The Chinese edition of Huanqiu Shibao devoted a lengthy publication to the situation in the world that arose after the collapse of the Russian-American Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty). And this is quite natural, since the initiator of the destruction of the long-established status quo – Washington, aggressively invites not only Russia but also China to conclude a new arms control agreement in this area. An indispensable part of which, according to the United States, should be China.
Of course, from the point of view of the United States, the new “Washington-like treaty” should also fix the new order. In which the United States will own very substantial preferences.
The world, in fact, was already taking place in the late 80s and early 90s. When the symmetrical arms restrictions on both sides of the ocean were out of the question. In the West it was believed that if the USSR lost the Cold War, then it should disarm to the maximum. Even in such a way that it would threaten our national security. And Moscow, in which then the “best German” Mikhail Gorbachev reigned, did not particularly resist.
The public for the first time demonstrated a new missile system in tandem with a Su-57 fighter
As a result: after the INF Treaty was concluded in 1987, we voluntarily destroyed 1,846 of our most advanced missile systems, and the Americans only 846. At the same time, even the Soviet operational and tactical missile systems “Oka” went under the mock and by the will of Gorbachev. They did not violate the requirements of the agreement in any way, since their missiles had a range of 480 km with a permitted 500 km. But the United States then had nothing even close in combat capabilities to such weapons. Therefore, our Oka was doomed.
In accordance with START-1, signed in 1991, Russia has 25% fewer nuclear warheads. At the same time, quality losses were even more serious. The number of the most powerful Voevoda ICBMs in the world, which NATO calls Satan, was halved. All missile carriers of long-range aviation Tu-22M3 to indecent reduced their range by dismantling their air refueling system. A little later, in the mid-90s, under the START-2 Treaty, Russia lost its Molodets unique railway missile systems.
The Americans, in response, disarmed only four of their eighteen “Ohio” strategic submarines. Converting them to high-precision cruise missiles “Tomahawk” with non-nuclear equipment. Also, the US Air Force B-1 B bombers were transferred from nuclear to conventional weapons. This is another feature of the “Washington restrictions”: if Russia, basically, destroyed its unique weapons, the United States adapted it to solve a different range of tasks.
It is clear that today Washington is trying to impose something similar to China. Which is rapidly building up its military power and does not intend to “bend” before anyone else. Therefore, the plan of the Americans cannot be realized either practically or theoretically.
At the same time, Huangqiu Shibao does not go before talking to the Americans. That is – does not report what retaliatory steps in response to American treachery can Beijing take? In the People’s Liberation Army of China, there are enough missiles of both medium and shorter range, with which China is able to fend for itself. Say, let the Pentagon have a headache in connection with our silence.
It turns out that “Huanqiu Shibao” is worried not so much for itself – for Russia. But at the same time, it expresses confidence that Moscow has something to answer to the Pentagon.
First of all, according to Chinese military experts, ground-based hypersonic missiles, the range of which must be brought to the level of strategic weapons, can be (and should) be the Russian answer. That is – up to 3-4-5 thousand kilometers. The task, the publication believes, is completely solvable for Moscow. At the same time, medium-range hypersonic missiles in production will turn out to be cheaper than “ordinary” supersonic medium-range ballistic or cruise missiles. Because they cannot be intercepted. So a lot will not be required. After all, they will hit the target even with a single launch.
While conventional missiles to solve the same problem may need more if the enemy has an effective missile defense system.
What exactly does the Chinese edition mean? First of all, the Russian dagger, the carrier of which is a new modification of the MiG-31K fighter-interceptor. And recently, “Dagger” was demonstrated in the underbelly of the Su-57. So, this rocket, advised in Beijing, must be “landed.” That is, to teach to take off from a ground launcher.
Another option is the “transfer” to land of the Zircon hypersonic anti-ship anti-ship missile. In Russia, she is already on the way to accepting our warships. According to some reports, this event should be expected as early as next year. The maximum firing range “Zircon”, according to various sources, is in the range from 400 km to 600 km. When increasing flight range, this weapon can go into the class of medium-range missiles. A warhead weighing 400 kg allows the use of nuclear equipment.
There is another way that Chinese military experts advising Huanqiu Shibao indicate. It consists in adapting the Caliber sea-based cruise missile to ground-based launchers. Thus, you can get a completely new land-based missile system, the firing range of which will reach 2600 km.
Huanqiu Shibao believes that Russia’s position is more advantageous than that of the United States if it comes to the mutual emergency development of medium and shorter range missile technology. Because in this case Russia will have a certain time reserve. “The United States believes that to turn Tomahawk cruise ship missiles into medium-range ground-based missiles, they need to be equipped with ground-based launch complexes,” writes the Chinese publication. “On the contrary, it is enough for Russia to provide existing launchers with sea-based missiles.”
It is unlikely that this is so straightforward. The United States has a universal installation for the vertical launch of guided missiles Mk 41. Initially, it was created for ship operation. However, now the Mk 41 also stands on ground-based missile defense systems deployed in Romania, serving Standard SM-3 and SM-6 anti-aircraft missiles. It is also used to launch the Tomahawks from surface ships and submarines.
By the way, in response to allegations of the “illegality” of the existence of the Russian high-precision cruise missile OTRK Iskander, Russia has repeatedly stated that the deployment of Mk 41 launchers by land is a gross violation of the INF Treaty.
Speaking about Russian ground-based launch complexes, I mean the combat vehicle of the OTRK Iskander. It is proposed to equip it with “Gauges”. It will turn out to be approximately the same range with the Americans, which follows from the characteristics of the Tomahawk and Caliber. However, recently information has begun to appear that work is underway (so far only research) on the creation of the Caliber-M modification. Its range should increase to 4.5 thousand km.
There is no doubt that the development of a ground-based Caliber has begun in Russia. In February this year, when the United States announced its unshakable intentions to destroy the INF Treaty, Sergei Shoigu said that we must be prepared for the start of the OCD, during which the Caliber ground-based missile system will be created at the latest in 2020. Whether this will be done on the basis of the Iskander or the launchers of the Bal coastal missile system is not known.
Huanqiu Shibao has also enlightened its readers about why it would seem that a simple solution to launch existing intercontinental ballistic missiles at medium range does not have any prospects. An essential economic moment. Such use of ICBMs is extremely expensive. Because one such missile costs as a few medium-range.
But even if you do not count money, as Saudi Arabia, for example, does, then there will be no sense from this. The main advantage of intermediate and shorter-range missiles is that they have a short approach time to the enemy. Pershing-2 missiles, once deployed in Western Europe, could reach Moscow in 10 minutes or even faster. During this time, the missile defense system will not have time to respond to a missile attack. The United States is another matter. With their missiles, which can be deployed in Europe, the flight time can reach dozens of minutes.
Yes, ICBMs can be launched along such a steep path that it will fly, if you count horizontally, instead of 10-12 thousand much less. At least 1000, at least 3000, at least 5000 km. In 2017, North Korea during the tests of the Hwason-15 ICBM launched a rocket almost at right angles to the horizon. The highest point of the trajectory reached an altitude of 4475 km. Therefore, horizontally the rocket flew only 950 km. The flight time was 53 minutes. That is, such use of ICBMs is absolutely pointless.
Only in the early 2030s did the Pentagon, having mastered information at a new level, hope to take over the world.
In conclusion, it must be said that it would seem that Russian medium- and shorter-range missiles are capable of threatening not the aggressor itself – the United States, but only those countries that Washington, due to powerful pressure, will force them to deploy missiles on their territory. First of all, of course, this applies to the countries of Europe.
However, this is not entirely true. Russian medium-range missiles, located, say, in Chukotka, are able to reach the United States in the shortest possible time, covering a distance of 4 thousand km. The same can be said about the Arctic region, which is now rapidly being mastered by Russian troops.
But there is also a “far abroad” to which Venezuela belongs. Without a doubt, it can provide Russia with its military bases. And not only for missiles, but also for the deployment of strategic missile carriers and submarines. This is especially true now, when we do not have medium-range missiles.
Well, from Cuba to Washington it’s generally close at hand – 1800 km. Military-technical cooperation with Liberty Island has been rapidly recovering recently. This week, Havana was granted a loan of 38 million euros. The amount is not so large, but in accordance with the contract signed on Tuesday, the benefits for Cuba will be significant. Russia is committed not only to repair previously supplied military equipment, but also to modernize it. At the same time, Cuban specialists will undergo training, as a result of which they will subsequently be able to independently improve their weapons. Measures to modernize the Cuban military industry are also provided.