Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian army possesses the most modern weapons, which are significantly superior in power, speed and accuracy to previous and existing models.
According to the head of state, such a situation in modern history is unique for Russia, which for decades "had to be in the role of catch-up."
“No one in the world has such a weapon, at least not yet,” Putin said in an interview with Herbert Efremov, honorary director general of the NPO Mashinostroyenia military-industrial complex, creator of the Avangard hypersonic complex.
The President noted that Russia had succeeded in closing the gap in the segment of atomic weapons and nuclear warhead delivery vehicles - intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and strategic aviation.
According to Putin, the country "had moments when we were threatened, but we had nothing to answer," but now Russia has solved the problem of maintaining a strategic balance, for which the Russian leader thanked the developers of the latest weapons.
Underwater unmanned complex "Poseidon"
© Ministry of Defense of Russia
Among the breakthrough developments, the president included Avangard, a nuclear-powered Poseidon underwater robotic drone, an X-47M2 Dagger aviation complex, an unlimited-range cruise missile Burevestnik and a sea-based Zircon hypersonic munition.
As the head of state explained, the creation of an arsenal of hypersonic weapons was a forced step in response to the withdrawal of the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002.
Attempts to find a compromise on this issue were unsuccessful, said Vladimir Putin.
“We had to create these weapons in response to the deployment of the US strategic missile defense system, which in the future would be able to actually neutralize, zero all our nuclear potential,” the president said.
"Unique combat characteristics"
According to experts, the appearance of hypersonic systems in the Russian army has leveled the potential of the American missile defense system aimed at intercepting Russian ICBMs.
The latest strike weapons allow Moscow to reliably ensure national security and maintain a balance of power in the strategic sphere.
“With the development of the missile defense system, the Americans almost got a very dangerous temptation to close the issue with the threat of nuclear retaliation.
At the same time, the strategic balance, as before, is based on the inevitability of mutual destruction.
The appearance of hypersound in the Russian Federation, in particular, Avangard, has devalued the long-term efforts of the United States in the field of missile defense, "said Alexei Podberezkin, director of the Center for Military-Political Research at MGIMO, in a conversation with RT.
Avangard is a winged unit that is installed on an ICBM.
In December last year, the complex took up combat duty in one of the regiments of the 13th missile division (Orenburg region).
“The new Avangard missile system with a hypersonic gliding winged warhead has completely unique combat characteristics.
With its adoption, the combat capabilities of the group will be significantly increased - first of all, in overcoming the anti-missile defense and hitting point-of-interest targets, ”said the head of the Strategic Missile Forces Sergei Karakaev in an interview with Krasnaya Zvezda at the end of 2018.
According to experts, now "Avangards" are equipped with ICBMs UR-100N UTTH ("Stilet" in NATO classification), but in the future they will be mounted on the newest heavy liquid-propellant intercontinental missiles RS-28 "Sarmat".
A feature of the "Vanguard" is the ability to maneuver in dense layers of the atmosphere, developing a speed of up to Mach 27.
Such speed, according to the curator of the domestic defense industry, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, practically excludes the possibility of interception by an anti-missile.
In addition to Avangard, another important achievement of Russian gunsmiths Alexey Podberezkin called the X-47M2 (Dagger) aviation complex.
In some areas, the speed of the "Dagger" exceeds five Mach numbers.
The ammunition is designed to destroy large objects at a distance of over 2 thousand km.
Currently, the Kh-47M2 is included in the arsenal of the MiG-31 fighter, but, according to the expert, the hypersonic missile will also be in service with other aircraft of the Aerospace Forces, including the Tu-22M3 long-range bomber and its modernized version.
Podberezkin is convinced that the Dagger plays an important role in containing the US Navy.
Multipurpose fighter MiG-31 with a hypersonic missile "Dagger"
© Evgeny Biyatov
“The MiG-31 is capable of lifting one missile into the air, but the Tu-22 can already accommodate two or three Daggers.
This number of missiles will be enough to destroy the aircraft carrier.
This is already a decisive change in the balance of forces, ”Podberezkin said.
Along with the Dagger, the capabilities of the Russian fleet should be enhanced by the 3M22 Zircon missile.
This sea-based ammunition is capable of striking targets at a distance of over 1,000 km.
During the flight, the complex can develop a speed of 9 Mach numbers.
According to the RF Ministry of Defense, the Zircon will be in service with Russian multipurpose nuclear submarines of a number of projects, Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates and the Admiral Nakhimov nuclear-powered missile cruiser.
The arrival of missiles in the formations and units of the Navy is scheduled for 2021-2022.
From pioneers to laggards
Experts believe that in the development of hypersonic weapons, Russia is ahead of its closest competitor, the United States, by about two to four years.
At the same time, initially the domestic defense industry lagged behind the overseas.
However, thanks to the timely concentration of the necessary resources, Russia was able to break out into the absolute leaders.
“The United States is a pioneer in hypersonic technology.
Back in the 1960s, Americans began testing the world's first hypersonic aircraft, the X-15.
It is very difficult to manufacture such devices, but the Russian engineering school was able to overcome a lot of problems, "Vadim Kozyulin, a researcher at the diplomatic academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and director of the PIR Center program, said in an interview with RT.
The expert drew attention to the fact that Russia's modest military budget did not interfere with the creation of the world's first serial samples of hypersonic weapons.
As you know, the total amount of expenditures for the RF Armed Forces is about $ 46 billion. At the same time, the Pentagon, according to Kozyulin, annually allocates about $ 90 billion for research and development work (R&D).
According to the expert, Russian scientists were able to resolve issues related to thermal protection through the development of new materials.
Also, the domestic defense industry has managed to achieve progress in improving the guidance system and transmission of control signals.
“The leap that our country has made in the field of hypersound, I explain, first of all, by the increased attention to the development of nuclear forces.
A very powerful reserve was created here in the Soviet period.
The leaders of the USSR and the Russian Federation have always been concerned about the desire of the Americans to neutralize the capabilities of our nuclear triad, ”says Kozyulin.
As the interlocutor of RT emphasized, as a result of a perfect technological breakthrough, the Russian army received weapons systems that are not capable of intercepting even promising missile defense systems.
“The appearance of hypersonic products has become a guarantor of the inviolability of our borders and ensuring national security.
Military hypersound played an important role in maintaining the balance of power in the world.
In addition, achievements in this area have significantly increased the prestige of the Russian army and the defense industry, ”concluded Kozyulin.