Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
A few observations of mine.
In the beginning, we have a new way for Putin to say ‘Don’t forget, we have nukes’.
At the very end are a number of articles citing Putin’s return to Cold War rhetoric, while denying the same to Megyn Kelly. This is tantamount to a playground bully saying “I can do it but you can’t”. It is juvenile and immature. In reality, however, if Putin had sufficient resources to render US defenses useless, Putin wouldn’t have to say a thing. He is bragging solely to impress the Russian people for the election.
Of course, the mainstream media is only going to amplify Putin’s strongman image because it sells and it weakens the perpetual Trump target. This accomplishes the third Russian goal of promoting Russian national interests, anything that weakens American relatively strengthens Russia. The key word there is ‘relatively’, Russia cannot strengthen its economy, its demographic, or its reputation.
The Wunderwaffe presentation elicited an appropriate response from the Pentagon and State – “no surprises”, and “we told you so”. The opposite is true of much of the MSM, who inflated both the significance and strategic impacts of the displayed capabilities. Assessments by professional analysts are far more sober and largely echo the Pentagon commentary.
The Sarmat / SS-X-30 SATAN 2 appears to be exactly what the NATO designator says – a technology refresh of the ancient Ukrainian R-36M / SS-18 SATAN, probably more accurate due to newer guidance technology. The appearance and specs are sufficiently close to beg the question of how much of the design is new, and how much is reverse engineered from the legacy R-36M series.
The RS-26 Rubezh / Yu-71 Avangard MaRV / SS-X-31 is a very expensive way to deliver warheads, and only makes sense if you accept the viability of Putin’s limited pre-emptive nuclear strike doctrine, therefore it is a destabilising asset as it reinforces an illusory belief in Russia that the doctrine would not lead to a runaway nuclear war.
The nuclear powered Kh-101 ALCM derivative is just as susceptible to interception as the off the shelf item begging the question of why they are spending the extra money – in any event launching nuclear powered GLCMs would likely leave a radioactive swath across Russia.
The Status 6 / Kanyon doomsday salted nuke UUV is almost as useless as the proposed Khrushchev era doomsday weapon.
As more than one analyst has observed, the Putin regime appears convinced that it is susceptible to a US decapitation strike against much of its ICBM, SLBM and ALCM force, and therefore needs doomsday retaliatory weapons like the nuclear powered ALCM, and the Status UUV. Possibly the Avangard MaRV.
The 3M22 Kinzhal / Zirkon / Brahmos II hypersonic ALCM is the only truly viable advance, used as a conventional weapon, as it would challenge a lot of low end and mid-range air defense weapons, but the extra survivability will have to be paid for. As the weapon is already being exported to India, it will proliferate more widely, as has the Oniks / Yakhont / Brahmos I. With China working on hypersonic weapons, the US will inevitably develop air defense weapons to defeat them, so any advantage Russia gains will be at best transient.
To achieve genuine strategic effect hundreds of these advanced weapons would need to be built and deployed. That is where’s Putin’s presentation departs from reality most visibly with his concurrent proposal to raise living standards. Promising guns AND butter with a stagnant and declining economy and no prospect of the bloated oil revenues of the past as the US becomes the world’s biggest oil producer. Russia’s revenue and demographics are heading in the direction of fewer guns and less butter, period, despite its many paid for little helpers in Europe and elsewhere.
The parallels with Hitler’s boastful rants are remarkable, as Berlin burned night after night, the final victory would be won by Wunderwaffen Germany could barely finish developing, let alone mass produce.
Russia may still have the funds to finish developing these Wunderwaffen, but how many can be deployed, and how quickly, remains a very open question.
The Pentagon says it is “not surprised” after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday revealed a new nuclear weapon it claims makes nuclear defense systems “useless.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that it has tested new strategic nuclear weapons that cannot be intercepted confirmed what the United States government has known all along, which Russia has denied.
US officials dismissed President Vladimir Putin’s boast of resurgent Russian military might as “cheesy” and made clear that US defense and military capabilities remain “second to none.”
Kremlin leader says warheads can hit almost any target around the world
Darpa’s director has confirmed that the U.S. will flight test operational prototypes of a weapon similar to the Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic strike missile. As Russian President Vladimir Putin displayed video of the country’s Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic strike missile in his March 1 state of the union address, Darpa’s director confirmed the U.S. will flight test operational prototypes of a similar weapon in 2022-23. Putin said the Mach 10, 2,000-km-range (1,240-mi.) Kinzhal, shown being launched from under the fuselage of a MiG-31, has completed development and entered service on Dec. 1, 2017. He also revealed the Avangard, a ground-launched, intercontinental-range hypersonic strategic weapon. Shown only as an animation, this is an unpowered cruiser boosted to Mach 20 by a two-stage missile. Showing video of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile under development to replace the R-36 Voevoda, Putin said this 11,000-km-range weapon will carry a range of nuclear warheads including a hypersonic munition. Darpa Director Steve Walker says the agency briefed U.S. leadership in spring 2017 on Russian and Chinese advances in hypersonic weapons. As a result, he says, funding for hypersonics was boosted in the fiscal 2019 defense budget request, mainly to fund additional flight tests to mature systems for operational use. Also in 2017, Walker says, Darpa provided the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) with all its information on U.S. and rival hypersonic developments. MDA is seeking a substantial hike in funding for defenses against hypersonic weapons in its 2019 budget. Russia’s Avangard is similar in concept to the HTV-2 hypersonic glide vehicle developed by Darpa and flight-tested twice, unsuccessfully, in 2010-11. Developed by Lockheed Martin, the Mach 20 HTV-2 also was ground-launched. Putin’s Avangard video showed a delta-shaped vehicle being released from the second stage of its booster to re-enter the atmosphere and glide to its target, maneuvering around air defenses. The unpowered vehicle has sharply swept fins on top and body flaps at the rear for stability and control. The Russian leader said the vehicle uses composites capable of withstanding temperatures of 1,600-2,000C (2,900-3,600F) in sustained hypersonic flight. He said the Avangard is capable of maneuvering laterally within several thousand kilometers, and in altitude, and is “invulnerable to missile defenses.” The ground-launched hypersonic weapon “works well,” Putin said, adding that Russian industrial plants have begun serial production of the Avangard. The Kinzhal, meanwhile, seems to be similar in concept to the Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) hypersonic weapon that Darpa and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) plan to begin flight testing in 2019. TBG is essentially a scaled-down HTV-2 designed for air launch from a combat aircraft. Putin’s video showed a Kinzhal being dropped from the MiG-31 and an animation that illustrated the weapon climbing and then diving, its flight path dividing into two to maneuver and attack a ship target from different angles. This possibly suggests the missile deploys two TBG-like unpowered hypersonic munitions. But the video also showed what appears to be a complete missile diving vertically onto a bunker target. Walker says the increased budget for hypersonics sought by the Pentagon for 2019 includes U.S. Air Force funding for a follow-on to TBG to develop and test several operational prototypes of a hypersonic weapon. This is the Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) program.
Even though the DOD plans to spend over $8 billion on space in fiscal 2019, those in Congress and experts on space and budgeting say the U.S. needs to do more. Even though the Pentagon plans to spend more than $8 billion on space in fiscal 2019, members of Congress and experts on space and budgeting think the U.S. needs to do more. “I’m happy that we’re taking space in the right direction, but I don’t think we’re adequately funding space,” says Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), who leads the newly re-formed House Space Power Caucus to highlight the importance of military space. He spoke to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Feb. 28. One key shortfall is in the Pentagon’s ability to detect and track ballistic missiles. Although the military is putting money toward developing an evolved Space-based Infrared System of satellites for missile warning, the plan lacks a layer of space-based sensors, says Tom Karako, director of the missile defense project at CSIS. On paper, the last five presidential administrations have talked about the need for such sensors to track missiles in flight, Karako says. But those budgets did not provide money for such a system, and the Trump administration’s fiscal 2019 budget request adds no money either, he adds. The problem should have been solved by the Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS), which was supposed to launch a two-satellite demonstration in 2017 before the idea was killed as part of government-wide budget cuts in 2013. These satellites were a follow-on to a Northrop Grumman Space Tracking and Surveillance System demonstration that launched two satellites in 2009 with a lifespan of two years. Karako says perhaps the Pentagon’s upcoming ballistic missile defense review will mention the need for sensors when it comes out. And that could lead to a budget amendment similar to the one the administration sought for missile defense in 2017, he said.
On March 1, Vladimir Putin addressed the Federal Assembly, devoting a significant part of his speech to a presentation of Russia’s latest weapons, including nuclear missiles, and calling on NATO to cease its eastward expansion. “Nobody listened to us before. Well listen up now,” the president said, clearly no longer addressing the Russian lawmakers in attendance. This unusual speech came less than three weeks before the next presidential election. Meduza asked several political and security experts to explain why Putin demonstrated all these weapons and what the speech means for his next presidential term.
By Peter Apps This month marks the fourth anniversary of Russia’s March 2014 annexation of Crimea, an event that shocked the world and shook European faith in the post-Cold War security order. In retrospect, it has become clear that, for Putin, annexing the peninsula was not so much an end goal as a declaration of future intent, an early escalation in a broader and more ambitious effort that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recently termed, with little obvious exaggeration, Russia’s “World Hybrid War” on Western democracy itself.In an unusually bellicose speech on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin put Moscow’s remilitarization and its confrontation with the West at the heart of his pitch for re-election. His approach to this confrontation, which many now term “hybrid warfare,” mixes nuclear posturing and cutting-edge technology with covert action, and was deliberately designed so as to make it very difficult for the West to respond.President Vladimir Putin’s Russia did not, it must be said, invent hybrid warfare. Combatants have always looked for innovative ways around the rules and conventions of conflict, and Israel, Iran and the Gulf states have employed common hybrid tactics – including cyber attacks, and the use of armed proxy groups – for years. China’s leaders, too, have found increasingly unorthodox ways to push back against the United States and its allies in their immediate neighborhood; it recently emerged that, while Western nations were distracted by North Korea’s nuclear program, China artificially expanded islands in the South China Sea in support of its territorial ambitions.What Moscow has successfully done, however, is to refine a variety of old and new techniques to a higher level, and to employ them in a wider range of ways. As with China and Iran, Russia’s aim in developing and perfecting its hybrid warfare capabilities is to weaken and undermine the United States and its allies without sparking all-out war.It’s a dynamic that brings with it some very real dangers, not least of accidental conflict. The American air strikes that killed dozens, if not hundreds, of Russian mercenaries in Syria last month marked the bloodiest confrontation between the two nations in decades. U.S. prosecutor Robert Mueller’s decision to charge 13 Russians and several Russian companies with interfering in the 2016 election also amounts to a significant escalation.Exactly what prompted Russia’s interest in reheating Cold War-era animosities remains a subject of much debate among Western security analysts. Many, however, see its roots in the anti-government protests that rocked Russia in 2011 and 2012, the most serious such unrest since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Putin was widely believed to be furious that American diplomats had wooed pro-democracy and anticorruption activists, and to have concluded that Washington hoped to subvert his power.When Russia invaded Crimea early in 2014, and when a wider conflict erupted in Russian-speaking Ukrainian regions later that year, it acted with ruthless efficiency. By using troops wearing uniforms without insignia or identification – who became known universally as “little green men” – Russia achieved surprise and dominance on the ground before authorities in Kiev, let alone Washington, really knew what was happening.It would be hard to overstate how much this took U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration by surprise. The Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review, published only days before the Crimea annexation, barely mentioned Russia and prioritized the risk of war with China as well as ongoing action against Islamist militant groups in the Middle East and beyond.Russia’s seizure of the strategically important Crimean peninsula, and its apparent role in shooting down a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine in July 2014, forced the United States and its European allies to urgently reconsider their beliefs about Russia’s intentions. Since then, NATO has deployed battle groups to Eastern Europe and the Baltic States (in case Moscow is tempted to try out the techniques it used in Ukraine against NATO members).In some ways, this resembles the Cold War, but it is in many respects a much more dynamic confrontation. Russia is now far more closely intertwined with the West, through investments and business deals, and this gives it new vulnerabilities – to sanctions, for example. Mueller’s prosecution of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort – who has a long history of business interests to the former Soviet Union – has drawn attention to just how convoluted some of these dealings have become.
By Caroline Dorminey Vladimir Putin’s Thursday speech about Russia’s new and “invincible” array of nuclear weapons accomplished many of its objectives. It provided a strong image for a politician heading into a presidential election on March 18. It declared Russia triumphant after years of economic turbulence and military stagnation. And its assertions about the “practically unlimited range” of a new nuclear-powered cruise missile cast doubt on the viability of American missile defense systems.If true, the emergence of this new capability could have serious consequences for U.S.–Russian bilateral relations and implications for nuclear nonproliferation efforts worldwide.Nuclear analysts rushed to dissect the grainy video of the new technology shown in Putin’s address. Some claimed that the new system could be a ruse intended for promotional campaign purposes. Others wondered why there appeared to be conflicting records of traces of radioactive particles that nuclear weapons tests leave in the atmosphere – raising questions about the timeframe in which Putin claims the system was created and the current stage of its development.But without more technical information on this missile, it’s difficult to determine the truth of Putin’s boasts. However, the creation of an entirely new nuclear weapon further complicates already-tense U.S.–Russian relations. In 2010 both countries signed the New START Treaty – a bilateral agreement to reduce the size of their nuclear arsenals and limit the number of deployed weapons.New START was intended to be just that – a new start for the relationship between Russia and America, as well as for global nonproliferation efforts. The two countries with the largest arsenals signaled to the world that the time had come to downsize and decommission these weapons. It preserved each country’s viable deterrent, keeping the limit on missiles large enough to dissuade their use in a combat scenario because the costs of starting and finishing that fight would be far too high.The treaty even allows for the modernization of existing nuclear weapons to that end. But it complicates the creation of new technologies because of how they would be incorporated and counted under New START. Article V dictates that if either country creates “a new kind of strategic offensive arm,” then that country should raise the question of consideration to the Bilateral Consultative Commission that is in charge of implementing the treaty.If the Russian government developed the new rocket without consultation, it could be seen as a violation of New START. The treaty is already on thin ice–especially after claims in 2016 of Russian noncompliance in reducing its arsenal to agreed-upon levels. If New START crumbled now, it would strike a blow to global nonproliferation efforts.So how should Washington respond to Putin’s aggressive rhetoric?First and foremost, American policymakers shouldn’t overreact – particularly before more information is available to craft informed decisions. Even with Russia’s new rocket, the United States retains control of one of the world’s largest stockpiles and most-advanced nuclear capabilities. Actually using the U.S. arsenal in combat would result in devastating destruction on a much larger scale than in World War Two due to technological advances since then.Washington’s nuclear deterrent threat is secure – but the intention was always and should always be to never use these weapons in combat. American policymakers must keep this core tenet in mind.The United States is still the only nation in the world to have used nuclear weapons in battle – a decision that came with a terrible cost in Japanese lives. A nation that bears that burden must also be the staunchest advocates for nonproliferation.When America throws its considerable weight behind any arms control agreement, it sends a powerful message of strength and resolution. This proved true of both the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 that outlawed the production and use of biological weapons and the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 that prohibits the development and use of chemical weapons.America cannot allow nonproliferation efforts to fall by the wayside – especially given current tensions over nuclear programs in other countries. President Donald Trump has frequently criticized the Iranian nuclear deal and adopted a confrontational stance with North Korea. This bravado is dangerous and Washington cannot afford another flashpoint if New START is abandoned.If America neglected nonproliferation efforts, it would likely invite more nations to develop nuclear weapons. This could create widespread instability and, at worst, lead to Cold War-style conventional or nuclear arms races in an effort to balance one country’s capabilities against their neighbors. In spite of Putin’s boasts, lack of American resolve cannot be a chink in the armor of global nonproliferation. (Caroline Dorminey is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington, DC. @CDDorminey)
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim to have developed a new generation of missile that is impervious to any Western shield has highlighted a gap in America’s already imperfect missile-defense network.
Perhaps a sense of deja vu has crept into the Kremlin’s thinking. It is obvious that the Russian military is worried about America’s missile defense, worried about an arms race it can’t win, and worried about President Trump’s unpredictability and determination to rearm the depleted U.S. military.
The U.S. tested similar concepts in the 1960s, but abandoned them over concerns of radioactive contamination. Russia’s claim seems so fantastic that some analysts didn’t believe initial reports.
Russia’s new Yu-71 hypersonic missile is said to have a maximum speed of about 7,000 mph.
On Sunday, Russian state-run media unveiled a…
During a speech on Thursday, Russian president Vladimir Putin showed test footage of a new intercontinental ballistic missile. The nuclear weapon, called the RS-28 Sarmat or Satan 2, has been in development since 2009. Putin claimed the ICBM is “invincible” to missile defence systems. He also presented animations of several other weapons, including what some call a “doomsday” drone submarine.
Russia is in the process of testing its latest and most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile.
Russia’s president used a major preelection speech to present an array of advanced weapons — many of them nuclear-capable — that he claims usher in a new international era.
The Kremlin’s enthusiasm for maskirovka — military arts by deception — makes it hard to tell a bluff from a threat. Putin’s posturing could actually be a sign of weakness, writes Matthew Sussex.
On the heels of President Vladimir Putin’s claims of new Russian weapons to usher in a “new reality,” RFE/RL talked to a strategic forces and deterrence expert about the possible advantages of the array of nuclear-powered, hypersonic, and underwater weapons Putin described.
After Vladimir Putin says a new Russian arsenal is aimed at countering U.S. threats, experts warn that a destabilizing race for new weapons — and new guidelines for using them — is upon us.
The Russian President’s grand spectacles and international posturing cannot compensate for grave domestic shortcomings and the failure of his country to truly join the modern world
The Russians aren’t invincible.
Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled an arsenal of nuclear weapons that will significantly boost the Kremlin’s military capabilities.
Shocking video of ‘invincible’ nuclear weapon changes tone of U.S./Russian relationship.
The Sunshine State is home to Mr Trump’s golf resort, but bigger targets lie elsewhere in the US.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday used a concept video of unlimited range nuclear warheads apparently raining down on Florida — President Donald Trump’s home away from home — to tout his country’s new firepower.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented computer animations of new wonder weapons he says have been successfully tested and developed.
There’s no point in competing with Russia’s new trove of bizarre doomsday devices.
Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted today that Russia has unstoppable weapons. Here’s what he’s probably talking about.
Creation of new weapons has rendered NATO’s U.S.-led missile defence ‘useless,’ the Russian president said
President Vladimir Putin said in a national speech Thursday that the Russian military had developed weapons more powerful than any in the West. The weapons included nuclear missiles and a nuclear-powered drone. The leader said, however, that he is will to have nuclear talks with the U.S.
\’Let it be an arms race,\’ Trump said, two years ago. Now we have one. It doesn\’t have to be this way.
— An underwater drone armed with a nuclear warhead powerful enough to sweep away coastal facilities and aircraft carriers.
President Putin boasted of a growing arsenal of “menacing” superweapons invulnerable to western defences yesterday as he warned that Russia’s military build-up could not be contained.Mr Putin demonstrated the missiles, warheads and an underwater drone in a series of videos as he gave his annual
Russians had wondered before Mr. Putin’s speech what he planned for his last term, and they got an answer: Russia will be a superpower again.
Nuke-powered cruise missile and torpedo, hypersonic missiles counter US ballistic missile defense.
Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted of new nuclear weapons that he says can defeat U.S. missile defenses in an address unveiling a grand vision for his country. His return to Cold War rhetoric comes a month after the U.S. announced its own plans to deploy new nuclear weapons and two weeks before the Russian election. Nick Schifrin talks with Richard Burt, former chief arms control negotiator.
Russia has developed new nuclear-capable weapons including missile that renders defense systems “useless,” President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
The systems included a heavy ICBM with multiple warheads that Putin said would be immune to anti-missile defenses.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Russian President Vladimir Putin called the rhetoric of a “new cold war” a propaganda launched to justify the arms race, which began when the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABMT).
In an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Megyn Kelly, Russian President Vladimir Putin denies a “new Cold War,” but claims new weapons system tests were “successful.”
But he has weapons “battle ready.”
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia’s latest missiles and other new types of weaponry are unmatched anywhere in the world and capable of nullifying the effectiveness of the United States’ global missile defense, which Washington has started deploying since its withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty back in 2002, experts told Sputnik.