- The U.S. accused Russia of breaking the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by developing the Novator 9M729 missile.
- The arms race is back on; resurrection of the Cold War era is possible.
- A directed-energy weapon is a ranged weapon system that inflicts damage at a target by emission of highly focused energy, including laser, microwaves and particles beams.
Keeping in the spirit of Soviet style governance, on July 3, Russian President Putin signed into law a withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The law was passed through the Duma (Russian Parliament) almost unanimously. The Duma is the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, the upper house being the Federation Council of Russia.
The purpose of this treaty was to liquidate rockets of short and medium capability. Under the definition of the Regan-Gorbachev pact, the short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) has a range of 620 miles or less. The medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) has a range more than 620 miles and less than 1864 miles.
The treaty was ratified on June 1st, 1988 and was the first treaty in its class to liquidate a whole class of weapons. Furthermore, the treaty prohibited both sides from producing or testing new rockets within such classes. In order to provide enforcement, both sides agreed to allow inspections in order to satisfy compliance. The United States liquidated their MGM-31A Pershing 1A, MGM-31C Pershing 2, BGM-109G Gryphon missiles. The Soviets liquidated their TEMP-C and OKA, Pioneer, R-12, R-14 and RK-55.
In total 2,692 missiles were eliminated by both countries.
Under the leadership of Barack Obama, the U.S. accused Russia of breaking the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by developing the Novator 9M729 missile (NATO classification SSC-8). American President Donald Trump announced last year his interest in leaving the agreement due to Russia’s violation of the treaty.
The arms race is back on; resurrection of the Cold War era is possible. It is a dangerous step and it would mean more anxiety for neighboring nations such as Ukraine which, prior to electing their new president Zelensky, was inclined towards joining NATO and the Western Allies.
Russia is presently developing the prototype of “Sarmat.” It is meant to replace the R-36M2 (NATO classification SS-18). The Sarmat ICBM is one of the new Russian strategic weapons. It can carry up to 15 nuclear blocks. The missile is significantly faster and the blocks can move independently. Moreover, they will have hypersonic speed and can change their flight pattern.
Russia has the RS-24, which is the RS-24 Yars modification 24 (also known as RT-24 Yars or Topol’-MR). It is a Russian MIRV-equipped, thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile. This includes Avangard, a new nuclear hypersonic boost glide vehicle, which would go on the future RS-26 Rubezh ICBM.
The Poseidon is an unmanned nuclear armed undersea vehicle capable of delivering nuclear payloads.
Russia also tested their new missile defense system PRO system on July 1st.
The Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) is the anti-ballistic missile component of the United States’ Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system.
Also, the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. It enables warships to shoot down enemy ballistic missiles by expanding the Aegis Combat System with the addition of the AN/SPY-1 radar and standard missile technologies.
The U.S. Hypersonic Defense test will take place next year. Hacksaw is a solid fuel rocket with GPS guidance. This Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon is scheduled to be in-service by 2022. The weapon will be much faster and better than Russian weapons.
The U.S. also has the best missile defense system – Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). It is an anti-ballistic missile defense system with capabilities to shoot down from short to intermediate range ballistic missiles on the descent or reentry by intercepting with a hit-to kill approach.
Starting in 2021, the U.S. will be able to test lasers on the Stryker armored vehicle. The military also received approval in May for their plans to build high- powered microwave weapons, laser weapons and the development of hypersonic missiles. A directed-energy weapon is a ranged weapon system that inflicts damage at a target by emission of highly focused energy, including laser, microwaves and particles beams.
Russia is becoming more dangerous, withdrawing from the nuclear treaty and continuing to create weapons that could be dangerous to the world and humanity. Russia under Putin continues to violate global agreements to satisfy Putin’ own desires for empire. Instead of focusing on other things his country needs, he chooses to go above and beyond and overspend on defense.
History tends to repeat itself. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union it was on the verge of bankruptcy. The arms race caused the Union to become defunct– a clever power play by Reagan to convince Gorbachev to keep spending on defense.
The U.S. is forced to develop new systems in order to remain the dominant militarily and protect the world, including from Russian aggression. However, with nuclear weapons, once used there would be no turning back.