Russia’s Hypersonic Answer to NATO’s Missile Defense Scheme
June 13, 2016 (EIRNS)—One form of Russia’s "asymmetric response" to NATO’s missile defense system will be in the form of the RS-28 Sarmat liquid fuel ISBM, now under development for deployment in the 2018-2020 time frame. News reports out of the Russian English-language media indicate that the Sarmat will be armed with Yu-74 hypersonic glide vehicles rather than (or perhaps in addition to) conventional ballistic warheads. Sputnik, citing an analytical website called Ostkraft.ru, reports that what they call a Yu-74 vehicle was flight tested from on top of an RS-18A (NATO designation SS-19) ICBM in April. The vehicle was launched from the Dombarovsky missile base and hit its target in the Kura test range in Kamchatka, the details of which remain secret. Designed to carry up to 24 nuclear-loaded Yu-74 gliders, each Sarmat ballistic missile will be able to hit any target located within a six-thousand-mile radius within one hour, Sputnik reports. Each Yu-74 glider can be equipped with a nuclear warhead, electronic warfare (EW) applications, or false target simulators.
"These features guarantee penetration of any existing and prospective missile defense system of a potential adversary. By adopting such systems Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces will significantly increase their efficiency,"
the analysts emphasize. Ostkraft analysts emphasize that the Yu-74 gliders would not only evade NATO’s missile defense systems but will be also capable of penetrating the U.S. THAAD shield.