Washington already in the early 2020s will deploy new precision missiles (Precision Strike Missile) and hypersonic missiles with a ballistic warhead. Previously, these weapons were banned by the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty). This was stated by US Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy during a conference organized by Defense News.
– All this can be done in the very near future. If we make progress in the next 12-18 months, missiles can be deployed in the early 2020s, – said McCarthy.
He also said that the United States intends to test a medium-range ground-based ballistic missile before the end of 2019.
Recall that the INF Treaty expired on August 2, 2019. The US and Russia refused to renegotiate the agreement, blaming each other for the termination of the agreement.
On August 21, the Pentagon announced successful ground launches of the previously banned Tomahawk missile. In response to this, Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with permanent members of the Security Council of the Russian Federation instructed to develop symmetrical measures for US actions.
– The use of the universal launcher Mk-41 during the test fully confirms the validity of the claims that the Russian side expressed to the United States during the period of the INF Treaty. We have repeatedly pointed out that the deployment by Americans of such installations on land, on the basis of missile defense in Romania, and their forthcoming deployment in Poland are a direct and substantial, flagrant violation of the treaty. The Americans stubbornly rejected this, claiming that the ground MK-41 was supposedly unable to launch Tomahawk sea-based cruise missiles. Now the fact of violation is obvious, – Putin declared.
According to the head of state, “the Americans have organized a propaganda campaign about allegedly non-compliance by Russia with the provisions of the” INF Treaty “to” untie their hands to deploy previously banned missiles in various regions of the world. ”
First of all, Putin noted, we can talk about the Asia-Pacific region (the head of the Pentagon, Mark Esper, spoke about this possibility earlier).
What exactly will be our answer, Putin did not go into it. This, in particular, may be about testing the ground version of the Caliber cruise missile, which until now, like the Tomahawk, was launched only from ships.
According to analysts, the problem of a “symmetrical response” is that Russia does not have the financial and technical capabilities to get involved in a full-fledged arms race. Say, theoretically, Russia could deploy its medium-range missiles in Venezuela, Nicaragua or Cuba. But in practice, such measures are unlikely to reach.
In fact, the collapse of the INF Treaty was yet another proof of the crisis of confidence between the United States and the Russian Federation. According to experts, the next victim of confrontation could be the Strategic Offensive Arms Treaty (START-3), and many consider it “the last pillar of global strategic security.”
What is the USA really achieving, and how can we answer them?
- Americans can place Tomahawk cruise missiles in the ground version even today, – notes Mikhail Alexandrov, a leading expert at the Center for Military-Political Research at MGIMO.
– Tomahawk, in fact, is a universal launch container that can be installed anywhere. By the way, our Caliber missiles are also placed in containers, so there are no problems with a symmetrical response to Tomahawk.
But Ryan McCarthy is not talking about this, but about medium-range ballistic missiles. And the problem is that the United States does not currently have such missiles. The Americans did not develop rockets in this class, and they did not make new intercontinental ballistic missiles for a long time.
So whether they can quickly make a medium-range ballistic missile is a big question. All the masters boast, but making a good rocket is difficult. Moreover, and. about. US Secretary of the Army talks about a hypersonic missile.
In 2017, I examined the gap between us and the Americans in the field of hypersonic weapons, and I estimated the lag of the Americans at 10 years old. So, I think, by 2028 they will be able to deploy a medium-range hypersonic missile. If we talk about a conventional medium-range ballistic missile, it will take less time – maybe by 2025 the Americans will do something.
And you need to understand: when McCarthy talks about the “deployment” of such weapons, we are talking about military-technical deployment. This means that the missiles will do, take them into service, and they will be in the United States. As for the specific deployment sites outside the United States, this is a purely political issue, and largely open.
– Can Americans deploy medium-range missiles, say, in Alaska?
– They can – but where will these missiles get? They will be able to hit some of our lifeless areas in the Far East, plus Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Anadyr are not very significant goals.
It turns out that in Alaska there is no sense in deploying such missiles.
But it makes sense for us to deploy medium-range ballistic missiles in Chukotka. Then we can get them not only Alaska, where the ABM mines are located, but also Seattle – there are large aircraft factories, and missile mines in Montana and North Dakota.
To do this, by the way, it’s enough for us to deploy Iskanders in Chukotka – they will be able to knock out elements of the American missile defense, which is beneficial to us.
So the US needs to think ten times before deploying missiles in Alaska.
– Can Americans deploy medium-range missiles in Japan or South Korea?
– This requires a political solution to these countries. Australia, for example, has already stated that it is not going to deploy American medium-range missiles. Although, it was precisely Australian rockets that could reach the territory of China from a safe distance, and especially the area of the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
The Australians, I think, did the right thing: why should they get involved in a nuclear missile confrontation with Beijing? There is no reason to encourage this new arms race, and become the target of a Chinese retaliatory strike.
– And what do the prospects for accommodation in Europe look like?
– The United States can deploy missiles in Poland, Romania, possibly in Bulgaria and the Baltic republics. All these countries, I note, EU members, and other EU members, one must think, will insist on a collective solution to the issue. And far from the fact that they will want to participate in this provocation.
Because American missiles in Europe, of course, will provoke a Russian response. And we must understand: the distance from the border to some launchers is minimal, so that we can even cover them with the Smerch system. And the rest of the launchers, for example, in Poland, will get the Iskander without any problems – the approach time will be only 2-3 minutes.
As a result, the risk of an accidental outbreak of a major war will greatly increase. Say, some movements of the Americans at their facilities in Poland can provoke us to a preventive non-nuclear response – and the escalation will spin.
– What should we do now?
– Deploy your missiles in the European part of the country. This will create a certain threat to NATO, and in the end will force the bloc to negotiate. So far, the Americans do not want to take any obligations on themselves, and the formula that the Russian Foreign Ministry is promoting – “we will not deploy missiles unless you will” – is, from my point of view, effective.
In this situation, the United States can safely make a medium-range ballistic missile, and begin to be the first to deploy it in Europe. If we get ahead of the Americans and deploy at least a small number of missiles, the United States will be pulled over. And then we can start a new conversation with them about confidence-building measures and non-placement.
- The United States adhered to the strategy that it adopted in 2000, – said Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, academician of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, former head of the Main Directorate for International Military Cooperation of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
- Its essence is that ICBMs and ballistic missiles, which fall under the agreement on the RMND, should not be given special attention – they do not need to be developed. In January 2003, President George W. Bush signed a fast global strike strategy directive. As a result, the United States reoriented from ballistic heavy missiles to precision weapons.
Then a wide line of development and testing of high-precision cruise missiles, including hypersonic missiles with a range of up to 6 thousand km, and the ability to go around the area, was launched.
A lot of money was invested in these developments – they received them due to savings on the development of ballistic missiles. It is this direction, I believe, that is today the main thing for the USA.
Yes, Ryan McCarthy announces the development of a new medium-range ballistic missile. But it’s hard to say what it will be. The last American missiles of this class – Pershing II – had a range of up to 2700 km, and Russian Pioneer systems surpassed them. It is entirely possible that the Pioneer will serve as a guide for current American developments.