Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Citius, Altius, Fortius, Etc.

The Olympic motto which translates, from Latin, as Faster, Higher, Stronger is fully applicable to weapon systems' design, granted that sometimes Higher becomes Lower. Russia takes these principles to heart when making her weapons and it is not difficult to predict, really, what comes next. As TASS reports:
Anyone with even rudimentary understanding of modern warfare and technology can easily arrive to the (correct) conclusion that TLAM variant of 3M14 with 4,500+ kilometer range immediately translates into some anti-shipping variant of 3M54 whose range is measured not in high hundreds (currently it is officially 660+ kilometers) but in thousands kilometers. All, I underscore, all signs in missile development by USSR/Russia were pointing to one destination for decades now--very high velocities (current 3M54 accelerates, while violently maneuvering, on terminal approach to almost M=3) and very long ranges. It seems Russian Navy is moving into this territory steadily. 

Ramifications are enormous--they allow even weak in terms of air-defense carriers of such missiles to stay way out of ranges of any, including aircraft carrier attack jets, adversary's weapon systems and turn even mosquito fleet, properly integrated with national reconnaissance/targeting system, into peer to even most advanced and expensive weapons of the opponent. If terrifying Kinzhal requires MiG-31K or TU-22M3M to launch, 3M54 (and 3M14M TLAM) and what, it seems, comes after that can strike from anywhere to anywhere on any types of targets. In TLAM variant--4,500+ kilometers, not too shabby once placed on ocean-going ships such as pr. 22350 Gorshkov-class or submarines. So, striking US East Coast doesn't even require crossing GIUK gap, while the strikes on US West Coast could be easily done by missile ships and submarines from Kamchatka's immediate littoral under the umbrella of ASW and Air Defense aviation. This was coming for sometime and it is simply normal, natural development of the weapon systems which Soviet, and now Russian, Navy made the core of its striking power, you know--like in Olympic motto.  

Strategic Missile...Boat, literally?  Looks like.

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