Article Archive: Current 1999 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
 Latest
 News
 
 Most
 Read
 
 Most
 Commented
 Hot
 Topics
Air Defense: A Low Down Attack On Anti-Missile Missiles
   Next Article → AFGHANISTAN: The Last Straw

November 6, 2008: Russia is shipping some SS-26 (9M723K1, or "Iskander") ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad, as a way to threaten the new NATO anti-missile system being built in Poland (to protect Europe from Iranian missiles). This Russian deployment is all about a unique feature of Iskander, which is that it is not a traditional ballistic missile. That is, it does not fire straight up, leave the atmosphere, then come back down, following a ballistic trajectory. Instead, Iskander stays in the atmosphere and follows a rather flat trajectory. It is capable of evasive maneuvers and deploying decoys. This makes it more difficult for anti-missile systems to take it down. Russia is buying several dozen Iskanders for its own military. These versions have a longer range (400 kilometers) and more countermeasures (to interception). Russia will not provide details. Russia has admitted that it could use Iskander to destroy the U.S. anti-missile systems in a pre-emptive attack. Just in case Russia wanted to start World War III for some reason or another. This Iskander deployment is mainly a publicity stunt, unless you want to seriously consider the possibility that the Russians are trying to start a nuclear war.

Kaliningrad is the perfect place for Russia to start World War III. The city is the former German city of Konisgberg, which was captured at the end of World War II, and kept by Russia, as the boundaries of Eastern Europe were rearranged in the late 1940s. Until 1991, Kaliningrad was on the Soviet Union's western border. But when the Soviet Union dissolved that year, and more than half the Soviet Union split away to regain their independence as 14 new nations, Kaliningrad found itself nestled between Poland and the newly reestablished Lithuania. The small (200 square kilometers, 400,000 Russians, the Germans were expelled 60 years ago) city is still the headquarters of the Russian Baltic fleet and protected by a large force of troops and warplanes. The Iskander missiles will feel right at home.

The Iskander finally completed its development in the last few years. The 3.8 ton missile has a range of 280 kilometers, and a 900 pound warhead. Russia sells several different types of warheads, including cluster munitions, thermobaric (fuel-air explosive) and electro-magnetic pulse (anti-radar, and destructive to electronics in general.) There is also a nuclear warhead, which is not exported. Guidance is very accurate, using GPS, plus infrared homing for terminal guidance. The warhead will land within 30 feet of the aim point. Iskanders are carried in a 20 ton 8x8 truck, which also provides a launch platform. There is also a reload truck that carries two missiles.

Russia developed the solid fuel Iskander to replace its Cold War era SS-23 battlefield ballistic missiles (which in turn had replaced SCUD). The SS-23 had to be withdrawn from service and destroyed by 1991, because the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty prohibited missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,300 kilometers. When post Cold War financial problems slowed down development of Iskander, this left Russia dependent on the shorter range (120 kilometers) SS-21 system, along with some aging SCUDS, for battlefield ballistic missile support. Russia used some of these older missiles against Chechen rebels in the 1990s.

Next Article → AFGHANISTAN: The Last Straw
  

Show Only Poster Name and Title     Newest to Oldest
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6   NEXT
jak267       11/6/2008 7:10:27 AM
Also now irrelevant. OBie will drop the missile shield and no Eastern European country will be foolish enough to think that either the US or Nato will come to their aid. No Western European country will dare pissing off Russia and losing their gas and oil. Cold War II is over before it began: Russia wins.
 
Quote    Reply

doggtag    Pshaw! say it isn't so!   11/6/2008 9:01:23 AM
...everyone here knows Russian systems are crap garbage compared to anything the US makes!
 
Even if the Russians migrated an Iskander variant for naval use, both as a ship-launched SSM and a sub-launched strike missile (via a small number of VLS tubes akin to how the USN has done with the Tomahawks in several SSN boats),
even then the Russian missile would still be crap.
 
'Cause we all here know the Russians are behind the US on everything!
Let the Reds put their Iskanders in the westernmost reaches of Russian territory. We all know that even with decoys those Iskanders will still be useless against the might of the flawless technology in a US ABM shield!
 
 
 
Quote    Reply

lurker    doggtag   11/6/2008 10:20:55 AM
I cant tell whether you are being sarcastic or not : /.   Now whether they are actually behind us in all ways or not, it is very dangerous to think that way (at least for higher ups to). We should always assume they are of technological parity with us, at least until there is clear evidence that even the comman man can see (to date of which there is not). If anything else, I think this would allow for more research into "future" weapons to gain the technological advantage.
 
Quote    Reply

colforbin       11/6/2008 12:34:38 PM
it has the same problem as stealth, its a lot easier and cheaper to counter it than it is t produce it.
 
Quote    Reply

colforbin       11/6/2008 12:38:21 PM
for how much it cost though, well, hopefully someone working on it knows what their doing better than i do.
 
Quote    Reply

warpig       11/6/2008 2:04:11 PM

it has the same problem as stealth, its a lot easier and cheaper to counter it than it is t produce it.



Easier and cheaper to counter than to produce?  Huh, then apparently all that bluster I hear about how America is a threat to world peace isn't actually taken seriously by anyone, since it's been almost 20 years that the world has known about our LO capabilities, and yet there are still no counters to it deployed operationally anywhere.
 
 
Quote    Reply

WarNerd       11/6/2008 3:46:42 PM
I would not put down Russian technology too much.  Their engineers may not be on the cutting edge of many technologies, their designs tend to make better use of what they have.  They also tend to do more prototyping and multiple competing designs instead of computer models, and rely on the vision of a single lead designer rather than a committee.  This shows up as more innovative designs and (when funding is available) a shorter development cycle.
 
The big Russian weaknesses in high tech weaponry are quality control, maintenance, and corruption.  A higher portion of their arsenal will not work out-of-the-box and the majority of the maintenance has to be done by officers who are in limited supply.  The corruption just compounds the problems.
 
Quote    Reply

Whispering_Death       11/6/2008 4:40:00 PM

it has the same problem as stealth, its a lot easier and cheaper to counter it than it is t produce it.


This statement is factually inaccurate.
 
Quote    Reply

iconoclast       11/6/2008 7:09:01 PM

it has the same problem as stealth, its a lot easier and cheaper to counter it than it is t produce it.


This is right up there with Hussein's comments about unproven missile defense systems.


 
Quote    Reply

colforbin       11/6/2008 11:25:56 PM
Russia or China will not have a fleet of B-2s anytime soon, but eventually they'll figure out a way to shoot them down. Iran or North Korea maybe not so much. F-117s are already vulnerable though. Ya it should definitely provide a standoff distance advantage well into the future, but they wont be invulnerable.
 
Same with the missile shield. Its very well may be able to offer us and our allies significant protection against a missile attack from Iran or whoever for a little while, but Russia or China, not so much. Maybe it could take out a large percentage of the incoming missiles, but there will still be a lot of really big bombs going off.
 
Quote    Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6   NEXT