Back during the election debates, Trump was asked about the US nuclear triad and apparently didn’t know what it was.
It is a little ironic to note the contrast with Putin, who not only knows what the nuclear triad is, he actually initiated the launch of the Russian nuclear triad a few days ago.
The US has been hammering at Russia like never before, illegally raiding its diplomatic missions in the US, and even trying to ban Russia Today, the popular TV channel and news web site, pretending with zero evidence that this news outlet interfered with “US democracy.”
Perhaps there was therefore a little Schadenfreude in Putin’s decision to set off all three phases of the triad, which from the Russian standpoint, can be defined as three methods of delivering a nuclear bomb to one’s “partners,” ie, by release from an aircraft, either as a nuclear bomb or missile; by a ground-based ICBM; and by a nuclear missile launched from a submarine.
Putin had this rare opportunity in the context of a test of the Russian nuclear facilities. The missiles flew from the launch sites straight to their targets, some traversing most of the Russian territory to get there.
We are also reminded of NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg’s allegation that over 100,000 Russian soldiers took part in an exercise that took place in in Western Russia in September where the Russian defense ministry had declared that only 12,700 were participating. The irony of this accusation was that he was complaining about drills confined to Russian territory whereas the last NATO drill was held at the Russian border in a clear cut provocation of that country. Drills of this size and magnitude have traditionally been regarded as preludes to war.
Last July’s NATO drills in Europe and the Black Sea were vastly superior in magnitude to the reported size of the disputed Russian drills.
The US Defense Department’s site defense.gov reports on these drills:
“… Saber Guardian 17 is larger in both scale and scope over previous iterations, Davis said. About 25,000 service members from 22 allied and partner nations are taking part, he added, and the exercise highlights participant deterrence capabilities -- specifically, the ability to mass forces at any given time anywhere in Europe.
“Sea Breeze 2017, a U.S. Naval Forces Europe-led multinational exercise in the Black Sea supporting NATO's Partnership for Peace initiative, July 11-21;
“Allied and partner exercises involving about 40,000 personnel from 30 nations comprise the Black Sea Region Exercises for 2017…”
Putin’s personal involvement in launching the 3 deadly types of nuclear missiles, whether intentional or not, was a reminder that no matter how many troops and armaments NATO may have, the bottom line is the death dealing triad.
And the US has numerous issues, including a lack of expertise and a culture that encourages excessively high prices. One clear advantage of the Russians is the availability of MIRVs, ie, missiles that deliver several independently targetable warheads. The US has one such weapon but it is currently armed with only a single warhead. The Russian Sarmat can carry 10-15 such independently targetable warheads. On top of that, Russia has anti-missile systems including the S-400, with a reputation so formidable that numerous countries around the world – including the US’s once-loyal ally Saudi Arabia – have purchased the system for their own defense. Demand for the more expensive US systems is waning.
The following is our translation of an article from the Russian language version of Ria Novosti.
The triad strike force: why Russia tested the nuclear shield
Mobile missile system RS-24 Yars
MOSCOW, Oct 27 - RIA Novosti, Andrei Stanavov. Long range Bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces, nuclear-missile submarines, the ground-based "Topol" and target areas in different parts of the Eurasian continent – a large-scale training mission under the supervision of the Strategic Nuclear Forces of Russia simultaneously included all three components of the triad. Four ballistic missiles were personally launched by the President of the country, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Russia Vladimir Putin. All training warheads successfully hit their targets. RIA Novosti deals with what today represents a domestic nuclear shield.
Putin personally launched four ballistic missiles at the exercises
In such exercises, the military usually checks the control system and the reliability of the channels for the transmission of commands and orders, and tests the quick interaction of various types and branches of the service is practiced. The Russian nuclear triad today is more than 60 percent complete with modern weapons and remains the main guarantor of national security.
Launch of missiles and flight of aircraft: the exercise of the Ministry of Defense for the management of nuclear forces
"Bears" and "Swans"
During the training, the command launched bombers from the airbases "Ukrainka", "Engels" and "Shaykovka." Airplanes with cruise missiles destroyed objects of the conventional enemy at the ranges "Kura" (Kamchatka), "Pemba" (Republic of Komi) and "Terekt" (Kazakhstan).
The shock core of the air component of the triad today consists of the supersonic strategic bombers-Tu-160, Tu-160M1 and the subsonic turboprop Tu-95MS, the famous "White swans" and the venerable "Medveds"(Bears).
© RIA Novosti / Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
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Training for management of the Strategic Nuclear Forces of the Russian Armed Forces of Russia
The Ministry of Defense annually modernizes four or five such machines. In general, they replace the avionics and electronics and install new systems for navigating and managing weapons. Last year alone the Aerospace Defense Forces were replenished with two upgraded Tu-160s and two Tu-95MS.
Engineers promise by 2019 to present the first prototype of the deep-upgraded Tu-160M2 missile carrier that will join the ranks of its "brothers" and will be the basis of the air strike component of the nuclear deterrence forces until at least 2030.
It is here that the latest technologies will be rolled out for the creation of a long-range aviation complex’s PAK DA, the bomber of the future, on which the military aerospace defense is placing a serious wager. The PAK DA is to be built on the "flying wing" scheme with a ample use of composite and radio-absorbent materials.
The Ministry of Defense conducted training for the management of the Strategic Nuclear Forces
In terms of armaments, the long-range aviation of the Aerospace Defense Forces is now getting new cruise missiles with both conventional and nuclear warheads, capable of pinpointing targets at ranges up to 5,500 kilometers. The main weapon of the "strategists" is the air-to-surface cruise missiles X-555, X-101 and its variant with the nuclear warhead X-102.
The X-555 is an improved version of the X-55 missile, created back in the 1980s, and features the newest control complex with the possibility of instant trajectory correction. The missile can deliver a cluster or fragmentation-explosive-incendiary warhead to the target at a distance of up to 2000 kilometers.
The even longer-range and more powerful missile X-101 is designed to engage important enemy targets at a distance of up to 5.5 thousand kilometers. It is worth noting that the X-101 and X-55 were used to strike at militant positions in Syria. Both missiles successfully passed combat testing.
The Ministry of Defense of Russia has received the second regiment of ZRS S-400 this year.
It is interesting that not only the "strategics", but also the long-range supersonic Tu-22M3 missile carriers attracted to the training in the management of nuclear forces. These missiles can carry 24 tons of ammunition, accelerate to 2300 kilometers per hour and go to the raid thousands of miles from the base. "Twenty-Twos" armed with guided supersonic missiles X-22M, capable of hitting targets at ranges up to 480 kilometers.
In addition, the "bird" can take bombs or up to ten operational-tactical X-15 aerial ballistic missiles. They reach mach 5 and can destroy enemy airbases, radars, command posts and military factories at a distance of up to 300 kilometers. Roughly speaking, this is a kind of "Iskander", only air-based.
Strategic cruise missiles are a formidable weapon, but for global nuclear deterrence, they alone are not enough. On Thursday, an intercontinental ballistic missile "Topol" rose into the sky from Plesetsk, clearly operating on the active site, transporting and deliver a combat package to the Kamchatka training ground "Kura".
Intercontinental carrier: why Russia needs a new heavy rocket
In addition to the "Topols", the Strategic Missile Forces are armed with missile systems of four other types: RS-20M Voevoda, RS-18A, RS-12M2 Topol-M and RS-24 Yars. 99 percent of the launchers are available for the troops in the combat-ready state, and more than 96 percent are in constant readiness for immediate launch.
The heavy "Voevoda" alone is capable of delivering 8.8 tons of nuclear payload to enemy territory. The missile carries ten separate warheads with a one megaton capacity each. One strike of the "Voevoda" can level a city the size of New York.
"Yars" missile complex
The rest of the missiles are far inferior to this, for example, the "Yars", which is already provided to nine regiments, is throwing a thermonuclear charge with a total capacity of just over one megaton. Another thing is that "Yars" are manufactured not only in a version for launching from a shaft, but also in a mobile design, which makes it less vulnerable.
In the event of a threat, the complexes are sent for combat patrolling, constantly moving and "hiding" from satellites by masking. It will be very difficult for the enemy to locate them. The systems are also equipped with the latest technologies for overcoming
the enemy's antimissile defense.
As for future prospects, the defense design bureaus are now concentrating their efforts on the creation of the Sarmat heavy rocket, which is to replace the Voevoda, as well as the design of the Barguzin military railway complexes.© AP Photo
Military personnel inspect the shaft of the missile "Topol-M"
The "Sarmat" is a real nuclear "monster". Its starting mass will be about 110 tons, and its range is more than 11 thousand kilometers. The new missile will be able to carry 10 to 15 separate warheads weighing up to 750 kilotons each. It features a hypersonic approach to the target, individual guidance programs, active protection against interception and many other useful "chips".
The American publication Business Insider included "Sarmat" along with "Yars" in the list of the most deadly Russian weapons. The material notes that NATO has already called the new missile "Satan-2."
Strike from the ocean
The third component of the Russian shield is the underwater nuclear fleet. As part of the inspection of the submarine of the Pacific Fleet, a salvo launch of two ballistic missiles from the waters of the Sea of Okhotsk along the range of Chizh, located in the Arkhangelsk region. The submarine of the Northern Fleet launched the missile almost toward it - from the waters of the Barents Sea to the "Kura" in Kamchatka.
The Russian strategic submarine of project 955, "Vladimir Monomakh"
Today, more than a dozen missile submarines are on accounted for, continuously patrolling in the sea and ocean waters. Only the Pacific Fleet is served by three Kalmars (Squids), project 667BDR and two new "Boreis" project 955, which are part of the 25th submarine division.
Shchuka: how the 971 submarine of the project went to the top 5 most dangerous armaments of Russia
Boreis with Bulava marine solid-propellant missile systems are part of the arsenal of the Northern and Pacific fleets. One such cruiser carries 16 missiles. It is the Boreis that will soon form the basis of the strategic nuclear forces group of the Russian Navy. In the period up until 2020, the fleet should receive eight subs of this project, while the construction of strategic fifth-generation submarines is scheduled to begin after 2025.
The main submarine of Project 955 - Yuri Dolgoruky (accepted into the Russian Navy on January 10, 2013) servees in the Northern Fleet, the second cruiser of the series - Alexander Nevsky and the third - Vladimir Monomakh - in the Pacific Fleet. The Strategic missile submarine cruisers "Prince Vladimir", "Prince Oleg", "Generalissimo Suvorov", "Emperor Alexander III", and "Prince Pozharsky" are under construction.
The Borei nuclear submarine missile cruiser
The missile should be described separately. Each "Bulava" weighs more than 36 tons and is equipped with a dozen individually guided nuclear units capable of overcoming the missile defense of a probable enemy. The maximum flight range exceeds eight thousand kilometers. It is noteworthy that the "Bulava" cruiser can fire even while moving - due to an inclined launch.