Executive Intelligence Review


Russia Tests New ABM Missile and Other New Weapons

April 2, 2018—It is not just new strategic weapons which Russia is developing, such as those Russian President Vladimir Putin identified in his March 1 Address to the Federal Assembly. TASS reports on the test launching of an upgraded Russian air defense missile at Sary Shagan range in Kazakhstan, according to a report from the Defense Ministry daily Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) today.

“A new modernized air defense interceptor missile has successfully accomplished its task hitting a hypothetical target at the stated time,” the paper quotes Maj. Gen. Andrei Prikhodko, Deputy Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ air and missile defense task force.

The new missiles will be added to the A-135 anti-ballistic missile system operated by the Russian Aerospace Forces and deployed around Moscow to protect the Russian capital and its environs against enemy missile strikes, according to Sputnik. The test also concerned the missile attack warning systems and control of outer space, Krasnaya Zvezda reported.

The test apparently took place last February, after which Prikhodko said that the technical characteristics of the new interceptor missile by far exceed those of its present-day counterparts.

According to a March 27 article by Arkady Savitsky in the online journal of the Strategic Culture Foundation, Russian President Vladimir Putin left unmentioned in his March 1 televised address a number of other new weapons that Russia has developed, aside from the strategic nuclear weapons that he unveiled. One of these is the Kh-32 air-to-surface missile, which was designed to equip the Tu-22M Backfire bomber. The Kh-32 can be used against either land-based or naval targets, flies at an altitude of 130,000 feet during the mid-course phase of its flight, has a top speed of 5,400 kph, and is maneuverable during the terminal phase of its flight when it is diving down on its target at very high speed, making it very difficult to defend against.

The article also discusses the integration of drones and robots into the Russian military, including armed combat robots, and reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering systems. The Russian military is already using robots to provide security at ICBM bases.

The Russian military has also put into service a stealthy, gliding bomb called the Drel. Each unit can carry up to 15 smaller bombs, each weighing 20 kg that are self-guiding after release. A single Drel can fly up to 30 km after release from its carrier aircraft. Alexander Kochkin, the deputy head of the Techmash Concern which designed and builds the Drel, confirmed to Sputnik that it will be used to arm the Su-57 stealth fighter, but can also be used on other types of Russian combat aircraft. The Russians claim that the targeting system used for the Drel cannot be jammed.