The German magazine Stern “procured” information on the latest developments of the Russian design bureaus and research institutes.
Stern fears the readers of the apocalyptic eeriness: “PRS-1M is a real doomsday weapon that can only be used in a war that destroys the world.” This is not about the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, not about the Poseidon submarine drone equipped with an enormous power warhead, not about the Tu-160M2 strategic missile carrier. We are talking only about the anti-aircraft missile, which, as we know, refers to the weapon not of attack, but of defense.
True, the rocket is unique. However, the author of the publication does not know much about it. As, however, and all mere mortals, not related to the development of these weapons. Since the rocket is secret, and information about it is distributed in the public domain is extremely fragmented. But the author pretty much fantasizes, because he faces the most important task – to intimidate the Western reader with a “doomsday”, which is being prepared in the Russian design bureau and research institutes.
So, this rocket, tested by the Russian Defense Ministry on video, belongs to the anti-missile defense system of Moscow and the Central Industrial Region. To the new modification of its A-235 “Nudol”, which is preparing to adopt for the armament instead of the current missile defense system A-135 “Amur”.
“Amur” however has already partially been “disarmed”. Initially, two types of missiles were to intercept ICBMs – short-range intercept and long-range missiles. But in 2002 or in 2006, (everything is very secret, and sometimes misinformation is given instead of information) the 51T6 long-range intercept missiles were dismantled from mine launchers due to the end of the operational life. And now Moscow and the Central Region are protected from nuclear attack only by short-range interception missiles 53Т6.
It was announced, more precisely — there was information that the new system A-235 “Nudol” will also have one missile, a modified short-range interception 53T6M.
With 53T6M everything is fine. Its tests at the Sary-Shagan test site are almost complete. It confirmed the characteristics embedded in it, making interceptions at predetermined heights and flight ranges of targets. This two-stage solid propellant antimissile differs significantly from the basic modification. First, it is not mine-based, but mobile, presumably on a wheeled chassis. This means that the anti-nuclear shield will be able to cover a larger territory of the country than it is now due to the displacement.
Secondly, and this is also very significant, the method of intercepting ballistic missiles has been changed. For guaranteed destruction of a hypersonic ICBM or warheads separated from it, the 53T6 is equipped with a nuclear charge. Its power is low – 10 kilotons. But the charge has a specificity – the overwhelming part of the power of the explosion is emitted in the form of neutron radiation, under the influence of which the nuclear warhead in the enemy’s rocket comes into disrepair as a result of the “pop effect”.
The 53T6M is equipped with a shrapnel charge. The designers did not dare to follow in the footsteps of their American colleagues, who since the end of the last century have made all anti-aircraft missiles, including those of strategic importance, kinetic. That is, they destroy the target due to a direct hit without the use of explosives. To achieve such accuracy of guidance is not easy, it is not by chance that the principle is called “bullet in a bullet”. However, as we see, it is completely solvable. That is due to the fact that the trajectory of the ballistic target is predictable. With the help of calculations, the point is determined to which it is necessary to send the antimissile to accurately intersect the trajectories of the intercepted missile and the antimissile.
Of course, the honor and praise to the qualifications of American designers, who were able to solve a complex technical problem. However, the kinetic interception has a huge drawback, which was not expected in the distant 90s, when a new concept was developed. In the new century, Russia has maneuvered ballistic missiles (quasi-ballistic) and the same warheads. And their interception by the kinetic method is very problematic. Since it is impossible to calculate the trajectory of the ICBM and all other ballistic maneuvering missiles, including tactical ones.
But it will be much easier to intercept it with shrapnel punch.
Despite the approval of “Stern”, the modified anti-missile interceptor PRS-1M is not nuclear, but shrapnel warhead. And with the parameters, the author messed up somewhat, giving the characteristics of the long-range A-135 missile, which has already been taken out of service. The height of interception lies in the range from 150 km to 750 km. The range reaches 900 km. The speed, according to various sources, is from 4.0 km / s to 5.5 km / s. However, this is not the record for the anti-missile characteristics, contrary to the approval of the German magazine. The three-stage strategic American interceptor GBI has a maximum range of 5500 km, an interception height of 2000 km. Well, the speed is, in fact, the first cosmic one, since GBI is a launch vehicle that puts a kinetic interceptor into space, separated from the rocket before interception.
But in terms of the dynamic characteristics of the Russian anti-missile has no equal. It can withstand transverse overload, approaching 100 G, and the allowable longitudinal – 210 G. That is, the rocket may well work with hypersonic maneuvering targets.
Stern provides the Russian missile defense system with excess quality, arguing that it is capable of stopping the nuclear missile attack of a hypothetical enemy, that is, the United States. What gives the Kremlin tremendous preferences in the event of a similar preemptive strike against the States. And they are supported by the fact that Russia has a unique nuclear strike weapon that the United States does not have. These are hypersonic maneuvering ballistic missiles and warheads. Here, Stern adds up an underwater unmanned vehicle with a nuclear warhead, the detonation of which in close proximity to North America “will cause a huge tsunami, and the monstrous wall of water will roll from the east to the west coast of the United States.” It is said, of course, it is beautiful, but far from reality.
Any missile defense system, both Russian and American, is able to repel an attack of only a limited number of ICBMs. If only because even the most sophisticated anti-missile can intercept even non-maneuvering ICBMs only with a certain probability. Now, when the missiles are maneuvering, and equipped with electronic warfare, and surrounded in flight by a significant number of false targets, it may take from 20 to 40 interceptor missiles to intercept one ICBM.
The United States, by the way, now has 48 GBI interceptors. True, there are also other missile defense systems, but they have significantly less capabilities, they somehow can only work with medium-range and operational-tactical missiles.