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Russia Will Be Able To Evade US ABM System
The new Russian systems, primarily those designed to combat theater-level ballistic missiles, will incorporate the best elements of the S-300 (pictured) family of low- to high-altitude surface-to-air missile systems, and of the S-400 Triumph systems that are to be put on combat duty in 2007.
The new Russian systems, primarily those designed to combat theater-level ballistic missiles, will incorporate the best elements of the S-300 (pictured) family of low- to high-altitude surface-to-air missile systems, and of the S-400 Triumph systems that are to be put on combat duty in 2007.
by Andrei Kislyakov
RIA Novosti political commentator
Moscow, Russia (RIA Novosti) Mar 19, 2007
The Russian leaders have apparently formulated their so-called asymmetrical reply to the comprehensive American anti-ballistic missile (ABM) program. Russia's measures will also be comprehensive, and they appear to be quite well structured. The United States is working to deploy a global ABM system that would be effective against intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and intermediate-range missiles with a range of up to 5,000 km (3,107 miles).

Leaving aside arguments concerning which possible adversary might launch such missiles against U.S. territory, I must still say that Russia has a good reason to be alarmed by Washington's plans to deploy its ABM systems and early-warning radars in Europe.

There are two aspects to this problem.

First, Russia will take asymmetrical measures. Just like the Soviet Union did during the Strategic Defense Initiative (commonly called Star Wars) period, Russia will focus on strengthening and improving its offensive nuclear missile capability.

This is a logical choice, considering two factors.

For one, offensive weapons will have the upper hand over defensive systems for a long time yet. Therefore, the current standards of military technology will prevent ABM systems from intercepting the required majority of incoming ICBM warheads equipped with evasion systems.

And then, the improvement of offensive arms with a view to evading ABM defenses will remain, in the foreseeable future, the cheapest reply to the deployment of such defenses, whose creation will cost Washington some $60 billion by 2015. Although Russia's defense budget is several times smaller than the American one, it can nevertheless maintain superiority in terms of cost-effectiveness and feasibility.

Second, recent events have shown that a potential large-scale military conflict would most likely involve intermediate missiles supported by aircraft. This means that now is the time to consider designing aerospace theater-defense systems.

Such comprehensive fifth-generation aerospace systems, incorporating anti-air and anti-space defense elements, can be created at Russia's Almaz-Antey corporation. First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, a possible presidential candidate and former defense minister, announced the news at a meeting of Russia's Defense Industry Commission in late February.

The new systems, primarily those designed to combat theater-level ballistic missiles, will incorporate the best elements of the S-300 (NATO reporting name SA-10 Grumble) family of low- to high-altitude surface-to-air missile systems, and of the S-400 Triumph systems that are to be put on combat duty in 2007.

General of the Army Vladimir Mikhailov, commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force, said at a meeting with foreign air force attaches on March 13: "We are working on a new air defense system that will be considerably better than the S-400. We have laid the groundwork to move from theory to practice."

If the Russian concept of replying to the U.S. ABM challenge is implemented in accordance with the state armaments program, Moscow will have the requisite offensive and defensive capability to repel a potential aerospace attack by 2015.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

Source: RIA Novosti

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