Argue faster than sound / Armaments / Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Russia is ready to make massive use of unsurpassed missiles

In a special operation in Ukraine, Kinzhal hypersonic complexes were used for the first time. Frame from the video from the channel of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Defense on YouTube

The massive use of high-precision weapons is becoming one of the main trends of the Russian armed forces. Its use began from the first minutes of the special operation in Ukraine. And if it was initially infrastructure facilities, we are now talking about well-protected ammunition depots and area targets.

The Ministry of Defense reported that an air missile system with hypersonic aeroballistic missiles “Dagger” destroyed a large underground stockpile of missiles and ammunition for Ukrainian troops in the village of Delyatyn, Ivano-Frankivsk region. After this, the official representative of the military department, Igor Konashenkov, announced that a large base for the storage of fuel and lubricants from the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the area of ​​†‹вЂ‹ the settlement of Konstantinovka, Mykolaiv region, was destroyed. “The main deliveries of fuel to Ukrainian armored vehicles in the combat zones of southern Ukraine were carried out from it,” said Konashenkov.

Both cases were the first combat episodes of the use of the Kinzhal aeroballistic missile.


It is also interesting that in the first case we are talking about the destruction of the central storage base for still Soviet nuclear weapons. It was built in 1955 on the territory of western Ukraine. In the early 1990s, the ammunition was transported entirely to Russia. Nevertheless, the underground city, buried more than 100 m, continued to function. According to its properties, it had to withstand a direct hit from an atomic bomb. By decision of the leadership of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, almost all Tochka-U operational-tactical missiles were moved to the warehouse. They were the ones who shelled the center of Donetsk. 23 people were killed and 18 others were injured.

The Kinzhal complex, according to some reports, is an aviation analogue to Iskander’s ground operational-tactical complex. The airplane version of the machine, thanks to the MiG-31 fighter aircraft, can enter hypersonic flight mode, making it virtually non-interceptable for air defense / missile defense systems.

Ten types of warheads can be used on the missile used as part of the complex. They can be nuclear weapons, clusters, consisting of 54 separate combat elements, penetrating, for the destruction of buried, well-protected objects, highly explosive fragmentation, volumetric detonating and winged. The latter allows you to not only hit the enemy’s ground infrastructure, but also act as an anti-ship weapon.

Literally before the start of the special operation in Ukraine, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu personally flew to Syria to inspect the preparations for joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean. As part of this incident, MiG-31K fighter jets with Kinzhal complexes and Tu-22M3 long-range bombers with Kh-22 Burya cruise missiles were deployed to Khmeimim Airfield.

At the same time, Russia announced the possibility of using strategic launch vehicles to carry out non-nuclear missions. Unlike the United States, this is a completely new term for Russia, which means a departure from the previously existing view of the development and use of nuclear weapons.

In the case of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and those deployed on strategic nuclear submarines (SLBMs), START3 makes no distinction between nuclear weapons and non-nuclear warheads. The Parties may, in their sole discretion, equip these missiles with any type of warhead, but they are all counted as nuclear weapons.

Until recently, Moscow has categorically opposed Washington’s use of all strategic missiles to deliver conventional warheads, since the launch of land-based and sea-based ballistic missiles with any warhead against the enemy was considered a nuclear attack.

This in fact undermined the basis of mutual security. It is physically impossible to check which warhead is on the machine during launch. Therefore, missile defense systems, as well as assault weapons from strategic nuclear forces, are automatically brought to full combat readiness.

But after the publication of the Americans’ complete response to previously received proposals for mutual security guarantees, it can be stated that the Kremlin’s patience has burst.


Commenting on Russia’s use of non-nuclear strategic weapons, in a conversation with TASS, Colonel Viktor Yesin, the former head of the Strategic Missile Forces Headquarters, noted that “strategic non-nuclear forces include high-precision long-range weapons that can solve strategic tasks. ”

These are, for example, the Kh-555 and Kh-101 cruise missiles that are actively used during the special operation (carriers are strategic bombers Tu-160 and Tu-95). The first rocket flies at 2.5, the second – at 5 thousand km. Then comes Caliber sea-based missiles with a launch range of 2,500 km.

The “Dagger” flight is an operational-tactical means, but due to the carrier of the MiG-31K, its destruction area is at least 1 thousand km. Well, Kh-22/32 cruise missiles (carrier – Tu-22M3 long-range bomber). Their flight ranges from 600 to 1 thousand km.

In this context, the announcement from the Ministry of Defense that the MiG-31K fighter aircraft has been transferred to Long-Range (Strategic) Aviation is extremely interesting. A separate regiment of these machines will be based at the Savasleyka airfield in the Nizhny Novgorod region.

Meanwhile, at a recent board meeting of the military department, Sergei Shoigu spoke about the formation of a “separate air regiment” armed with MiG-31I aircraft with the hypersonic missile Dagger. It seems that the Minister spoke incorrectly and confused machine indices. But not everything is so clear.

Aircraft with index “K” are carriers of hypersonic aeroballistic missiles “Dagger”. But aircraft with index “I” have not been mentioned anywhere until recently. And yet they still existed.

MiG-31 was designed as a multifunctional platform that can carry and use different types of weapons. For example, in the 1980s, an aircraft with a “D” index was developed. It was intended to be part of the 30P6 Contact anti-satellite system developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Engineering (MIT), where the strategic missile systems Topol-M, Yars and Bulava were designed.

Unlike the standard MiG-31, the “satellite fighter” did not have an unnecessary radar and pistol. The engines have been upgraded to increase traction at high altitudes. The tests took place at the Sary-Shagan Air Defense Force’s training ground in Kazakhstan, where they tested the function of the missile defense system. The program ended in 1991.

In 2005, Russia and Kazakhstan announced plans to create another space system called Ishim to launch small satellites into Earth’s orbit. This was intended to be done by the MiG-31 with the letter “I” – “Ishim” with a three-stage solid fuel rocket created by the same MIT. It could launch a 160 kg satellite into an orbit 300 km high.

It is indicative that the words of the Secretary of Defense were heard after the North Atlantic Alliance published the document “NATO’s Comprehensive Space Policy”, which registered the intention to extend the principles of the Alliance’s collective defense to outer space. Including the 5th article, which states that “an attack on one is an attack on all.”

It can be assumed that the MiG-31I will be an oversight not only for hypersonic, but also for space systems. The car can easily climb to an altitude of up to 25 km and pick up speeds of up to 3 thousand km / h.


Colonel Sergey Suchkov, head of the Russian Air Force’s main missile warning center, says that in 2021 alone, the missile attack warning system registered more than 70 ballistic missile launches, including hypersonic, and 90 space missile (RKN) launches by the United States.

“Launches were carried out not only from distances and space ports, but also from aircraft carriers during the US testing of the so-called airborne ILV,” said Colonel Suchkov.

During the period (1994-2009) between Russia and the United States under the START-1 Agreement on Offensive Weapons Reduction, the production, testing and deployment of air-fired ballistic missiles were banned. Within the framework of START-3 extended by Moscow and Washington, all this is possible: apart from the number of carriers and nuclear warheads, this treaty does not regulate anything. Although it still requires up to 18 mutual inspections per year for all sites for ICBM, SLBM and heavy bombers.

This enabled the Americans to “modernize” their strategic nuclear forces for non-nuclear attacks on the enemy. The Pentagon has already removed 56 Trident-2 ballistic missiles and 41 B-52H strategic bombers from its nuclear power list. In addition, the United States has renamed four launch vehicles to “training silos”.

“Their rearmament was carried out in such a way that the Russian side could not confirm that these strategic offensive weapons had been brought into a state unsuitable for the use of nuclear weapons, in accordance with paragraph 3 of Section I of Chapter 3 of the START Protocol. “The 3-Treaty”, they then noted at the Russian Foreign Ministry. This means that all these facilities are capable of launching non-nuclear strategic missiles.

What this means is easy to understand. The flight time of a ballistic missile from one hemisphere of the planet to another, depending on its model and location, is from 18 to 25-30 minutes. These are methods for super fast response.

Earlier, Moscow and Washington warned each other in advance to test such systems. In the case of “non-nuclear” equipment, there is no such need. That is, at any time, the United States can strike at any country in the world – without explaining the causes and without any consequences for itself.

It seems that the lack of real measures to consider Russian proposals for security guarantees has forced the Kremlin to show its cards; we can also take such action. Perhaps this is what President Vladimir Putin had in mind when he said that if the problem is not solved, Russia will reserve the right to parry it with “military means”.

And there is a fear that the use of “Daggers” displayed in Ukraine is far from the last weapon in reserve should the situation worsen.

For example, it became known that the Russian army could use not only the naval version of the Tsirkon hypersonic missile, but also its aircraft version. It also turned out that the range of the missile could be up to 1.5 thousand km.

It is not yet clear what types of aircraft this machine can stand on. If these are strategic Tu-160s and Tu-95s, Zircon will easily fall into the “strategic non-nuclear weapons” category.

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