A Layered ABM System to Be Deployed In Russia
(Source: TASS-Defense; published June 27, 2017)
MOSCOW --- A national layered anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system will be deployed in Russia by 2025, Sergey Boev, chief designer of the missile attack warning system, reported. It has to include long-range exoatmospheric interceptor missile systems, air/space defense missile system and short-range endoatmospheric interceptor missile systems, online media outlet Free Press writes.

Boev justified the need to develop a layered ABM system by the threat posed by land-based Euro-ABM systems being deployed in Romania and Poland. "The launchers can be covertly converted to accommodate medium-range ballistic missiles," he said. The launchers, in which the SM-3 anti-missiles are housed, are universal and can be used to launch a number of ballistic missiles prohibited by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. It is not mere chance that there have been recently debates in the United States on revising this treaty.

The first echelon has to provide long-range intercepts. It is based on implementing a project to upgrade the A-135 Amur ABM system that covers Moscow and the Central Industrial Area to the A-235 Nudol level. These works should be completed by 2020. In the meantime, two new short- and long-range interceptor missiles will be adopted.

When the A-135 was put on alert, the system had two missiles: 53T6 short-range endoatmospheric and 51T6 long-range exoatmospheric interceptor missiles. In 2006, the phasing-out of long-range missiles began. However, the name does not fully reflect the performance characteristics of the 53T6 missile. Its intercept range is 100 km and altitude is 30 km. Upon completion of the official tests, A. Basistov, general designer of the A-135 ABM system, announced that the missile had large margins for all its parameters with respect to those specified in the documents when it was certified.

The same can be said also about the modified long-range interceptor missile. In a number of reports from sources at the defense department and in the defense industry, its range should reach 1500 km, while the maximum intercept altitude - 750 km. It is capable of destroying not only ICBMs in the mid-course and terminal phases of the trajectory, but orbital spacecraft as well. The new systems can move on mobile launchers.

The middle echelon of ABM defense is provided by the S-500 SAM system. In fact, these are two systems, one for air defense and other for missile defense, each being quite autonomous. This stems from the fact that the system has two independent hardware parts, including different AESA radars, and two sets of missiles, for aerodynamic targets and for ballistic ones.

Some of the missiles used in the S-500 have been borrowed from the S-400 Triumph SAM. Three missiles are being developed specifically for the S-500. Of these, the heaviest missile has a range of 600 km. This missile is superior to the missile used in the US THAAD land-based ABM system. Two more missiles, developed at the Fakel Design Bureau to intercept ballistic targets, are close in performance to the short-range interceptor missile of the A-135 Amur ABM system.

The essential difference between the S-500 and the US THAAD system is predetermined primarily by the difference in the speeds of the interceptor missiles, as well as the capabilities of the target detection and missile guidance systems. The Russian systems are able to counter ICBMs, while the US one can engage only short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, which have a lower speed compared with ICBMs.

In conclusion, it is necessary to say about the missile attack warning system’s radars, which are the critical element of the national ABM system. This role is played by Voronezh-type high factory readiness radars having a range of 4500 km to 6000 km. This year, with the commissioning of three radars, Russia’s radar troops began to fully control the air space along the perimeter of the Russian border to a depth of 6,000 km.

A total of seven radars of different versions - VHF, UHF and ‘high-potential’ radars - are currently on alert. A centimeter-band radar offering the highest resolution is expected to be commissioned soon, online media outlet Free Press recalls. -

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