemy's armed forces. Based on this task, it is necessary to determine the composition of the strategic conventional forces (SCS) for its solution.


Strategic conventional weapons based on the weapons of the Strategic Missile Forces

The most logical solution in this case is the creation of non-nuclear warheads for existing ballistic missiles following the example of the proposed implementation of the American program "Rapid Global Strike".

The basis of strategic conventional weapons based on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) should be guided non-nuclear warheads with various types of equipment for hitting point and area targets. The most preferable solution is the development of a universal warhead (if it is technically feasible), which can be installed on carriers of various types: R-36M "Satan", UR-100N UTTH "Stilet", RT-2PM "Topol", RS-24 " Yars ", that is, ICBMs withdrawn or close to withdrawal from the Strategic Missile Forces. Depending on the carrying capacity and dimensions of the carrier's head compartment, the number of displayed universal conventional warheads can vary. Taking into account the limitations of the Strategic Offensive Arms Treaty (START III), in order to prevent a significant weakening of the "nuclear shield", about thirty ICBMs of various classes can be used to solve the problems of striking with strategic conventional weapons.

Another promising option for a non-nuclear warhead is the creation of a conventional version of the Avangard hypersonic product. The peculiarities of the flight trajectory of this unit reduce the probability of its detection by the enemy radar, which, combined with the possibility of adjusting the flight trajectory, complicates the determination of the final coordinates of the target and makes it difficult to counter the attack. The "Avangard" block is planned to be placed on thirty-two ICBMs UR-100N UTTH "Stilet" received for debts from Ukraine. Placing ten Avangard blocks in non-nuclear equipment on these ICBMs may be a completely justified decision.


The main perceived problem in the implementation of conventional warheads of ICBMs may be the low accuracy of guidance of Russian warheads. Unfortunately, this problem has been characteristic of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces for a long time; at the moment, there is no reliable information about the circular probable deviation (CEP) of the latest generation of Russian ICBMs. Presumably, according to foreign sources, the KVO ICBM "Bulava" is 350 m, the KVO ICBM "Sineva" 250 m, the KVO ICBM "Yars" 150 m, while, for example, the KVO ICBM "Trident-II" D5 is 90 m. guaranteed target destruction by a conventional warhead should be provided with a CEP of the order of 10-30 m. Ensuring the required accuracy of warhead guidance is critical for making a decision on the creation of this type of weapon.The maximum unification of conventional warheads will ensure a reduction in their cost due to the construction of a large series of similar products. They will receive a "second wind" of ICBMs, which may otherwise be sent for disposal.

On the positive side, a study by the Center for Disarmament, Energy and Environmental Studies at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, which states that START III conditions make it possible to deploy non-nuclear ICBMs without any restrictions. In particular, a launcher (PU) in an unprotected position does not fall into either the deployed or non-deployed category, and therefore such launchers do not fall under the established weapons ceiling. If such launchers contain ICBMs, then such ICBMs will be considered as undeployed, and therefore neither the number of ICBMs in unprotected launchers, nor the number of warheads on them are subject to restrictions. Considering that strategic conventional weapons are first-strike weapons, the requirements for their combat stability are obviously lower than those for ICBMs for delivering a retaliatory nuclear strike, so the deployment of ICBMs with non-nuclear warheads in unprotected positions can be considered quite justified.

Given the withdrawal of the United States and the Russian Federation from the Treaty on Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty), the second element of strategic conventional weapons may be long-range cruise missiles (CR) deployed on mobile carriers. In this direction, the greatest interest is aroused by the possibility of placing the missile launcher in containers, similar to how it is implemented in the Club-K complex with the Kalibr cruise missiles.

Strategic conventional forces: carriers and weapons

In turn, containers can be placed as part of a combat railway missile system (BZHRK). One container contains four missiles of the "Caliber" complex, respectively, eighty cruise missiles will be placed in a freight train of twenty cars, one hundred and sixty cruise missiles in a train of forty cars, which exceeds the striking power of a destroyer, cruiser or nuclear submarine with cruise missiles (SSGN). At the same time, the maximum length of a train can reach sixty cars, and for new locomotives, up to a hundred cars (depending on the weight of the car).


Placement on a railway platform will ensure high mobility and secrecy of the complex.


The use of containers as part of one BZHRK will simplify and reduce the cost of the design of the Club-K complexes by placing the control / guidance point in only one / two containers. Such a complex will no longer fall under the influence of any international treaties. Ten complexes consisting of forty cars can bring down on the enemy up to 1600 cruise missiles at a range of about 3000-4000 km or more, for promising CDs.

When the BZHRK is deployed at the extreme points of the European part of the Russian Federation, the entire Europe, Iceland, part of Africa, the Persian Gulf, Central Asia will be in the affected area of ​​the Kyrgyz Republic.


When the BZHRK is deployed at the extreme points of the eastern part of the Russian Federation, China, Japan, and both Koreas will be in the affected area of ​​the Kyrgyz Republic.


Strategic conventional weapons based on the Navy

The most modern strategic missile submarine cruisers (SSBNs) of Project 667BDRM "Dolphin" can be transferred from the Russian Navy to the strategic conventional forces as they are replaced by the SSBNs of Project 955A Borey. The last ones built are SSBN K-18 and SSBN "Karelia" K-407 "Novomoskovsk", launched in 1989 and 1990, or K-117 "Bryansk", which is now undergoing medium repair. Accordingly, the remaining four submarine missile carriers of this project can be used as donors of spare parts to maintain the combat capability of SSBNs K-18 and K-407 or K-117.For these submarines, the R-29RMU2.1 "Liner" missiles must be adapted with the placement of universal conventional warheads on them, with the achievement of KVO blocks of 10-30 meters. The total ammunition load of two SSBNs with conventional weapons will be 32 missiles.


Since the strategic conventional forces should be used as a first strike weapon, the outdated characteristics of the Project 667BDRM Dolphin SSBN will not have a negative effect on the effectiveness of the combat use of this type of weapon.

By analogy with the Strategic Missile Forces, the second component of the naval strategic conventional forces should be SSGNs with Caliber missiles. The issue of creating SSGNs based on SSBNs of Project 955A "Borey", similar in characteristics to the American SSGN "Ohio", was discussed in detail in the article "Nuclear submarines - carriers of cruise missiles: reality and prospects." At the moment, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is considering the possibility of continuing the series of SSBNs of project 955A "Borey" as a carrier of long-range cruise missiles - "The Navy may receive two submarines of the new project" Borey-K ". Thus, this element of strategic conventional forces is taking on quite real outlines.


Strategic conventional weapons at an Air Force base

With the Air Force, everything is much simpler. As mentioned in the previous article, strategic aviation is the most useless component of strategic nuclear forces (SNF), since it is extremely vulnerable to a first strike. All reflections on the possibility of retargeting in flight, canceling the strike do not stand up to criticism, since in an emergency situation events will develop much faster than the aviation can react; they do not fly on such missions with nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, the capabilities of strategic aviation in terms of delivering massive strikes with conventional weapons are unique. No other type of armed forces can compare with them in the ability to quickly deliver concentrated strikes at a great distance, at least until ICBMs with non-nuclear warheads are adopted.

The main missile-carrying bombers of Russia are Tu-160M ​​and Tu-95MS / MSM. Both vehicles undergo timely modernization in terms of extending service life, improving performance and expanding the range of weapons. At the moment, it is planned to resume production of Tu-160 aircraft in the amount of 50 units, in a modernized version of Tu-160M2. The main armament of missile bombers within the strategic conventional forces should be long-range cruise missiles of the Kh-101 type. The combination of the range of missile-carrying bombers of the order of six to eight thousand kilometers and the range of cruise missiles up to five and a half thousand kilometers makes it possible to strike at almost any target on the planet.


One of the most important elements of the strategic conventional forces should be Tu-160M2 supersonic bombers with Dagger hypersonic aeroballistic missiles. The possibility and necessity of adapting the Tu-160M2 to the "Dagger" missile was discussed in detail in the article "Hypersonic" Dagger "on the Tu-160. Reality or fiction? " The combination of the supersonic cruising flight speed of the Tu-160M2, which is 1.5M and the speed characteristics of the Dagger missile, will make it possible to deliver swift strikes at the enemy. The range of the Tu-160M2 at supersonic speed is 2000 kilometers without refueling, which, combined with the flight range of the "Dagger" missile, which is about 1000 kilometers, will allow striking targets located 3000 kilometers from the airfield.Taking into account the indicated speed and flight range of the carrier and the ammunition, the total time for striking the target will be less than half an hour, excluding preparation for departure.


Why is the Dagger missile and not the promising Zircon hypersonic missile? For the reason that the Dagger is based on a spent missile of the Iskander ground-based complex, which is being produced in a fairly large series. It can be assumed that the cost of the Zircon missiles will be significantly higher, and the advancement into the troops will be slowed down not only by the high cost, but also by the development of the shortcomings of a fundamentally new weapon revealed during operation. Nevertheless, the Zircon missiles must also be adapted for the Tu-160M2 bombers of the Tu-160M2 missile carriers, and, possibly, the Tu-95MS / MSM, in order to solve the problems of countering aviation and ship strike groups in the ocean.

Missile bombers are multifunctional weapons, one way or another, but in START III they are counted as one carrier and one warhead. Thus, their classification as strategic conventional forces is rather an organizational issue. If necessary, they can easily be returned to the strategic nuclear forces.

Thus, within the framework of the strategic conventional forces, a full-fledged strategic non-nuclear triad can be formed, allowing, in the shortest possible time, to inflict a massive strike with high-precision non-nuclear weapons on an enemy located at a considerable distance

Legal and organizational issues

Combat use of strategic conventional forces in some cases, for example, when launching ICBMs with non-nuclear equipment, will require responsible interaction with "partners", primarily the United States, to eliminate the risk of a full-scale nuclear war.

Given the interest of the United States in the development of a similar class of weapons, in future START treaties they can be placed in a separate class so that both countries do not reduce their nuclear deterrent potential, this is, of course, if the START treaties do not become history following the missile treaty. medium and shorter range (INF Treaty) or an anti-missile defense (ABM) treaty.

No matter how cynical it may sound, it is quite acceptable to conclude open treaties or secret agreements with the United States, China and some other countries to prevent the uncontrolled development of strategic conventional weapons, including the possibility of jointly delivering preemptive non-nuclear strikes against countries trying to create them.

General composition of strategic conventional forces

Presumably, SCS may include:

- thirty ICBMs of the type R-36M "Satan", RT-2PM "Topol", RS-24 "Yars" with three (on average) non-nuclear warheads each;

- ten ICBMs UR-100N UTTH "Stiletto" with a hypersonic maneuvering non-nuclear unit based on the "Avangard" product"

- ten BZHRK with forty wagons and a total ammunition load of 160 KR "Caliber" on each BZHRK;

- thirty-two ICBMs based on the R-29RMU2.1 "Liner" missile with three non-nuclear warheads each, on the SSBN 667BDRM "Dolphin";

- four SSGN "Borey-K" and / or SSGN project 949AM with 72-100 KR "Caliber" on each submarine;

- sixty Tu-95MS / MSM missile-carrying bombers with eight Kh-101 missiles on each;

- fifty supersonic missile-carrying bombers Tu-160M2 (when building a full-fledged series of fifty vehicles, we believe that the sixteen T-160s in service by the time the series are completed will have exhausted their resource) with twelve Kh-101 missiles on each or with six to eight hypersonic aeroballistic missiles "Dagger".

Thus, a one-time strike by strategic conventional forces can amount to from 2864 to 3276 non-nuclear warheads, cruise and aeroballistic missiles

Taking into account the attack on one target with two to four blocks / CD, the total number can be from 716/819 to 1432/1638 targets.Of course, the aviation component of the SCS can carry out repeated sorties with strikes against targets up to the exhaustion of the ammunition of cruise and aeroballistic missiles at air bases.

According to the existing START-III treaty, the composition of the strategic nuclear forces will be reduced by 182 carriers, while it is necessary to take into account that missile-carrying bombers can be armed with CDs with nuclear charges in the same time frame as non-nuclear ones, that is, in fact, 60 carriers are not excluded. If ICBMs deployed in unprotected positions are not taken into account according to the START III treaty, then the composition of the strategic nuclear forces will be reduced by only 32 ICBMs deployed on the 667BDRM Dolphin SSBNs.

Application scenarios and targets of strategic conventional forces

The simplest example is the war on 08.08.08. Instead of three days, the war could have lasted three hours from the moment the decision was made to retaliate. During this time, the main administrative buildings, buildings of the Ministry of Defense of Georgia, aircraft at airfields, large fuel storage facilities and ammunition depots would have been destroyed. If necessary, large power plants, elements of transport and energy infrastructure can be added to them. It can be assumed that the surviving remnants of the Georgian leadership would have announced the cessation of any hostilities within a few hours after the strike. There would be no losses of tactical and long-range aviation aircraft, it is unlikely that the heroic passage of the Roki tunnel would be required. But most importantly, in the event of the death of most of the country's top leadership, including M. Saakashvili, his followers in the post-Soviet space would ask their Western curators a simple question: how can they guarantee their safety? And they would hardly have received a convincing answer. Based on this answer, events could have developed completely differently, for example, in Ukraine, which would have saved thousands of military and civilian lives on both sides of the conflict.

Another example is the situation that arose after Turkey shot down our plane from the Syrian air group, justifying this by the fact that he violated its state border. The Russian leadership did not intensify the conflict, limiting itself to economic and diplomatic measures. But what if the situation had developed differently? For example, in response to our downed plane, we shoot down a Turkish one, they launch a missile and bomb attack on the Khmeimim base - dozens of pieces of lost equipment, hundreds of victims. Turkey is a pretty tough nut to crack, if their ground forces do not pose a threat due to their geographic location, then the aviation and navy are quite combat-ready and can cause significant damage to the general-purpose forces of the Russian Federation, primarily the Black Sea Fleet. Worst of all, if the conflict drags on, NATO forces will begin to provide more and more support to the Turkish armed forces. Even if there is no direct intervention due to fear of a transition to a global conflict, it will definitely be organized to supply Turkey with intelligence and ensure the supply of weapons, which could ultimately lead Russia to a defeat similar to that which occurred in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.

In this situation, the strategic conventional forces are capable of disabling all ships at the berths in the shortest possible time, destroying the largest air bases, destroying aviation, ammunition and fuel depots. And, of course, destroy the main government facilities and facilities of the Turkish Ministry of Defense. At least after such a strike, the work of the general-purpose forces of the Russian Federation will be significantly simplified, as a maximum - the hostilities will end within 24 hours. In such a time interval, NATO structures, most likely, simply will not have time to work out a consolidated solution to intervene in the situation, which will give the Russian Federation space for military and political maneuvering.

In the event of aggressive actions by the United States and the NATO bloc, as well as the threat of the conflict escalating into a nuclear SCS, they can destroy US foreign bases in the affected area, primarily anti-missile and radar bases of the American missile defense system. Their defeat on the territory of Poland, Romania, Norway will clearly show the uselessness of the missile defense system in the event of a global nuclear conflict, and will cool the ardor of "opponents" and their junior allies.


Finally, strategic conventional forces are an effective weapon for creating a huge A2 / AD zone, in which any stationary and sedentary targets, such as ships in ports, aircraft at air bases, and when using anti-ship missiles "Dagger" and "Zircon" and aircraft carrier / ship strike teams (AUG / KUG) in the open ocean are at constant risk of destruction, with little or no ability to defend against or avoid impact.

There are quite a number of countries unfriendly to Russia in the world, which, having a relatively small military potential, but using a remote geographical location, can harm the interests of the Russian Federation with impunity. Where is the guarantee that in the course of promoting the interests of the Russian Federation somewhere in a remote region of the planet our plane will not be shot down again? Strategic conventional forces are an effective tool for resolving such situations in their favor. At the same time, one must clearly understand that strategic conventional forces are not a tool for waging protracted conflicts. For example, in a situation of confrontation with militants in Syria, this tool is practically not applicable, but the general-purpose forces of the Russian Federation should already be working here. The task of the strategic conventional forces is that in terms of the level of technical equipment of the armed forces, the enemy quickly falls to the level of militants in Syria, with a destroyed command structure, without a fleet, air support and reserves.

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