nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Russia (discarded) plan for Nuclear ICBM’s on Trains

Russia Almost Brought Back a Terrifying Weapon: Nuclear ICBM’s on Trains,  National Interest Robert Beckhusen, 3 Apr 18, 

In October 1987, the first rail ICBM became operational in the form of the “Moldets,” a train armed with a 77-foot-long RT-23 — a type of ICBM which was also stored in silos — carrying 10 multiple-reentry warheads with 550 kilotons of explosive power each. In the 1990s and 2000s after the START II treaty, Russia decommissioned these missiles, which NATO referred to as the SS-23 Scalpel. The Kremlin produced 12 of these trains.

In 2013, the Russian military announced it would bring back rail-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles. In other words, trains with big nukes crammed inside, capable of darting around Russia, raising their launchers and firing at a moment’s notice. It was called Barguzin and would begin testing in 2019.

That was the idea. In December 2017, the Russian government put the Barguzin project on hiatus, saving the world from the specter of doomsday trains roaming Siberia. The ostensible reason — the weapon is too expensive, according to Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the government’s paper of record.

The Barguzin project was a revival of a retired leg of the Soviet Union’s ground-based nuclear “triad.” While the Soviets had nuke-equipped submarines and nuclear-armed bombers, its ground-based component had nuclear missiles mounted on huge trucks, inside underground silos and on trains. The Soviet military first signed the order for the creation of rail-mobile ICBMs in 1969, but the launchers came later.

In October 1987, the first rail ICBM became operational in the form of the “Moldets,” a train armed with a 77-foot-long RT-23 — a type of ICBM which was also stored in silos — carrying 10 multiple-reentry warheads with 550 kilotons of explosive power each. In the 1990s and 2000s after the START II treaty, Russia decommissioned these missiles, which NATO referred to as the SS-23 Scalpel. The Kremlin produced 12 of these trains.

And that was the end of Russia’s rail-mobile missiles until the Kremlin announced in 2013 that it would create a new nuke-armed train under the moniker Barguzin, or BZhRK, this time equipped with the more advanced RS-24 Yars ICBM.

The RS-24 has a similar range to the RT-23 but is three meters shorter and weighs half as much — a considerable advantage for mobile missiles. The RS-24 is also, by the way, road-mobile.

……….During peacetime they require a network of bases for storage and maintenance, where international treaties require them to stay, and extensive security detachments to protect the missiles when they move during wartime. And they’re still stuck on railroad tracks — so U.S. spies have a general idea of where to look.

Which also begs the question as to whether the nuclear-war trains could even make it out of their bases in time before incoming missiles hit in the opening minutes of a nuclear war. Sure enough, the Pentagon studied the issue during the Cold War, and even built two prototype train cars intended for the Peacekeeper ICBM, but found them to be not worth the cost and rather vulnerable……. http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/russia-almost-brought-back-terrifying-weapon-nuclear-icbms-25193

 

Advertisements

April 4, 2018 - Posted by | Russia, weapons and war

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: