Posted 26 марта 2021,, 09:34

Published 26 марта 2021,, 09:34

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:36

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:36

"Cartoons" about Russian missiles scared the Pentagon: the United States urgently modernizes its missile defense

"Cartoons" about Russian missiles scared the Pentagon: the United States urgently modernizes its missile defense

26 марта 2021, 09:34
The American military command took seriously the new capabilities of Russian hypersonic attack weapons and decided to create a system of protection against them.

Victor Kuzovkov

The United States decided to modernize the existing missile defense systems in service. First of all, it is planned to modernize the Command, Control, Combat Management and Communication System (C2BMC), linking together the key elements of the American missile defense system, in particular, the Patriot, THAAD, Aegis complexes, the AN / TPY-2 radar and the space infrared detection system and SBIRS warnings.

The reason for this decision, in general, is expected - the American command took seriously the new capabilities of the Russian hypersonic means of attack and considered that the military might not have enough capabilities to counter them. The statement of the US Missile Defense Agency, in particular, noted Russian hypersonic gliding warheads, hypersonic and supersonic missiles, and some other types of weapons. That is, it is obvious that the "cartoons" shown by the President of the Russian Federation Putin were taken very seriously overseas and the appropriate conclusions were drawn.

It is emphasized that the work will take place in stages, without harm to the combat readiness of the system as a whole. In doing so, the stages, which usually take two to three years, should be accelerated. Also, contractors are expected to be compatible with similar systems of American allies.

At first glance, all this looks quite logical. Indeed, the US in full growth was faced with the task of defending against some new models of Russian weapons, which at the moment, frankly, look quite ultimatum. At the same time, it is obvious that the Americans will not be able to solve this problem by "cosmetic" fine-tuning of the electronic part of the missile defense system. Alas for them, the level of the problems posed by the Russian defense industry is too serious for simple and easy solutions to be the answer.

Today we are firmly aware of three types of hypersonic weapons, which are either put into service with the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, or are undergoing the last stages of testing. These are the first announced complex 9-A-7660 "Kinzhal", hypersonic gliding warhead 15P771 "Avangard" and anti-ship hypersonic missile 3M22 "Zircon". With some basic similarity (speed), these systems are very different from each other and suggest different ways of possible counteraction to them. Strictly speaking, to date, there are no missile systems at all that imply the sure defeat of at least one of them, even in favorable conditions.

For example, the airborne hypersonic complex "Kinzhal" is not at all a hypersonic missile in the classical sense of the term. This is an aeroballistic rocket of a rather large mass, capable of flying almost a thousand kilometers (but not from any carrier) along a ballistic (this is important) trajectory. That is, it does not make a "smooth" flight in the upper layers of the atmosphere, but rises in an arc to a height of, according to some sources, about eighty kilometers, after which it falls from there, using the accumulated kinetic energy and steering, if necessary, with jet dynamic rudders.

The vast majority of the currently available anti-aircraft missile systems of any country, in principle, are not designed to counter such systems. The altitudes at which most of the "Kinzhal's" flight takes place excludes its reach for Patriot missiles, for example, or Russian S-300 / S-400 missiles. Defeat is possible only at the final stage, when the missile is at altitudes accessible to anti-missiles, of the order of 30-40 kilometers, in the target area. But there is one huge problem - speed. Interception of such a target as "Kinzhal" by anti-missile missiles, which have their own speed in the region of Mach 5-6 (speeds of sound), is possible only if it does not maneuver. Only in this case, the anti-missile can be brought to the calculated meeting point with the target in advance and undermine it, hitting the attacking missile with a cloud of debris. Any maneuver of the target instantly leaves the anti-missile system out of work - the speed in order to correct the trajectory, catch up and shoot down the "Kinzhal" ("Dagger"), it simply does not have enough speed.

The same, only to a superlative degree, can be said of the Avangard gliding warhead. It also rises to great heights with an attacking ICBM. Only this time not 80, or even 100 kilometers, but about 10 times higher, up to a thousand. Maybe even higher, by the way, it depends on the required launch range and the chosen trajectory. It is simply impossible to hit a rocket at such a height with existing means. And having climbed to the maximum height, it simply releases the warheads, that is, in our case, Avangards, into free fall.

More precisely, it used to be free, strictly subordinate only to the laws of ballistics. Now, with the advent of "Avangard", everything has changed - using the atmosphere and, probably, the steering engines, the warhead, which has received tremendous acceleration from the rocket, can "pancake" several times rebound from the atmosphere, falling hundreds, if not thousands of kilometers from the calculated points. Counteracting this in the very last leg of the flight is difficult for the same reason as in the case of the "Kinzhal" - the combination of tremendous speed and maneuver makes the "Avangard" just as, if not more, invulnerable to US missile defense systems.

The latter should be specially mentioned. Object (that is, covering a certain object or sector on the map) missile defense systems have long been developed by both the Americans and our designers. And I must say that there are successes in this direction - Moscow's missile defense system, for example, began to be created back in the mid-fifties of the last century, and in 1961 the B-1000 antimissile was the first in the world to successfully intercept a medium-range ballistic missile. At the moment, they have become very advanced, because modern missile defense systems are capable of shooting down an ICBM warhead, located at a distance of hundreds of kilometers from it, with a direct hit.

But there is, as they say, "one caveat" - the accuracy of these systems is ensured by the preliminary withdrawal of the anti-missile to the design point. That is possible only if this warhead falls freely along a ballistic trajectory and its, this trajectory, can be calculated with an accuracy of literally up to a meter.

As we understand it, this does not work with Avangard. Moreover, from the word "absolutely". And no matter how much you improve the electronic filling of the complexes, such a task cannot be solved without the appearance of new missiles. Let us add about the electronic stuffing that already in the 60s and 70s it was able to successfully hit targets flying at a speed of Mach 2-3. Then it was not even so much electronic, by the way, as tube and analog, but not the essence. And the point is that the capabilities of modern electronics surpass those archaic samples by several orders of magnitude, that is, thousands of times or more. That is, strictly speaking, they are already enough to intercept the "Kinzhal" or "Avangard". So the problem is precisely in the means of direct interception, namely in missiles or, for example, lasers.

The only true hypersonic missile on this list is the Zircon hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile. And only in relation to it can the operation of the existing anti-missile defense systems be allowed in certain sections of the flight. The fact is that the height of the rocket on the march (and this is most of the distance) is about 30 kilometers. That is, missiles of the Patriot or THAAD complexes, as well as the ship's missile defense and air defense systems "Standard" of various modifications, can reach there. True, there are many "ifs" here too - if the Zircon will not maneuver at all during its exit to the target area, and if its route passes through the positions of a ground-based air defense system or a warship. With a bit of a stretch, such a possibility can be admitted, but it is hardly large enough to save the American army and navy from catastrophic losses in the event of a conflict with Russia. This means that this option is unlikely to be considered acceptable in Washington.

In this case, we can say with confidence that the adopted program is either half-hearted or not the main decision. Probably, it will not be a great exaggeration to say that the Americans still have the main work, and it is very likely that it is already being carried out, and in an emergency mode. It is still difficult to say what we will get in the end: it may be a new generation of interceptor missiles that can effectively cope with targets maneuvering at a speed of Mach 10, which will allow us to shoot down attacking missiles at long distances, or maybe laser or electromagnetic weapons capable of providing defense at the last line of defense.

The latter, by the way, is very likely, after all, did the Russian defense industry manage to create the Peresvet laser complex? The Americans, let's be realistic, are not particularly stupid than us, and they will certainly be able to cope with a similar task.

And most likely, both options will actively develop, and our "sword" in the future will cease to be such an ultimatum weapon as it is now. Another thing is that it will take no less than a decade, or even more. And whether the Americans have it is still a big question...