What weapons did Vladimir Putin talk about in his Address to the Federal Assembly
On March 1, Vladimir Putin addressed the Federal Assembly. The announcement ceremony took place in Moscow, in the Central Exhibition Hall "Manege". During his speech, the President of Russia introduced a number of new strategic weapons that were a response to the vigorous activity of the United States, deploying air defense systems around the world. Naturally, a lot of discussions and analyzes of what was said immediately appeared on the Web. We will not talk about the political component of the Message, but a few words about the technical. What kind of missiles are these, to which the president devoted (according to meticulous estimates of analysts) more than 40 minutes of his speech?
There were three main points. Particular emphasis was placed on the missile system with the RS-28 Sarmat heavy intercontinental missile, which replaced the Voyevoda complex, which had been created back in the Soviet Union. Unlike its predecessor, the Sarmat liquid fuel has a shortened active flight section with a weight of over 200 tons, which makes it difficult to intercept missile defense. Instead of flying in a single ballistic arc, the missile launches many warheads, each of which behaves like guided cruise missiles. In addition, according to Vladimir Putin, “Sarmat” wins not only due to the increased flight range, number and power of warheads, but also thanks to “a wide range of high-power nuclear ammunition, including hypersonic ones”.
It's funny that to demonstrate the combat capabilities of the new complex, shots from the 2007 First Channel movie were used, which depicts the flight of the Satan rocket. This was probably done for the purpose of conspiracy - in his address, the president repeatedly emphasizes that he cannot demonstrate frames of real field trials in order to maintain secrecy. In addition, the appearance of “Sarmat” (what a rocket looks like is no longer a secret) is extremely reminiscent of “Satan”, so the video can be used repeatedly. Even according to NATO’s classification, Sarmat is called the SS-X-30 Satan 2.
In general, now quite a lot is known about Sarmat, and our site has written about it several times (for example, here or here).
Nuclear power rocket
After the presentation of Sarmat, Vladimir Putin noted that the best way to get around missile defense systems is to create missiles that do not use ballistic flight paths at all when moving toward a target. For this, Russian engineers developed a cruise missile, which has one interesting feature. A small-sized nuclear power plant is located in the body of such a missile, due to which the flight range becomes "almost unlimited". As a result, an inconspicuous missile carrying a nuclear warhead is barely visible on radars and may not be afraid of all existing missile defense systems due to an unpredictable flight path.
I must say that no one mentioned the “nuclear power plant” before the Presidential Address: in the existing X-101 rocket, which, apparently, became the basic system for the new rocket, there is a quite ordinary turbojet engine TRDD-50. It is known that there are two versions of the missile - the X-101 (non-nuclear), which has been used in Syria since 2015, and the X-102 with a nuclear warhead, which, thank God, has not been used anywhere.
The new missile has no name yet, and the Ministry of Defense even announced a contest of "popular names." The names the people offer are very funny - "Barsik", "Sanction", "Kondraty", "Parity", "Teacher", "Russia", "Ambassador", "Meldonium" and "Aspen stake".
Aviation and missile system "Dagger"
Hypersonic weapons are repeatedly mentioned in the Address of the President of Russia. As is known, the Mach number is used to indicate high speeds: 1 Mach is 1062 km / h at an altitude of 11 kilometers. Hypersound is a speed of 5 Machs and above. To date, not a single missile defense and air defense system is capable of bringing down a rocket flying at such a speed. Vladimir Putin emphasized that such weapons are already in service with the Russian military. “His tests were successfully completed, and, moreover, from December 1 last year, the complex began to carry out pilot combat duty at the airfields of the Southern Military District.” We are talking about the dagger aviation missile system - a high-speed aircraft capable of delivering a rocket to a drop point at hypersonic speed. This complex is capable of hitting a target at a distance of more than 2000 km with a conventional or nuclear warhead, while the rocket itself maneuvers in all areas of the flight.
The President noted that Russia has achieved “substantial results” in the creation of laser weapons. This is not about experimental prototypes, but about full-time weapons: from 2017, military laser systems have already entered the troops. The president has not yet revealed the details: in a short demo video, you can see that the laser weapon systems are installed on armored personnel carriers, inside which the control systems of the installation are located.
Unfortunately, everything we know about these weapons is contained in this video from the Ministry of Defense:
Unmanned underwater vehicles
Worldwide, the number of small flying drones that are used for military reconnaissance, providing soldiers on the battlefield, and even bombing is growing every year. Russian unmanned technologies instead focused on water operations: according to Vladimir Putin, unmanned underwater vehicles capable of intercontinental raids "at very great depths" have been developed in Russia. Due to their tremendous speed, such drones can not only successfully catch up with submarines, but also move away from the most modern torpedoes. Both conventional and nuclear munitions serve as ammunition, due to which drones can effectively destroy aircraft carriers, coastal fortifications and other infrastructure.
The President assured the audience that low noise combined with high maneuverability makes them virtually invulnerable. “The means that can resist them, today in the world simply does not exist, ” he said. Unmanned underwater vehicles, like missiles, will be equipped with a nuclear power plant: this will solve the problem of energy consumption. Putin noted that with a small volume (100 times less than modern nuclear submarine installations), the system requires 200 times less exit time to switch to combat mode with maximum power.
The winged block "Vanguard": 20 Machs - not the limit
Arsenal of hypersonic weapons of Russia is not limited to aviation missile complex. Vladimir Putin also spoke about another promising strategic missile system called Avangard. The complex itself is a “planning winged block”. This system differs from existing types of military equipment with the ability to fly in dense layers of the atmosphere to an intercontinental range with a hypersonic speed exceeding the Mach number by more than 20 times. During a flight at this speed, due to strong friction against the air, the skin is heated, and the rocket can simply burn in the air. To solve this problem, the unit is equipped with additional “armor” made of composite materials. According to the president, successful tests have proven that the system is perfectly controlled even when heated at 1600 - 2000 ° C.