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Russian Air Defenses

This is a discussion on Russian Air Defenses within the Missiles & WMDs forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; As many may have seen the U.S. military tested a hypersonic vehicle designed to be used for strike missions as ...


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Old November 26th, 2011   #1
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Question Russian Air Defenses

As many may have seen the U.S. military tested a hypersonic vehicle designed to be used for strike missions as part of the Global Strike initiative. Shorty after Russian officials claimed that their air defense network was up to the task of successful defense against this threat as well as other ballistic missile threats, stealth aircraft, drones, and cruise missiles. Are Russian air defenses really even close to this level of sophistication against threats that are still in the early development stage? No nation would be stupid enough to initiate a war with the Russian's so why all the posturing on their part? Didn't anyone tell them the cold war is over and we don't need or want another?
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Old November 27th, 2011   #2
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Wow, I found your some of your sentences to be totally immature and foolish. And of course that Russian is making shit up. Russia doesn't have anything to stop a hypersonic attack from either a missile or an unmanned fighter/bomber plane. So there's no need to bitch about what this rushed fool said....
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Old November 27th, 2011   #3
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Wow, I found your some of your sentences to be totally immature and foolish. And of course that Russian is making shit up. Russia doesn't have anything to stop a hypersonic attack from either a missile or an unmanned fighter/bomber plane. So there's no need to bitch about what this rushed fool said....
Well, yet again you prove you're incapable of retaining any level of maturity when responding to a post with which you disagree. You've been warned about this behaviour before, so I think this is goodbye...
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Old November 27th, 2011   #4
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As many may have seen the U.S. military tested a hypersonic vehicle designed to be used for strike missions as part of the Global Strike initiative. Shorty after Russian officials claimed that their air defense network was up to the task of successful defense against this threat as well as other ballistic missile threats, stealth aircraft, drones, and cruise missiles. Are Russian air defenses really even close to this level of sophistication against threats that are still in the early development stage? No nation would be stupid enough to initiate a war with the Russian's so why all the posturing on their part? Didn't anyone tell them the cold war is over and we don't need or want another?
I don't know enough about internal Russian politics but my guess is just that. I think what can also fall in this category is the problem Russia has with ABM missiles based in Poland or Romania. We might be able to station a few ABM missiles to stop an Iranian IRBM but there is just no way those missiles could do more than a small dent on full bore nuclear ICBM strike from Russia on USA. But Russia seems very perturbed by this, I think it is just noise for internal consumption and maybe to be able to get some small concession at hypothetical negotiations.
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Old November 28th, 2011   #5
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I don't know enough about internal Russian politics but my guess is just that. I think what can also fall in this category is the problem Russia has with ABM missiles based in Poland or Romania. We might be able to station a few ABM missiles to stop an Iranian IRBM but there is just no way those missiles could do more than a small dent on full bore nuclear ICBM strike from Russia on USA. But Russia seems very perturbed by this, I think it is just noise for internal consumption and maybe to be able to get some small concession at hypothetical negotiations.
The concession that Russia was given was not small at all. The US offered Russia participation in testing of the system, with Russian radars tracking the missile, as proof that the BMD is no threat to the Russian arsenal. One might infer that Russia's tactic of throwing tantrum when it sees something it doesn't like, is working.

That point aside, given that few people know what a hypersonic weapon will look like, and what kind of capabilities are needed to intercept it, the statement has little concrete value to it. That having been said, when hypersonic weapons enter service, it is quite likely that Almaz will work up the necessary performace for the S-500, or whatever theater-SAM is being used at the time, to handle it.
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Old November 28th, 2011   #6
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That point aside, given that few people know what a hypersonic weapon will look like, and what kind of capabilities are needed to intercept it, the statement has little concrete value to it. That having been said, when hypersonic weapons enter service, it is quite likely that Almaz will work up the necessary performace for the S-500, or whatever theater-SAM is being used at the time, to handle it.
Seems to me that a hypersonic SAM missile might be one of the first items produced when they master the technology. Maybe not though, it appears most missile based guidance technologies (IR and radar) are not compatible with hypersonic designs because of the heat problems.
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Old November 28th, 2011   #7
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The concession that Russia was given was not small at all. The US offered Russia participation in testing of the system, with Russian radars tracking the missile, as proof that the BMD is no threat to the Russian arsenal. One might infer that Russia's tactic of throwing tantrum when it sees something it doesn't like, is working.

That point aside, given that few people know what a hypersonic weapon will look like, and what kind of capabilities are needed to intercept it, the statement has little concrete value to it. That having been said, when hypersonic weapons enter service, it is quite likely that Almaz will work up the necessary performace for the S-500, or whatever theater-SAM is being used at the time, to handle it.
I think alot of russian stuff is for domestic consumption. Like the bear flights there really isn't a whole lot of reason to fly a bomber into Japanese or American airspace however its plays well with the Russian people. Politics.
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Old November 28th, 2011   #8
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The Russians are only trying to say we can try the old techniques used during the Soviet erra where in the face of their technological backwardness relative to the west were making empty claim of an equal force with the US. At the wake of operation desert storm they couldn't manage to hide their feelings that their rhetorics ended up giving the west superior technology edge,they were baffled the way western aircraft easily broke through Iraqi air fences which leaders of the dying days of the soviet union said were similiar to Russian's. Another baffling incident was when a German amateur aircraft landed in the Red square. Afterall Gorby in one of his address to the politburo on his perestroika and Glassnost identified the backward trend of the Soviet union technologically to the west(soviet year book 1989/90). How much since the fall of the Soviet Union has Russia advanced? Believe me science and technology in Russia is less advanced than the soviet erra. Are they not still maintaining the old -age traditiion of being unable to send a probe to Mars? What are they claiming?.Putin's dictatorship is worst than Stalinism.

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Old November 28th, 2011   #9
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Seems to me that a hypersonic SAM missile might be one of the first items produced when they master the technology. Maybe not though, it appears most missile based guidance technologies (IR and radar) are not compatible with hypersonic designs because of the heat problems.
You don't need a hypersonic SAM to intercept a hypersonic cruise missile. What you do need is a networked sensor grid, and centralized C4I nodes that can respond to a hypersonic strike.

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I think alot of russian stuff is for domestic consumption. Like the bear flights there really isn't a whole lot of reason to fly a bomber into Japanese or American airspace however its plays well with the Russian people. Politics.
It's also training for the pilots. But you are right in the sense that this doesn't do much in terms of foreign policy.
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Old November 29th, 2011   #10
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Well, Russia has had ABM sites around Moscow since the mid 1990's and have kept upgrading it. The current version, A-135, is still active. As its missile component utilizes a nuclear warhead, I am not sure this is a viable defense against a non-nuclear weapon. However, it was designed to reach its intercept ceiling of 30km within 5 seconds of launch to intercept a MIRV warhead screaming back into the atmosphere at 20 times the speed of sound. Assuming the resulting EMP destruction was worth it, and how low to the ground the hyper projectile is flying, it could intercept a hyper velocity vehicle if it were within the interceptors launch envelope. It would seem a Pyrrhic victory to me though.

It is one thing to hit a missile with a missile, but another to hit a bullet with a missile.

I believe one issue with this weapon is that the initial launch phase is very similar to a ballistic nuclear launch. It can be disturbing to watch this thing launch while you decide if its nuclear or not.
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Old November 29th, 2011   #11
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At the wake of operation desert storm they couldn't manage to hide their feelings that their rhetorics ended up giving the west superior technology edge,they were baffled the way western aircraft easily broke through Iraqi air fences which leaders of the dying days of the soviet union said were similiar to Russian's.
It's an abosolute fallacy to bring up Desert Storm as proof of 'inferior' Soviet equipment.

The tech the Soviets exported to various client nations was usually dumbed down from their USSR-domestic counterparts. Some Iraqi tanks were of locally produced and there was no way the Iraqi airforce could stand up to the much larger and more modern US force.
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Old November 29th, 2011   #12
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You don't need a hypersonic SAM to intercept a hypersonic cruise missile. What you do need is a networked sensor grid, and centralized C4I nodes that can respond to a hypersonic strike.
No, you do not need a hypersonic SAM to intercept a hypersonic cruise missile. But it help as lot.

The speed and maneuverability of a hypersonic cruise missile can severely restrict the engagement envelope for SAMs as compared to a slower aircraft or a faster, though purely predictable, ballistic missile warhead. Simply put, you have to get a slower missile into position ahead of the a hypersonic cruise missile for any chance of an interception, and with an evasive course the time of flight will limit the distance you can do that at. That could open holes that require more launchers to provide complete coverage.
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It's an abosolute fallacy to bring up Desert Storm as proof of 'inferior' Soviet equipment.

The tech the Soviets exported to various client nations was usually dumbed down from their USSR-domestic counterparts. Some Iraqi tanks were of locally produced and there was no way the Iraqi airforce could stand up to the much larger and more modern US force.
While the Soviets dumbed down the systems, the central command doctrinal that they training the users in, which was probably reinforced by Saddam Hussein personal preferences for total control, probably had as much to do with the performance as the tech. When the American stealth fighters took out the central command node in the air ministry building the heavy SAM systems, with long ranges and high altitude capability, were pretty much shut down until the local commanders got up the nerve and reestablished control, by which time most of the battery control centers and launchers were destroyed. After the first night the Coalition aircraft could stay out of range of the most of the remaining SAM systems just by operating at high altitudes.
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Old November 29th, 2011   #13
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No, you do not need a hypersonic SAM to intercept a hypersonic cruise missile. But it help as lot.

The speed and maneuverability of a hypersonic cruise missile can severely restrict the engagement envelope for SAMs as compared to a slower aircraft or a faster, though purely predictable, ballistic missile warhead. Simply put, you have to get a slower missile into position ahead of the a hypersonic cruise missile for any chance of an interception, and with an evasive course the time of flight will limit the distance you can do that at. That could open holes that require more launchers to provide complete coverage.
Absolutely. However this is why the statement might not be a lie. The Moscow region PVO might well be able to intercept a single hyper-sonic missile. A mass strike is another story. Then again at this point in time all anyone has is prototypes.

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While the Soviets dumbed down the systems, the central command doctrinal that they training the users in, which was probably reinforced by Saddam Hussein personal preferences for total control, probably had as much to do with the performance as the tech. When the American stealth fighters took out the central command node in the air ministry building the heavy SAM systems, with long ranges and high altitude capability, were pretty much shut down until the local commanders got up the nerve and reestablished control, by which time most of the battery control centers and launchers were destroyed. After the first night the Coalition aircraft could stay out of range of the most of the remaining SAM systems just by operating at high altitudes.
In other words lack of command redundancy, low density of modern systems, and an effective ceiling for most of the systems restricted them. Things absent in Iraq, but quite present in the USSR. I don't think you can claim that the Soviet PVO and VVS would have collapsed as easily as their Iraqi counter-part. More sophisticated systems, more systems, and better training alone would make them a much more difficult target.
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Old November 29th, 2011   #14
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Well, Russia has had ABM sites around Moscow since the mid 1990's and have kept upgrading it.
Much ealier. The A-135 was preceded by the A-35.
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Old November 29th, 2011   #15
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In other words lack of command redundancy, low density of modern systems, and an effective ceiling for most of the systems restricted them. Things absent in Iraq, but quite present in the USSR. I don't think you can claim that the Soviet PVO and VVS would have collapsed as easily as their Iraqi counter-part. More sophisticated systems, more systems, and better training alone would make them a much more difficult target.
Not now, back then who knows? I certainly would not have wanted to place a bet either way.

As for density of heavy SAMs, Baghdad was probably 2nd only to Moscow at the time. It was not the number of systems that was the problem, they were deliberately targeted so in order to produce the hole in the coverage. Probably could have had more heavy systems than Moscow and it still would not have made a difference, except in the number of munitions expended.

The Iraqis had the misfortune of being the first recipients of concentrated use of both cruise missiles and stealth aircraft with smart weapons. The former snuck in under their radar to take out the missile sites, while the later had weapons big enough to take out the command bunkers (which the Tomahawks could not).

speculation
The biggest advantage the Soviets had over Iraq would have been strategic depth, so probably the first thing they did was to relocated the main command nodes beyond F-117s limited range. Beyond that increasing the mobility of the local SAM C&C groups and training them for greater independence would help a lot. As would an emphasis on low level defenses for the heavy SAM sites against cruise missiles (note how many sophisticated low altitude systems they fielded after Desert Storm).
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