By Joseph Trevithick December 26, 2017
Russia testing missiles to attack America
Russia is test firing Topol ballistic missiles to defeat America’s missile defense systems. They are preparing a surprise thermonuclear first strike against America. Read more.
Russia says it has tested yet another new reentry vehicle design on an RS-12M Topol intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM. The development comes amid persistent complaints about America’s ballistic missile defense shield, as well as renewed tensions between the Kremlin and the U.S. government over various agreements limiting the development of nuclear weapons.
On Dec. 26, 2017, the Russian Strategic Missile Force fired a Topol with the “perspective [sic] armament” from the Kapustin Yar range in the Astrakhan Region near the border with Kazakhstan, state-run media outlet TASS reported. The Kremlin did not say how far the test missile flew, where it landed, or whether the experiment had been a success.
This would seem to suggest that the test of the modified RS-12M is in support of a broader, ongoing, and perhaps growing program to craft strategic weapons that can defeat ballistic missile defense systems. Russia often uses Cold War-era Topols for this test work, which makes sense given that it has been steadily replacing with the updated Topol-M and the improved RS-24, also known as the Topol-MR or Yars.
The Topol Missile
“The Topol-M missile was designed to penetrate an American anti-ballistic missile shield by leveraging high-speed, a relatively small infrared signature during its boost phase, advanced decoys (as many as ten carried on a single missile), maneuvering mid-course capability, and maneuvering independently targeted reentry vehicles, of which it can carry up to six, although they are said to carry just one operationally.
“The missile’s high speed shortens the time anyone can react to it, and every second matters when it comes to ballistic missile defense. The rocket motors were designed for a short, very powerful boost stage so that American space-based infrared detection satellites (SBIRS, DSP) have less time to detect and track it. Its decoys make it hard for radar to adequately track the correct target, and its countermeasures are said to have been upgraded to fool infrared tracking systems, which are used for mid-course interception. The missile and reentry vehicles’ ability to dynamically maneuver outside of their ballistic track makes producing an effective kill solution, or even predicting the TOPOL-M’s target, problematic. All these features come together to make a missile that is probably outside of America’s missile defense capabilities today, and the sheer number of them that exists makes the idea of defending against anything but a limited barrage totally invalid.”
This isn’t the first test of a modified Topol in 2017, either. In September 2017, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced it had fired an RS-12M with an unspecified “advanced combat payload,” which may have been a hypersonic boost glide vehicle.
“Russian officials claim a new class of hypersonic vehicle, probably called ‘object 4202,’ is being developed to allow Russian strategic missiles to penetrate missile defense systems,” U.S. Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center said in a 2017 review of worldwide ballistic and cruise missile developments. Hypersonic vehicles have very different flight characteristics and signature compared to ICBMs, which could make them harder for space- and surface-based defense systems to track and defeat.