15 November 2015

Yes, Dumping the ABM Treaty was Such a Good Idea………

The insistence that missile defense is not directed at Russia is literally laughable

It appears that in response to the installation of ballistic missile defense in Europe has led Russia to leak plans of a massive nuclear armed torpedo:
Then came the new U.S. missile defense in Europe. All Russian protests and warnings against stationing such capabilities have not been able to deter the U.S. for proceeding with it. Should the missile defense project go forward Russia will have to invent new means to reintroduce a significant second strike capability. Both sides, Russia says, would be better off by not introducing these new capabilities.

To strongly send that message the Russian military scientists went back into the archives to find some old crappy idea that could overcome missile defense and be horrible enough in its effects to recreate some deterrence.

The scientists came back with an odd idea the "human rights activist" Andrej Sakharov once promoted:
At the height of the Cold War, August 12, 1953 have been produced successfully tested the new Soviet weapons of terrible destructive force - a thermonuclear bomb. One of the creators of the bomb, the newly elected member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the 32-year-old Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov suggested as a "means of delivery" to use the developed nuclear submarines of project 627, equipping each of them a giant torpedo under the 100-megaton thermonuclear charge (approximately 6000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima). As conceived by the young academician exploding the U.S. coast ocean, these torpedoes were to cause a tsunami of unprecedented power, the height of 300 meters, which would be simply washed off American cities, causing irreparable damage to the United States.
The planned U.S. "missile defense" systems would have some difficulties hitting such a torpedo.

Thus the Kremlin decided to reuse this old Sakharov idea to scare the U.S. off from its current "missile defense" course:
On November 10, 2015 President Putin held a regular meeting with his generals in Sochi to discuss development of the Russian strategic forces. The president used the occasion to complain again about U.S. missile defense plans and to warn that Russia will do whatever it takes to preserve the strategic balance.
The meeting was filmed (vid) by a major Russian TV station and "just by chance" the cameraman caught a power point page (also at 1:46 min in the video) one of the attending Generals was reading:

Russian television cameras caught a page in a briefing book describing the development of a new nuclear weapons system called Status-6. It’s nothing less than an underwater drone designed to carry a thermonuclear weapon into foreign ports. If detonated, Status-6 would be capable of dousing cities like New York in massive amounts of radioactive fallout.
"Massive amounts of radioactive fallout" or, in the old version, a 300 meter high tsunami - choose whatever you like better but you will probably be hit with both.
I think that this is deliberate leak, intended as a warning regarding the US plans for BMD.

Certainly the range figures are highly suspect, having a speed of 100 kts, a max depth of 1,000 meters, and a range of 10,000 km.

That range would require nuclear propulsion, which I do not see as particularly feasible, since using some derivative of Russian thermionic reactors developed for space would mandate a much slower speed, as the output of such a system tops out at a few kW.

The depth and speed are certainly achievable though, given that the crush depth of the (manned) Alpha class boats appears to be above 1000 m, and the speed of modern heavyweight torpedoes (and I am not counting the supercavitating ones here, those are exclusively short range) are in excess 60 kts, at ranges in excess of 50 km.

As to the warhead size, the Tsar Bomba had a 50 MT yield, and that was a two stage weapon, with the tertiary stage eliminated because of fallout concerns, though with a weight of 30 tons, I cannot see it on a large torpedo unless its weight could be reduced by about ¾.

A more realistic scenario, at least to the degree that the end of the world can be called "realistic", is to place SSBNs relatively close to the US (say 2000-3000 miles), and fire missiles on depressed trajectories, but that is not as "sexy" as some sort of new Russian "super-weapon".

Of course, we could avoid such idiocy if the United States as a nation was not so dedicated to maintaining the perception of American hegemony in all aspects of power in the guise of "Exceptionalism". 

This serves neither world nor the United States, as evidenced by increases in death rates among middle aged white males in the US.

This happened in the USSR before its collapse, and the explanation at that time was that excessive military spending was sucking the marrow out of their society, and it appears that this is what is happening in the US now.


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