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MAY 2021

Role Of Russia’s New Strategic Weapons Systems In Providing Strategic Deterrence

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Role Of Russia's New Strategic Weapons Systems In Providing Strategic Deterrence

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Originally appeared in the official military-theoretical journal of the Russian Defense Ministry Military Thought” (issue No. 12 of 2020); Translated by AlexD exclusively for SouthFront

You can read this article in German. LINK

Deterrence of aggression is an integral element of the national policy of any state throughout the centuries-long system of interstate relations. As a result, the threat of war, whether overt or implied, became a diplomatic tool used by one state to deter another from taking undesirable military and political steps. At the same time, the policy of strategic deterrence as the most important component of the national policy of the state received official recognition only with the advent of nuclear weapons, which became the main tool of deterrence for many decades. Until recently, strategic deterrence was perceived as nuclear deterrence. At the same time, the role of non-nuclear deterrence in strategic deterrence increases as troops (forces) are equipped with strategic non-nuclear weapons systems capable of performing a number of strategic tasks in military conflicts of various scales and intensity. Based on this, strategic deterrence should consider two of its components: nuclear and non-nuclear.

At the present time and in the foreseeable future, Russia is forced to deter the world’s leading states from unleashing aggression against it and its allies by intimidation, which is based on a military threat that is openly declared and brought to the attention of a potential aggressor. In addition to deterrence, other states may be subject to deterrent actions related to restrictions and coercion. Actions of deterrence, restriction and coercion are carried out within the framework of the strategic deterrence mechanism.

Strategic deterrence is based on the combat capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to inflict damage to any aggressor that is incommensurable with the military-political and economic goals of the war – the so-called “deterrent” damage. Its upper limit is “unacceptable” damage, i.e., damage that is absolutely unacceptable to the aggressor when the aggressor state ceases to function as a socio-political system.

In general, strategic deterrence measures are carried out continuously both in peacetime, including the period of immediate threat of aggression, and in wartime up to the stage of massive use of nuclear weapons.

Strategic deterrence is ensured when the following conditions are met:

  • the presence of combat-ready strategic deterrence forces in the Russian Armed Forces, including nuclear and strategic forces with combat capabilities that ensure unacceptable damage to any aggressor including the coalition composition, in any development of the military-political and strategic situation;
  • the determination and readiness of the military and political leadership of the Russian Federation to use these forces, if necessary, in accordance with Russian legislation.

The military policy pursued by the United States and its allies is aimed at reducing the combat capabilities of the Russian Armed Forces, including the creation of a global missile defence system (ABM) and “instant global strike” means. In these conditions, the creation of modern domestic highly effective systems of strategic (nuclear and non-nuclear) weapons with their equipping of troops (forces), as well as determining their role in ensuring strategic deterrence, are of paramount importance.

In his annual messages to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in 2018, President Vladimir Putin stated, and in 2019 he confirmed the armament of the Russian Armed Forces with new models of strategic weapons:

  • Sarmat missile complex with a heavy intercontinental ballistic missile;
  • Avangard missile system with a gliding cruise warhead;
  • Peresvet combat laser complex (CLC);
  • Kinzhal aviation missile system (AMS) with a hypersonic cruise missile;
  • Burevestnik strategic complex;
  • Poseidon unmanned underwater vehicle.

The adoption of these models for service will increase the flexibility and diversity of the functioning of the strategic deterrence mechanism, as well as expand the possibilities of using weapons of destruction in existing and future strategic actions of the Russian Armed Forces.

If the Sarmat and Avangard missile systems are assigned a role similar to the existing strategic missile systems, the role of directed energy weapons and hypersonic weapons is determined based on their unique characteristics and capabilities to affect various targets.

In current conditions, the most important tasks are to ensure the combat stability of domestic strategic nuclear forces and reduce the effectiveness of the US missile defence system to a level that allows the Russian Federation to cause unacceptable damage in response. Successful implementation of these tasks can largely be achieved through the introduction of advanced technologies and the proactive implementation of asymmetric countermeasures related to the integrated implementation of aerospace defence tasks, including anti-satellite warfare.

The Peresvet CLC can be used to perform a wide range of tasks, including to fight the enemy’s space-based optoelectronic reconnaissance by means of their functional destruction (suppression) by laser radiation. Currently and in the medium term, it will be used to cover the position areas of missile divisions with mobile missile systems.

The role of the strategic directed energy weapons in general and the Peresvet CLC in particular in the system of strategic deterrence is determined by:

  • increasing the share of tasks to reduce the stability and efficiency of information and intelligence, combat and control systems of the enemy (primarily aerospace-based), which can be performed with the use of the CLC;
  • the need for highly effective selective destruction (suppression) of objects (their elements) with minimisation of negative consequences for the population and the environment in the strike areas;
  • the ability to use the CLC both independently and in conjunction with traditional weapons, while ensuring an increase in their combat effectiveness;
  • the possibility of using one CLC as a universal means of defeating the enemy in military conflicts of any scale and intensity;
  • the ability to selectively, accurately and timely hit targets (primarily the means of air and space attack) of the enemy;
  • the ability to effectively perform the tasks of covering the defeat of the most important groups of troops (forces) and objects of state and military administration;
  • the ability to hit targets at a considerable distance, contributing to the creation of a layered system of heterogeneous enemy destruction.

The Kinzhal AMS is a hypersonic weapons complex designed to perform strategic tasks in the pre-nuclear phase of a military conflict. The impact of the AMS on the enemy’s critical facilities, including those of the state and military administration system, military-economic and combat capabilities, as well as infrastructure, can decisively change the course of a military conflict and provide a significant increase in the effectiveness of the use of nuclear forces.

The possibility of multi-variant use of the Kinzhal AMS allows to influence the enemy state (both the military and political leadership and the population) in order to deter from unleashing military aggression or escalating military actions during a military conflict.

The role of the Kinzhal AMS in the strategic deterrence system is determined by:

  • the increasing importance of the force factor in interstate relations, the intensification of competition between the world’s economic and military-political centres of power for expanding their spheres of influence, as well as the possibility of achieving the goals of political and armed confrontation by influencing (threatening to influence) various critical enemy objects using modern conventional (non-nuclear) weapons;
  • improving the strategic deterrence mechanism and expanding the range of tasks assigned to the Kinzhal AMS;
  • an increase in the spatial and temporal indicators of military operations, combined with the widespread use of “contactless” forms of use of troops (forces);
  • increasing the combat capabilities of the Kinzhal AMS for selective damaging effects on the critical facilities, including the enemy’s air defence and missile defence systems in the conditions of its counteraction.

The use of this complex in military conflicts can suspend or prevent hostile actions of the enemy, limit the escalation of the conflict and allow to take military actions in conditions when the use of other types of weapons is unacceptable for political, ethical or other reasons.

The advantage of a hypersonic missile in comparison with subsonic low-altitude cruise missiles is its significantly lower vulnerability when overcoming air defence and missile defence systems due to high speeds and altitude. The high degree of vulnerability of subsonic low-altitude cruise missiles was confirmed by the results of US military operations in the war against Yugoslavia, when a significant part of American Tomahawk cruise missiles in this war were shot down by man-portable air defence systems.

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28 comments

  1. Lone Ranger says:

    Their role?
    Deterrence…
    Deterrence is gold ?

  2. Lone Ranger says:

    Unfortunatelly the U.S. doesnt understand diplomacy anymore, only force.

    1. Squeeth says:

      I fear so, as the US falls behind, brinkmanship is one of the weapons they’ve got left. George Kennan must be spinning in his grave.

    2. Assad must stay says:

      im not sure it ever did

    3. Justin says:

      These weapons will be used against China when Russia Aligns with the USA in the coming war against China!
      YES…. Russia and the USA (when Trump STAYS President in the overturn scheduled to start on December 18 after the DNI report)

      Russia and America are standing together against China!
      Hold your laughs if u can….. because this is happening.
      China is an enemy of Russia. if u dont realise this then u need a map and some history lessons.

      WATCH!

      1. Lone Ranger says:

        Im aware of their history.
        And you could be right of whats coming.
        But thats an awful lot of ifs, I will believe it when I see it until than Im a bit skeptical.
        Russia was always a natural ally of the U.S.
        They helped during the revolutionary war, they protected U.S. ports during the Civil war against an Anglo-French invasion fleet, WWI, WWII, War on Terror…
        And what did the U.S. gave Russia in return?
        Turmoil in the 90s.
        Chechen wars, Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, sanctions, bashing them 24/7, shaming them, false accusations…
        If Russia will side with the U.S. ever again than they are indeed the greatest nation ever to walk the face of the the Earth, because to forgive all that takes a bit of character and heart.
        If I was Putin I would just lay back and grab the popcorn and do nothing while there is a showdown between the U.S. and China.
        But thats just me…

  3. HiaNd says:

    Russia is building “mini Kinzhal’ to fit into internal bay of SU-57 to preserve stealth and sink air-carriers
    with nuke tipped missile. Even if the range of the missile is reduced on “only” 1000 kilometers that is still plenty. More than sufficient to do the job.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332073717_Russia's_'Invincible'_weapons_An_Update
    Su-57 will receive a hypersonic missile similar to the ‘Kinzhal’ but of smaller dimensions and there is also a possibility that an equivalent system will be developed for the Tu-22M3 long-range …

    https://www.meta-defense.fr/en/2020/02/27/by-adapting-the-kinzhal-hypersonic-missile-to-su-57-moscow-opens-many-opportunities/
    “However, a “mini-Kinzhal”, implemented by the Su-57 would significantly expand the operational but also commercial opportunities of Russia in the years to come. We have dealt extensively with Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missile and its strengths”

    1. David Price says:

      Let’s hope we never have to witness such a terrible War,but the US still thinks quanity over Quality will win a war with Russia

      1. HiaNd says:

        Many US generals are raving lunatics.
        Rationalism on the Armageddon situation is insane.
        US – NATO attacking Russia has chance to win only in conventional war of attrition, nothing on short term…
        The problem is that Russia would launch nukes immediately and start MAD (if attacked by NATO) and annihilate them all in that case ….and we would all die in (MAD) nuke exchange.

        1. FlorianGeyer says:

          I would not die as I would have self identified myself as a Piece of Glass and when all the dust had settled I could self identify as the Leader of the World and live in a castle somewhere nice:)

          1. HB_Norica says:

            In that case …. I self identify as a civilization of a billion trillion sub atomic particles who when vapourized to bits by a nuclear blast will split the universe into a billion trillion worlds at least one of which I will become the leader of.

          2. HiaNd says:

            That makes two “Leders of the World” already… keep up good work guys.

          3. FlorianGeyer says:

            That sounds reasonable. Would your world allow a Rothschild Central Bank? :)

          4. HB_Norica says:

            In my world I’m the central bank.

          5. FlorianGeyer says:

            Red-Heads have a reputation of being rather head strong :)

          6. HB_Norica says:

            If you changer “being” to “giving” then switched a few words around ….. ;)

          7. FlorianGeyer says:

            Golly gosh, I never realised that :)

          8. HiaNd says:

            Florian you have talent for poetry.

  4. Jesus says:

    Russia’s new tactical hypersonic weapons, they don’t provide deterrence per se, since NATO does not have such weapons, it goes beyond deterrence. In case of a first or a secondary strike using hypersonic weapons at a tactical level, NATO has no means of reciprocating, or defend against it.

    1. FlorianGeyer says:

      Good and long may NATO’s handicaps last :)

  5. Harry Smith says:

    Today Russia launched 4 Bulava missiles.

    1. FlorianGeyer says:

      Britain’s cyber warriors launched 40 Facebook attacks on Russia.

      https://clipartstation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/stick-tongue-out-clipart-6.jpg

      Beat that if you can, Harry :)

      1. Harry Smith says:

        Meanwhile in Russia… The reaction on this awful British offense:
        https://youtu.be/A_ZjVdlJick

        1. FlorianGeyer says:

          Its a nasty wet winters day here and your video was a ray of sunshine. Thank you.

  6. johnny rotten says:

    Put some Zircon on it and the defeat for any attackers is guaranteed.

  7. cechas vodobenikov says:

    while the amerikan peasants r stupefied, their oligarchy and military leaders r not. they merely brag and complain like fat children on a playground to impress their little sisters in Denmark and Canada. they will not risk their sinecures and mansions in NY and Beverly Hills by challenging Russia. they will defeat themselves w sanctions and medieval trade policies … as their cities reduce to plywood villages, poverty, their elites enjoy champagne and cocaine in their guarded rich ghettos

  8. Rafael says:

    They should use them for a first strike

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