On November 7, 2014, the United States successfully tested the Aegis Ashore missile defense (ABM) system. Such a system will be deployed in Romania already in 2015. During the tests, it was possible to shoot down all 3 targets - a short-range ballistic missile and 2 low-flying cruise missiles.
In light of the serious tension in relations between the United States and Russia, the issue of deploying the American global missile defense system, including near the borders of the Russian Federation, is gaining even greater importance and degree.
It has already become clear that it will not be possible to come to an agreement with the United States on "good" missile defense - more and more European countries agree to deploy elements of American missile defense on their territory. For example, in August 2014 Denmark joined the project, which will equip 2 destroyers with the Aegis system. I think that no one will be surprised by the situation if the missile defense elements in the future are placed in Ukraine, and somewhere near Kharkov SM-3 anti-missile systems of the Block IB modification will be based, and later, by 2020, the Block IIB modification capable of intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The issue of tactical and technical characteristics and problems of American and Russian missile defense systems has already been considered in another article (http://regnum.ru/news/polit/1670223.html). Now, the possible ways of the response of the Russian Armed Forces to the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the treaty on the limitation of anti-missile defense and the deployment of these systems right on our borders will be examined in detail.
Really planned and implemented answers
1) Deployment of operational-tactical complexes Iskander-M in Kaliningrad.
These missiles, especially those equipped with tactical nuclear warheads, are guaranteed to neutralize missile defense elements that will be deployed in 2018 in Poland. With the use of the new R-500 cruise missile, with an estimated range of about 2000 km, almost all of Europe will be at gunpoint. In order to put additional pressure on the Europeans, it is possible to loudly announce the supply of tactical nuclear warheads to the Iskander.
2) Creation of more modern intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
The process is in full swing - the further development of the Topol-M missile - Yars ICBM, equipped with three warheads, instead of one from its predecessor, is being actively adopted. These mobile ICBMs have various defense mechanisms against missile defense, for example, they quickly pick up speed, reducing the time of the active phase of the flight (while its engines are running and it is gaining altitude), when the missile is most vulnerable to anti-missiles. At the final stage of the flight, the separated warheads carry out random deflection maneuvers. A new heavy liquid-propellant missile "Sarmat" is under development, which in 2018 will begin to replace its formidable predecessor, the R-36M ICBM, nicknamed by the Americans "Satan".
3) Creation of medium-range missiles - prohibited by the START treaties.
However, presumably, the new Rubezh ICBM, which is a modification of the Yars, is capable of operating at both medium (up to 5500 km) and intercontinental ranges, which makes it possible to target the whole of Europe. The R-500 Iskander missile equipped with a nuclear warhead can also be used as a medium-range missile.
Available in stock "trump cards" and the possibility of the most severe response
1) Putting into service of the orbital modification of the new liquid ICBM "Sarmat".
An orbital modification differs from a conventional ICBM in that the warheads are placed into low Earth orbit and temporarily become its satellites. The mass of the withdrawn warheads is noticeably less than that of a standard ICBM, but they can fly up to the target from absolutely any direction, making an arbitrary turn around the earth. The flight range of such a missile is not limited in any way, unlike conventional ICBMs. Accordingly, silos with missiles can be placed in absolutely any point of the Russian Federation, choosing the most inaccessible areas for US missile defense (away from the seas and European countries). The possibility of approaching a target from unexpected directions will force the United States to deploy a much larger number of anti-missile defense elements throughout the country, which will cost huge funds that even the Americans do not currently have. It should be noted that orbital modifications of ICBMs are prohibited by START treaties.
2) Placement of nuclear warhead satellites in space.
Technically, this task should not cause difficulties and will be very effective, since it already completely excludes interception of ICBMs at the initial stage of the flight. However, the deployment of nuclear weapons in outer space is prohibited by the relevant treaty. To counter such a threat, the United States will have to invest huge funds in the creation of "fighter" satellites (it is worth noting that such projects were previously developed both in the United States and in the USSR).
Probable development of the situation: policy of limited response or the path of "escalation"?
In fact, the Russian Federation has two options for responding to the further development of the US global missile defense system. The first way is the limited response policy. In fact, this is what is being done now. This includes the measures planned and implemented above. As you can already see, this path does not have the desired effect on the Americans. Taking into account the aggravated relations, the pace of deployment of missile defense elements can only increase. It must be said that the missile defense, which is being created by the United States, will still be able to create a real threat to the Russian nuclear deterrent, but such a day may come someday. The second way is the policy of "escalation". The USSR has already successfully used this path against the United States once, deploying nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba. At that time, ICBMs were poorly developed and were in small numbers, and they took a very long time to prepare for launch. As a result, the United States, having deployed medium-range Jupiter missiles in Turkey, gained a strategic advantage - it could deliver a preemptive strike against the USSR, destroying all ICBM launch sites before they could be launched. In response, the USSR unexpectedly deployed its medium-range missiles in Cuba, which triggered the Caribbean crisis. However, the escalation of the situation before the crisis resulted in detente - the United States removed the missiles from Turkey, and the USSR from Cuba. Attempts to negotiate with the Americans "in an amicable way" almost never led to acceptable results for the USSR and Russia, in contrast to the language of force.
Accordingly, in the case of the US global missile defense system, one can follow a similar path. Guided by the fact that the Americans violated the treaty on the limitation of anti-missile defense (prohibiting the creation of more than two positioning areas), by themselves violating the conditions of START, deploy a number of orbital modifications of ICBMs, and possibly launch a number of warhead satellites (or, for a start, just declare this) …
This, of course, will lead to an unprecedented surge of tension, but in fact the balance of strategic forces will be seriously disrupted - and clearly not in favor of the United States. Further, the situation can go along different paths:
1) The parties may well agree, as it happened once in Cuba.
In response to the cessation of the development and further deployment of the US missile defense system, the Russian Federation is removing from combat duty and canning (not letting it for scrap, as in the 1990s!) Orbital modifications of ICBMs. Accordingly, the issue will be exhausted for a significant period of time.
2) The United States does not want to negotiate and falls for the same "bait" that fell to the USSR in the case of the American "Star Wars" program.
The United States is beginning to spend huge amounts of money to deploy missile defense systems throughout its territory and at all of its allies. A "symmetric" report will also be very expensive for them - unlike the Russian Federation, the United States has not dealt with heavy ICBMs for a very long time, and in general has not produced new missiles for more than 20 years. All this will be very inappropriate for the Americans, given that the financial system of this country is now far from being in the best condition, there is an exorbitant national debt. In fact, a similar reason was one of the factors that "destroyed" the USSR.
3) Refusal of the Europeans to deploy US missile defense elements.
The announcement of the deployment of the Iskander-M OTRK has already forced the Czech Republic to abandon the deployment of missile defense systems, since the country's leadership turned out to be adequate enough not to expose its country to a possible blow. The above measures, if properly applied (that no country that has hosted the US missile defense system will "sit out" in the event of a global war) should make some European states scared enough to refuse to cooperate with the US on missile defense issues.