back to article Russia: our space atom rockets are bigger, nyah nyah

Russian strategic forces revealed this week that they have successfully tested a new intercontinental nuclear weapon, underscoring their ability to penetrate the developing US missile shield. "The RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile will strengthen the military potential of Russia's strategic rocket forces to overcome anti …


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Why not put it closer?

If Iran is main America's problem, why not put those interceptors, say, in Turkey? It may sound as a wild idea, but, hey, it's a NATO country - and would you believe it? - it actually borders Iran... One tends to think those faulty interceptors just might work if they are few thousand kilometers closer to the target, ha? Or, their target - another wild idea - isn't really in Iran...


World Domination

"Colonel-General Viktor Yesin also said on Russian television: "It can overcome any potential entire missile defence systems.""

Just saying so doesn't make it so. During Congressional debates about the costs of developing stealth bombers a U.S. congressman suggested that if the bombers were invisible why not just say the U.S. built them and put the money to better use.

"Whatever Putin's angry about, it isn't the US missile shield."

I couldn't say what Putin's angry about but I think the west has failed big time in moving to bring Russia into the fold. I've tried to brush up on my Russian history and current affairs because I see a stable, law abiding Russia as key, perhaps the key, to World stability and solving the problems of the west. Russia's gotten a raw deal. Granted I've talked with professionals and business people who have strongly underscored that Russia today is a lawless state but closer ties to the rest of the west could make Russia no more lawless than we are. Maybe if the U.S. and Britain stopped putting up road blocks to Russian integration with the rest of the west Putin wouldn't be so angry. With the opening of the Artic Canada has a big role to play in 'naturalizing' Russia, double plus good if Russia with it's resources and Canada with it's resources form a multifaceted cartel. We could rule the world!!! Brahaaaaaaaaaaa.

Anonymous Coward

Today it is 10 interceptors, next year...

It is the principle that pisses Putin off – America broke several agreements made with Russia, so Russia will now increase its own arsenal. Essentially, Russia welcomed America’s invitation for a new arms race...

In any case, even if it is 1 weapon, how would you feel if your country is completely surrounded by the “enemy” – most the former USSR satellite nations now have American bases,- just think about it, if America wants to protect itself from Iran, built a base in Turkey!!! If you want to quickly react to harrow hooligans, you are not going to send stand-by cops to Dublin.


Pot - Kettle - Black

I find it a little odd that nobody has yet mentioned that Russia herself has had an anti-ballistic missile system deployed around Moscow for thirty years. Indeed, it was upgraded in the mid-90's. Last I heard, it had around thirty long-range interceptors and sixty short range. Admittedly, this is in compliance with the now-defunct ABM treaty, but it's still more than the US has.

Silver badge


> The Chinese leadership certainly hasn't felt the need to indulge in the sort of posturing seen from Vladimir Putin in recent days. This sort of thing is fairly routine for him, after all. Could be it's mainly intended for the folks at home

Phew! Good job Western Leaders don't feel it necessary to do this sort of thing to convince the folks at home that we're under serious threat every minute of every day so we have to surrender our basic freedoms and rights to "protect us"...

Anonymous Coward

Why Russia is angry...

Russia wants Iran and North Korea nuclear capable, or at least on the path to being nuclear capable so that they can carry out at least political warfare by proxy.

If Iran's/North Korea's nukes are rendered useless by US missile defences Russia loses a valuable tool to hold the west to ransom without directly threatening the West with their own nukes, hence having the power of the nuclear ransom without looking too much like the enemy themselves.

When Iran can frankly be ignored, the focus suddenly tends towards nations involved in things such as state sponsored assassination in foreign capitals, cyber-attacks on small internet reliant nations, arrest of famous democractic demonstrators such as a certain well known chess champion and so forth. Iran is a form of misdirection for Russia, the US' missile sheild recognises and defeats this pushing the focus back towards the true threat - a nation run by someone who would gladly start the next cold war, Putin.

Of course however, none of it really matters at the end of the day, as nations like Russia and Iran supress their people and carry out various illegal acts more and more they serve only to destroy themselves from the inside. This is the very same reason I think it's rather foolish to worry about the often speculated Chinese attempt at taking over the world or whatever, it's simply not going to happen - as soon as China goes to war, there's just too many angry, upset, supressed people inside China waiting to jump at the chance to pull down the goverment from the inside as soon as the Chinese military departs from it's own shores.

It's perhaps hard to realise it when you go into town, see chavs dealing drugs, grafitting, committing crimes and so forth but history has demonstrated that as unlikely as it may seem there really are just too many deep-down good people in the world for any "evil" regime to last for any great length of time.

Silver badge

Interesting choice of words

"China, with a mere 20 ageing ICBMs at present, has much more right to feel threatened by US missile-defence efforts than Russia."

Why any country should feel threatened by another country's defence is a bit baffling.

You're right to say that Putin's posturing is mainly for the domestic audience and for his Southern GUS neighbours and to some extent to the former "colonies" of Central and Eastern Europe. But the Americans are guilty of exactly the same rhetoric and posturing with the disgracefully nationalist governments of Poland and the Czech Republic only too happy to use the chance to snub their former occupier.

Europe is not under threat from Iran and we're so keen to deals with the government to get access to oil and the domestic market that this unlikely to change. But America needs somewhere to showcase it's latest, greatest technology for potential buyers to see. And, of course, it keeps the old "war on terrorism" thing going.

As for threats: thanks to years of American protection and supply Pakistan is a nuclear power with an increasingly fragile dictatorship and more militants than the Iranians can muster.

Anonymous Coward

Pre-emptive First Strike

Dear Author,

You consider the Russian first strike on USA. Then the Bush's NMD is useless, that's true. But what about the opposite scenario? In the case of US nuclear attack against Russian nuclear weapons, only dozens of Russian missiles will survive, not even hundreds. And in that scenario, Missile Defence may intercept all of them with a high probability. Google for "The U.S. Nuclear War Plan: A Time for Change", fo instance. This report says on potential US attack against Russian ICBMs silos:

"At this point of diminished returns, obtained by assigning

more attacking warheads to achieve a higher kill probability, an alternative option would be to integrate missile defense capabilities with offensive forces."

So, it's known for experts that missile defence can be used in the first-strike scenario against Russia, not exclusively Iran. So, Putin is not a bigot, he is just trying to do his job.

Best wishes.



"Russia can blow up America any time it feels like it."

And good thing too. A cold war seems much less scary than having one isolated superpower doing whatever strikes their fancy (see "Bush Doctrine"). Although most people apparently do not know what "Give me liberty or give me death" means.


Anonymous Coward

feel threatened?

>has much more right to feel threatened by US missile-defence efforts

err, why should anyone be threatened by a defense system? An offence

system would be another matter entirely.

its like saying someone would feel threatened by my knife-proof jacket....and

not the large knife I have in the back pocket.


Oh well

Oh well , it's all academic anyway , but the reason why the Americans are sighting the assorted 3d radars offshore is due to one small fact that if and when and where the sub orbital nukes go to the big bang mode , we tend to forget that part and parcel of the bang is something that will kill very dead our micro electronic circuits and badly disrupt all communications from the AM band all the way to the upper end of all radar bands including satellite communications due to the residual high energy particles and other contaminants remaining in the upper atmosphere , leaving the old undersea telegraph cables and Omega VLF as the only reliable source of communications during these blackout periods!

Sad , how the intelligent forget or choose to overlook , the many excellent papers written up and published in most of the scientific journals around this world, from the Russian Academy of Science to Scientific American that detailed these effects!

As for those who advocate the use of Turkey as the front runner for this technology , I would suggest you read up on a certain well documented crisis that occurred in October 1963! , this unfortunately will allow the Russians to re-arm Cuba with short range IRBM's with nuclear warheads for self defense purposes !

Those that choose to ignore history , do so at their own peril!

What time is it to midnight now?


World Domination, please!

First, I find it entirely hypocritical for any American, living here or abroad, as well as any person from a free, democratic society, to comment or even think that what America has done for all of us, in a negative way, just blows my mind.

Do you realize what this world would be like if America didn’t exist?

Second, I have to reiterate, while I'm sitting at my computer, in a nice home, safe, with law enforcement close by, the ability to do what I want, when I want, etc. As well as all of you, knowing that a country will stand with you, for Freedom AND Liberty, it just kills me to think that people would bash America and its policy. Bush is not the issue here, the issue here is that FINALLY, a country is willing to kill these crazies that are trying to kill us, yeah, you and me, first. The American government has many friends, some not willing to advertise for fear of some nut blowing something up, who else will fight them for US? America and......

Do you want a world where people hate so bad that they are willing to kill you because of where you live, or the color of your skin, or what religion you practice?

People, wake up. It’s not BUSH, it’s you and me. We need to come together and support our governments so they can protect us, so we can live in peace with our families and enjoy this earth.


Yes, but can they put a weapon anywhere on the planet in less than an hour ?

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The future is about to change. The inventor, who wishes to remain anonymous says, “He has created a mankind first based on common day physics used by many.” He further states, ”The propulsion application is a first and a patent has been filed. There is no information on the World Wide Web or any other source of publication on this future invention. Even my patent application and patent will not be published at my request.”

Without using this propulsion discovery mankind will never be able to explore the universe.

Read the rest by going to the webpage.



Anonymous Coward


He, he, we get this over here too. Australia has mostly dismantled it's defense capability since the Labour government of the early to mid seventies, with just enough to defend ourselves. When we actually do get some more capability to defend ourselves, Indonesia gets up and goes on how Australia's new defence capability could be like an threat to them. Indonesia was one of the biggest military expansionist countries of last century, and from what I have been told, expanded their % of landmass through military conquest more than any other nation of the century, had the most corrupt official system of an nation on Earth, and had nice maps for school children until recent decades, showing the top half of Australia belonging to them. Sound familiar, if the Russians are so into peace then let them help the Americans build their missile defence shield, get covered themselves, and dismantle their nuclear arsenal, after all, it is much less likely the Americans will use theirs without an legitimate reason. Russia has to realise that unless they have bad intentions, that minor states and terrorists are more of an threat to them, and such an shield is more likely to work on an restricted amount of missiles from those nations. But then again, the Russians should know that already, so, what is behind all this posturing.

I believe that the Americans prefer to trade to own things instead of wage war, and for them to be worth owning in the end (and this greed is an problem) and the Russians posses/conquers them in whatever state it requires to prove their superiority.



Probably have way more missiles than that. They're a big country, I hate to think what secrets they have.

Anonymous Coward


This is probably more us propaganda to help justify the greed of government funding from honest taxpayers. Just showing more reasons to be worried for nothing.

We are just sitting back and reading about our freedoms being taken from us while taking no action because we are afraid of our own government and officials now. Can't trust media sources these days because of censorship and more carefree dishonesty in society. Same tune, different time. People never change. Never will.


off topic?

What with US investment in the Russian Federation running at an all-time high

and Boeing just closing a very large sale of Dreamliners (in which, much Russian

titanium and technological input) this issue seems oddly out of place.

Still with aerospace, the Russians 12 years ago offered the US

and the rest of the west leading technology in aerial wildfire management only

to be told to shove it by the US Forest Service.

Later on, after all USFS excuses were recorded and large US firefighting planes

were sidelined forever for safety reasons, it emerges that the US Forest Service

abandoned excuses for not using the viable Russian technology in favor

of US technology ....as yet unproven.

Only Rep Dana Rohrabacher has spoken to the issue.

The US media largely refused to cover. Oh it was captured by NBC's Nightly News

in September alright, but without video and with emphasis on still-unproven US technology.

Why can't Americans know the Russians have the (proven) silver bullet in

wildfire disaster management? Moreover, in a shortage of large firefighting

planes, why cannot the US victim community avail itself of this powerful



Strategic issues?

The point of putting the equipment in Poland is that over Europe and over the pole (and the Poles!) is the optimal trajectory of an ICBM from the middle east.

To Russia, the entire situation is pretty much irrelevant. You can't really do anything with a handful of SAMs in Poland unless you go there with a jet or missile.

As far as Russia is concerned, The strategic issues are a sideshow

Russia is just pissed that Poland is buying F-16s and F-35s. The F-16s are just coming in, they're doing training flights with them almost daily here in Poznań.

They don't like the US gaining influence in and selling to a country that is traditionally a buyer of Russian hardware.

Then again, it might just be for the benefit of those at home. I didn't really think of that.


the guy with the biggest gun collection in the trailer park

"while I'm sitting at my computer, in a nice home, safe, with law enforcement close by, the ability to do what I want, when I want"

But think of people living in the USA where they don't have those luxuries.

Seriously, building defense oriented systems is generally a good thing, but it can create problems.

Russia and the other countries of the world (even allies of the USA) must consider the risk of creating a situation that allows the USA to deploy offensive against us with impunity.

We know from recent history that the USA will invade recent allies that are no viable threat to it (Nicaragua, Iraq, etc.).

We know that US citizens, or at least the elected government of the USA, does not currently consider that human rights apply for non-US citizens.

And we know that the USA has effectively abrogated its signature on those Geneva Conventions it did sign by violating their terms.

It is like giving the guy with the biggest gun collection in the trailer park a bullet proof vest. You have to consider what sort of guy that actually is before you can say it is a good idea, and then you have to consider the threats posed by others.

On the whole, because of how Russia and China are behaving these days, I support ABM activities. As for Iraq and Iran, their innocent citizens have my sympathy.


Hate Nukes

Nukes are horrible things. It's an indiscriminate way of killing off a countries populace. Whilst the intended target will probably be hiding in a safe place.

I don't see why Russia’s government is kicking up such a fuss. They have submarines that would be able to destroy the world anyway. Britain and America have them to.

They SHOULD give us the suspected murderer we want to question. The way they refuse makes them seem more guilty.

Instead of wars there should be an arm wrestling match between leaders and the one who loses backs down.


It's about prestige

America placing missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic is seen by Russia as yet another attempt to rub its nose in the dirt. To many Russians it will be portrayed as a further example of the West dictating the post-Cold War settlement. They lost their empire in Europe, saw NATO roll up to the frontiers and watched in horror as the Yeltsin-era economy was systematically ruined by Western economic reform that reduced millions of Russians to penury.

Now America is placing missiles right next door in an area that Russia regards as its hinterland. The gesture is every bit as provocative as if Russia placed its own interceptors in Canada. The Americans have never been too happy about anyone trying to level the strategic balance by placing missiles right next door. Remember what happened when the USSR placed missiles in Cuba, just as the US had placed its own missiles in the UK and Turkey.

As for not upsetting the balance of power - the answer is - it could. There have been repeated attempts to reduce the number of warheads on each missile. Combined with the knowledge that a sizeable proportion of the Russian missile fleet is still liquid fuelled and incapable of an instant response to any attack, it means that Moscow is very worried about anything that could further weaken their ability to launch a massive counterstrike. That's why the new missile has been tested - it's solid fuelled AND it can be MIRVed.

The Americans are playing a dangerous game, they are clearly driving the Russian federation to a new arms race (and with all that oil and gas money, the Russians can afford all the missiles they want); the Chinese will move to a submarine-based ICBM system with more warheads - which will mean that the Chinese fleet will start considering the Pacific IT'S ocean - bringing it into direct opposition to the aims of the US Pacific Fleet. And it's going to tell the borderline nuclear states (India, Pakistan, North Korea) that they need more warheads and better missiles to make sure they can protect THEIR assets.

Bronze badge

Re: Hate nukes

Was it not Tom Clancy who mentionned in one of his books that most international conflicts were due to animosity of the respective national leaders, and due to that they should meet in a boxing or wrestling ring: Two falls, two submissions or a knock-out to decide the winner... Damn site safer for the civilian population, and has the merit of getting the elected official to see the sharp end rather than using armed go-betweens...

If Russia is really that worried, well, they have portable atomic demolition munitions, much like the USA (the infamous "suitcase bombs"), and doing a John Wayne number on the missile defence site? And if they are over 200 metres from a road, then they can hire a Ford Transit from Hertz, and haul a 800 kg warhead from their 4000-odd strong strategic reserve, and taking the base out in low-tech mode? Probably no problems getting over the border into poland or czech republic...

or just more simple, just toss 2 SS-24's (2 x 10 warheads) at the 10 ABM missiles on each site site and transform the region into a lake. They would only need a few second head start over the main attack wave that would pass over the top of the airbursts that flatten the sites...

Remember, the warhead always wins in the end...




Park the politics what about the tech?

Point 1 - Unless you can hit the BM in its boost phase (launch + a few seconds) then you will be trying to hit a target that is accelerating at a phenomenal rate. This means in-theatre interceptors would have to be positioned very close to the launch site. You could manage this with maritime (warships) assets but you have to have enough deployed to cover all your rogue states: Iran, North Korea, China, USA, Luxembourg etc.

Point 2 - If you intercept early then you can destroy the whole of the missile, negating the benefit of having multiple reentry vehicles.

Point 3 - Placing GBI in continental Europe allows you to engage the threat after the boost phase providing a higher level of probability you might intercept.

Point 4 - If the BM(s) are aimed at the UK, potentially under the shield, the nuclear/biological/chemical/conventional payload would probably come down in France if intercepted. That has to be a tick in anyone's box

Point 5 - If the American's make an interceptor it probably wouldn't be able to hit a barn door at 10 feet. Look at the Patriot system. The only thing that seems to be capable of shooting down is allied aircraft on a landing cycle.

Silver badge

This form of Missile Defence simply can't work

It's a matter of economics - it takes one ABM to take out one ICBM.

ICBMs are relatively cheap, especially if you don't really care much about aiming them (+/- 50 km, so what?), while ABMs that work are ridiculously expensive.

So the attacker can always have more ICBMs than the defender can have ABMs.

Which means that this concept is fatally flawed, and can never work.

A missile defence shield that might work would be an electrically-powered LASER or MASER system capable of continuous fire - but it's currently impossible to do that for several reasons.

Chemical L/MASERs have the same problem as ABMs - they use large amounts of very expensive fuel, making them almost one-shot devices. They also heat up rather fast (like all LASER systems), which means that even if you refuel them, you don't get many shots before they are too hot to handle.

All of which implies the question - why are the US bothering?

The answer must be a combination of "To keep us scared" and "To keep defence contractors in business"

Which is highly irritating, as it would be much more useful to improve short-range anti-missile defence for ships and land-based military sites. - if nothing else, these systems actually get used!

Anonymous Coward

Just keep on telling yourself that .....

"Do you realize what this world would be like if America didn’t exist?"

Yes, we have an idea, and to be honest, it might not be all that enjoyable, but something that gets to me is the basic American view of being God's gift to creation. Really - meddling in all other ppl's affairs won't get you anywhere, or did all your supposed peace efforts to date not teach you that? I bet the friends and family of young deceased heroes agree that their loved ones did after all make a difference in swaying some dictator's view of politics, right?

Remember: sometimes you are the statue, and sometimes you are the pigeon - the solution others want is not always the one you have in mind for them - and this goes for nuclear capabilities as well. Funny how everyone wants to prevent Iran from having nuclear "powerplants", but the Russian nuclear war effort is fine and dandy. Who are you fooling?

"Do you want a world where people hate so bad that they are willing to kill you because of where you live, or the color of your skin, or what religion you practice?"

We live in Africa - it is so already .... have you ever heard of "Zimbabwe", "Somalia", "Rwanda"? Perhaps not. The problem with Maslow's pyramid is that it only caters for natural people - the first world has already grown beyond it to the extent that they find the rest of us primitive.

The upside to living in Africa is that we needn't worry about a direct nuclear hit, but rather the fallout, the long nuclear winter and other after-effects the rest of the world will miss.


to rich

"First, I find it entirely hypocritical for any American, living here or abroad, as well as any person from a free, democratic society, to comment or even think that what America has done for all of us, in a negative way, just blows my mind."

On the other hand, the poor grasp of English grammar and spelling demonstrated by so many people whose native language is English, and who presumably have benefited from at least twelve years of education, blows my mind. The quoted sentence, when parsed, finds you finding it hypocritical that it blows your mind that anybody thinks that "what America has done for all of us, in a negative way."

"...it just kills me to think that people would bash America and its policy."

True, it is completely outrageous that anyone in this world should be so ungrateful and so gauche as to dare to criticise the United States in any way whatsoever. Mentioning things like

- the Vietnam war, based on a manufactured causus belli, motivated by a paranoid worldview, and resulting in the death of approximately two to three million Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians;

- America's support for numerous fascist regimes (Greece, Indonesia, Latin America, etc.) that were guilty of torturing and killing their own citizens;

- the second Iraq war and occupation, based (again) on lies, completely mismanaged from the first step, having resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis; and

- the legal black hole that is the Guantanamo prison camp, where hundreds of randomly arrested people have been tortured; plus other similar CIA prisons around the world

should certainly not be tolerated, and should earn the utterer a quick surprise holiday in a full-service beach holiday resort in eastern Cuba.

Why, America has done nothing but good for all humanity, based on the most selfless and noble of motives. It is a veritable beacon of freedom and democracy, and a light unto the whole world. (Neither should we forget to mention that modesty has always been one of its greatest virtues.)

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