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Bulava , the declining condition of russian early warning system

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posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 08:49 AM
Bulava from the very beginning was marketed by its developer, MITT, as a universal missile, which can be deployed on land as well as at sea. This point was recently underscored by the defense minister and the president himself, so it seems that the missile will have this capability from the very beginning. Besides, adapting an SLBM for land-based silo basing should not be difficult at all (unlike trying to deploy land-based missile on a submarine).

No details about Bulava have been released so far, but it seems extremely unlikely that a missile deployed on submarines will carry one warhead. It is almost certain to be MIRVed, so if Russia wants to deploy a new MIRVed missile in silos on land, it will not have to go an extra mile and develop a new warhead for Topol-M - it will have Bulava


Since an early-warning system is the key component of the launch-on-warning mechanism, reports about deterioration of the Russian early warning system, which have been appearing in recent years, quite naturally raise questions about dangers of inadvertent missile launch that may result from it. In this article I present a short overview of the Russian early warning network and argue that although the Russian early-warning system is in serious decline, it poses no serious threat of an inadvertent launch (although, certainly, no problem even remotely linked to nuclear forces is too small to discount).
Although the role of the early-warning system was limited, the Soviet Union constantly worked on expanding its capabilities. It was done by introduction of new-generation radars and satellites to replace the ones deployed before the beginning of the 1980s, as well as by improving coverage and detection capabilities of the system
The program, however, did not go beyond construction of the first two radars in Pechora and Gabala, which was completed in 1985. Construction of a radar in Krasnoyarsk had to be stopped because of the U.S. protests about violation of the ABM Treaty
As a result, for early-warning coverage Russia still has to rely on the outdated Hen House radars, which were built in the 1970s and will soon reach end of their operational lives. Another serious problem for the radar network emerged in 1998, after closure of the base in Skrunda, in Latvia, which hosted one of the Hen House radars. The closure opened a gap in radar coverage, which can not be closed by any of the existing radars

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