Russia has witnessed a revolution in the field of missile weapons.
As always in Russia, the most important results go unnoticed. And now only the experts have realized that in the field of missile weapons, Russia has made truly revolutionary progress, which allows us to reconsider our loss in the technological race of one of the important fronts of the Cold War.
The adoption of the BGM-109 “Tomahawk” the US Army cruise missile in March 1983 marked the beginning of a new era. Although the same cruise missiles have existed in the armies of the world since the mid-1970s, the “Tomahawk” was the first to learn to fly a fantastic range of 5,500km at that time. And at the same time they carry a nuclear charge. The United States imposed a missile arms race on the Soviet Union and won it. Out of 32 American nuclear submarines of the Los Angeles type alone, 384 Tomahawks were in service. And there were another 3,600 missiles on surface ships.
The USSR in this context looked rather pale. Our cruise missiles were mainly anti-ship missiles and were used by long-range aircraft. And because such planes could only carry a limited number of them, and we only had 76 “Strategists” themselves, it turned out that at the same time we could not release more than 600 cruise missiles in one salvo.
It’s not much. But as part of the global war strategy, this level was considered sufficient. Victory in Europe had to be achieved on the ground, and there everything was decided by tanks and artillery. To destroy the enemy on the other side of the Atlantic, it was planned to use strategic intercontinental nuclear missiles.
However, during the 2000s, it became evident that the world, as well as the nature of the fighting, had changed a lot. Cruise missiles have become a necessity, and in 2011 the Russian army was given an ambitious and principled task – to increase the number of such missiles by 30 times.
I jump ahead
The work went in two directions: improving the missiles themselves and expanding the number of their carriers. The first led to the creation of the Kh-555, Kh-101 and 3M-54 products “Kalibr”.
The latter seriously changed the composition and number of carriers. In particular, the Tu-95MS-16 is already capable of accommodating 6 cruise missiles in the internal compartment and 10 on the external suspension. But since the total number of bombers is limited by international agreements, their share of “Save” it grew relatively slightly – to 768 missiles.
The navy is something else. If in 2010 it did not have ships carrying cruise missiles, in 2014 the “Dagestan” small missile ship with 8 “Kalibrs”Appeared in the Caspian Sea. Then they built five more. Then came the “Buyan-M” is “Karakurt” projects, both new frigates, such as Project 22350, and deeply modernized ones, such as the “Marshal Shaposhnikov” large antisubmarine ships.
The baton was picked up by the submariners who “Calibrated” all Varshavyankas, Ladas, Yasens, Anteys and Shchukas. Even the not so new Project 877 “Paltus” submarines, after undergoing modernization, receive 18 “Kalibrs” every.
This brought the fleet’s salvo size to over 1,000 cruise missiles in total.
Thus, in the fall of 2020, together with the “Iskander” land-based complexes, capable of carrying 2 to 4 cruise missiles, the Russian total salvo exceeded 2,350 missiles.
Formally, this is still lower than that of the United States, but, in the first place, the latest Russian missiles are many times higher than the old American missiles “Tomahawks” in real combat effectiveness, and secondly, remember that in 2010 Russia only had 600 missiles in one salvo. So the progress in just 10 years is truly revolutionary. And who says we’ll stop here?
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