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Inside the Ring: Russia builds up, U.S. down

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posted on May, 2 2013 @ 01:11 PM

Inside the Ring: Russia builds up, U.S. down

As the Obama administration prepares to launch a new round of strategic nuclear missile cuts, Russia’s strategic nuclear forces are undergoing a major modernization, according to U.S. officials.

Russia's military announced last month that as part of the nuclear buildup, Moscow later this year will deploy the first of its new intercontinental ballistic missiles called the Yars-M.

Details of the missile are being kept secret, but it has been described as a fifth-generation strategic nuclear system that Russian officials say will be able to penetrate U.S. missile defenses using a new type of fuel that requires a shorter burn time for booster engines.

Taken from:

So it would seem the US is cutting down on Nuclear capable ICBM's, meanwhile Russia is modernizing theirs. It seems their latest breed, the Yars-M, was specifically designed to get through the US missile defense systems.

The solid-fueled, road-mobile ICBM was tested a year ago, and it is said to have an increased payload capacity for a warhead weighing up to 1.5 tons. The range is 6,835 miles. Like earlier mobile missiles known as SS-29s and SS-27s, the new ICBM is expected to have up to 10 multiple, independently targetable warheads.

According to the article, the means in which they are attempting to go through our defense system is as follows:

The Missile Defense system calculates the initial launch vectors during the initial launch engine burn in order to track where the missile is going; its predicted trajectory. While I am not certain this is how it works or not, it seems Russia is pretty sure this is the case. As such, they seem to think that by minimizing this burn time, they can minimize the amount of trajectory information the Missile Defense system can obtain, therefor making it impossible to track.

Perhaps a Russian official states it better.

The strategic nuclear weapons specialist said the high-tech fuel “allows for the reduction of the working time of the engines during the boost phase of flight, when it [the missile] is most vulnerable to detection by defensive means.”

“As a result, we achieve the most complex part of the rocket boost so fast that the enemy does not have time to calculate its trajectory and, therefore, cannot destroy it,” the official said. “That is, we can say that our ability to overcome missile defense will be significantly increased.”

In addition to the Missile Defense penetrating ICBM's, Russia is also modernizing their delivery and launch vehicles. They have revamped their ICBM Rail delivery systems, their submarine based ICBM's, existing land-based systems, and they are even building a new strategic bomber set to debut in 2020.

Meanwhile on the US front, Obama is seeking to get rid of ICBM's and lessen our deterrence capabilities. Rep. Mike Rogers has even said that the administration is short in delivering between 1 and 1.6 billion in funds that were promised in 2010 for nuclear modernization.

So it would seem that while we are building down, Russia, and other nations are scrambling to build up.

What do you think the impact of this will be in the eyes of the world, especially with rogue nations like DPRK and others seeking to increase their arsenals?

Is this something that is inevitable? Is nuclear war not just a matter of IF, but a matter of WHEN?

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 01:50 PM
It's a little academic I think. The differences in the cuts and building new missiles means we're talking about having enough capability to wipe out all life on this planet 22 times over compared to 23 times over.

US missile defence systems could never defend against a MIRV anyway. There's massive redundancy in the arsenals.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by Painterz

While I agree, that if all things are equal, we do have that capability.

However, it would seem to me that if Russia has claimed to figure out a way through our missile defenses, then they also know how our missile defenses work. It would therefor be presumed that if they know how ours works, then they also have a missile defense shield themselves.

If this is the case, and they are able to stop missiles fired from the US, while they are able to break through our shield, then the deterrence and the Mutually Assured Destruction stalemate breaks down.

Once this breaks down, it would be almost as if we did not have any at all.

This is what scares me. If they are able to get to us, knowing we cannot get to them, we will be in a world of hurt, and they will then be able to push their weight around.

MIRVs are also susceptible in my opinion. It is no secret that Russia has an advanced space program now days, and only god knows what their true space capabilities are. I would not be surprised if they had their own "space plane" or Star Wars program there, just waiting for the day they need it.

posted on May, 3 2013 @ 03:55 AM
The US still has the upper hand by far because of the B-2's which are first strike platforms. With missiles you can see them coming so they fall clearly into the MAD (mutually assured destruction) deterrent Russia has had for years and wants to maintain. The closest thing they have to a first strike platform is their nuclear subs but America has those too as well as the B-2's.

posted on May, 3 2013 @ 08:58 AM
reply to post by xmaddness

Is this something that is inevitable? Is nuclear war not just a matter of IF, but a matter of WHEN?

I think the reworking of the missiles was inevitable, and we should really be thankful. I know it seems weird, but think about it, if you were sitting on a bunch of missiles that were now made obsolete by missile defense systems, you're suddenly vulnerable, and MAD is out the window. Mutually Assured Destruction is what has kept the relative "peace" for decades, so having it back is actually pretty important. It's a constant game of innovation and countering. Russia's new missiles are extremely effective against the midcourse defenses, but not so much against the terminal stage ones. Still though, far more will get through, and Russia has long adopted the quantity over quality approach to overwhelm missile defenses.

Nobody wants a nuke war with the US. Sure, Russia is the only one with enough missiles to have much of a shot, but they'd have to get a LOT of targets in the US. Conversely, there are far fewer Russian targets of import to hit, so they are far more vulnerable. So, all of Russia's important cities and facilities would be destroyed, while maybe half of the US would be. Still a "loss" for everyone, but success is a matter of degree. I don't think we'll ever see nuclear Armageddon....a regional nuke conflict, maybe, but not all out world nuclear war. Nobody wants to write that last chapter of human history.
edit on 3-5-2013 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 3 2013 @ 09:10 AM
reply to post by Strakha

The closest thing they have to a first strike platform is their nuclear subs but America has those too as well as the B-2's

Yeah, and those subs have the new missiles (they were the first to get them), so they can bypass both the midcourse and likely a lot of the terminal course defenses, if they are close enough to the target.

Russia also has long range strategic bombers (Tupolev Tu-22M, Backfire) and (Tupolev Tu-160, Blackjack), for example.

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