Russian missile diplomacy in three stages

AP080510141585web_944_1For a long time I wanted to write my first and also quality article about Russia, and now I have finally decided to do it. In a bunch of information from the global scene that come to us about the involvement of Russia about the issue of Syria, Iran, Ukraine and others, I will try to get out what might be important and crucial during 2014,  as well as relations between the United States and NATO – on one hand and Russia on the other. I will start my analysis with the annual press conference held by President of Russia Vladimir Putin on December 19th, 2013. The conference lasted more than 4 hours and topics were various, from Snowden to the Ukrainian issue, but what is important for this text and what I will point out here, is actually the question of Russian ballistic missile systems. This part is important because it applies as a potential answer on the setting of NATO ( U.S. ) missile shield in Europe called EuroPRO. Putin´s conference was very interesting for watching, and from minute 28 in video you can find a question that reporter asked Putin regarding the missile systems Iskander. Video of particularly this part I put below.

The most important moment in Putin´s answer was the information that Moscow has not yet made an official decision about placing those missiles in the Kaliningrad region, and that the “Iskander missiles are not the only means we have at our defense however, and not the only possible response to the threats we see around us. They are just one possible response and certainly not the most effective, though in their particular class they are the most effective weapons system in the world.” Now we ask ourselves which are an additional potential responses and what is the meaning of Putin´s words? I will try to give my opinion and to explain this below, but first something about the operational – tactical missile system called Iskander and its performance.

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Iskander system consists of two subsystems Iskander – M and Iskander – E. These are new Russian tactical ballistic missiles on solid fuel and with range from 50-280 km (Iskander M) and 400 km (Iskander E). In addition to this feature there is also modern inertial – optical guidance system, warhead with weight of 480 kg and possibility of use on temperatures between  – 50 and + 50 degrees of Celsius. Rocket is launched from launch carrier military vehicle that can carry one or two Iskander missiles. Accuracy of “Iskander” is two meters shortfall, which is ideal for shooting small targets. Although to its ballistic trajectory, “Iskander” missile is set on vehicle as sloping shot, and it allows missile to remain almost hidden from radar one part of the flight. In the picture below you can see a graphics that explains the features of “Iskander”.

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As Putin himself said in response, Iskander is not all that Russia can “offer” and that’s just one of the possible options. The real question is what is the second stage of Russia adequate response to the actions of NATO? The answer was just given by Dmitry Rogozin in his New Year’s greeting card addressed to NATO from his official Twitter profile.

Naturally this was joke from our great and convicted Serbian friend, who also mentioned information about his Serbian ancestry in one interview few years ago. As we know by the Murphy´s law  that “in every joke has a bit of a joke”, and based on it, this image carries a strong diplomatic message. On this photo except Santa Claus, his pretty Claus Lady and soldiers, there is a missile Topol – M or the smartest rocket in the world! I believe that Putin, in his reply at the conference primarily meant exactly on this rocket, as something what Russia can further show or just simply “the second stage of missile diplomacy”. Topol – M rocket is also on solid fuel with static and mobile base. Length of its three stage corpus with the head portion is 22.7 m and diameter is 1.95 m, while the weight of the warhead is 1.2 tons! The range of missile  is greater than 10 000 km and it crosses that distance as shown from rehearsals in 20-25 minutes. According to the level of combat readiness and precision this missile twice exceeds all previously existing intercontinental ballistic rockets  in the world. The missile complex “Topol – M”, in the eyes of its general constructor Yuri Solomon, overcome all other intercontinental ballistic missiles by many parameters, and “fall into the brightest flares that we have today“. To shut down Topol – M someone must use between 5 and 7 interceptors from land. Today United States have 26 installed interceptors at Fort Greely in Alaska and 4 at base Vandenberg in California. At the same line with this info, we should add an interesting report of Chuck Hagel  U.S. Secretary of Defense about installment of additional 14 missile interceptors until 2017. So, from the everything above we can make conclusion that ” Topol – M ” is the second level that comes after “Iskander”.

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If putting in readiness of Topol – M system wouldn´t be sufficient for the U.S. and NATO to stop their unilateral hegemony in its own polar world, I believe that Russians will enter into last stage before final and worst stage called global war. That war will be only in case if they are forced to, they will not cause it first, certainly because in the west “Me” is written with the uppercase M, and “me” in the east is written with lowercase letter. By my opinion and research the third phase of the Russian missile diplomacy would be positioning their submarines on the coast of Cuba. That position of Cuba was used earlier in the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union at the period of “Cuban missile crisis in 1962.” Nowadays, the president of Russia, “probably would not” install missiles directly on the territory of Cuba, but at the Cuban coast there would be at least one Russian submarine. That submarine would be probably  the newest one and most modern that Russia is currently building of the class Borei, called “Vladimir Monomakh“. It is named after one of the best statesmen in medieval Kievan Rus, which participated in 13 successful military battles in the name and honor of his father, and except battles he often participated in diplomatic negotiations, so you have to admit that background of this submarine name fits nicely into the whole story.  The first submarine of this class “Yuriy Dolgorukiy” whose construction began in 1996th, recently completed successfully a program of tests and is already officially in the use. Other submarine of the same class named “Alexander Nevsky” was introduced a few days ago in the composition of the Russian Navy at yearly ceremony. They carry out missile from the system “Bulava” which is actually a naval version of the continental system “Topol – M” with similar performance and range, by this we can clearly imagine their strength and purpose. Apart from these two submarines, Putin announced that Russia will expand its fleet to eight new submarines from the class of Borei by 2020. 

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That this story about third stage of Russian missile diplomacy have its value, is also confirmed by news from the August last year about “friendly visit” of Russian military ships to Cuba. All of us who observe the world with the eyes of geopolitics will certainly know that except friendly motives there are also those geostrategical. Beside this, relations between Cuba and Russia are more than friendly and that this visit is not just accidental is shown by the info from December last year. Info was about that Russia wrote off 90% of debt that Cuba had with the former Soviet Union, which amounted to 29 billion $. In addition, at the end of this text in last sentence, there is point about interest of Russian oil companies for drilling in Cuba. Following this sentence, I came up on information about official meeting at the end of last year, between Raul Castro and Igor Sechin CEO of Rosneft, as well as the activities of Zarubezhneft in Cuba in 2013. With all these geostrategic, friendly, diplomatic and economic initiatives Russians are obviously trying to provide support from Castro and to get undisturbed access to Cuban territorial waters. Someone would say, “once partners, always partners.”

With this I would try to finish my strategic text, which slowly introduces us to return of a bipolar world, or if you ask me the better one, because this polar we have on the scene today since the fall of the Berlin Wall, was not proved as successful at all. Many of us in the past 20 years or so, felt that hegemony on our back.  If you are small and weak as it was case with fragmented republics of former Yugoslavia, there was no other option except to stay on your own way and being  hit on your back immediately and now, or join them and also being hit on back during some time but so subtly and with a smile, and finally at least lose yourself even more. Certainly in geopolitics there is one old phrase and rule that only interests are eternal. This rule not exclude either Russia when the interests are at stake. They also showed their “capitalist teeth” even to Serbs, especially with agreements about South Stream ownership. We have choice to be in favor or against, but for the whole world balance and future of the planet, the awakening of Russia and eastward shift of pin scale is generally a positive thing.  The first example of this kind that we have witnessed is the one with Syria issue, and stop of the resolution for the bombing which has proved so far as right decision. And we who are “small and weak” but with a big heart, should slow down a little bit and wait for the pan on a global scale to balance completely. If we put the question of Kosovo* in focus, Russia is the one who will put veto on Kosovo* application for membership in the UN, it will certainly not be done by the European countries in the Security Council, and neither the United States. If we put at that same focus the question of the Republic of Srpska then the presence of Russian companies here will actually ensure strategic compact of Republika Srpska in Brcko as well peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina, because I doubt that the Russians would left their capital to “war junta” if by any chances we maybe experience war again in Bosnia. The third argument is the historical connection and sentimentality which our Serbian people has with Russia or as we call it sometimes (mother Russia). Of course that’s fine and nice, but today at the time of capitalism, big oil companies and global muscle training, I will leave this argument still in third place. These arguments we certainly do not have with a western civilization heritage, unless we exclude the first major export of prunes from Serbia to the U.S. in 1882, and its value of one million $/per year. But as far as I know, those were old better times of some other America, and other Serbia. Большое спасибо!

Ruska raketna diplomatija u tri faze

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Već dugo vremena razmišljam da napišem jedan kvalitetan tekst o Rusiji i evo sad sam se konačno odlučio da to i uradim. U moru informacija sa globalne scene koje nam dolaze o angažmanu Rusije oko pitanja Sirije, Irana, Ukrajine i ostalih, pokušaću da izvučem ono što bi moglo biti bitno i krucijalno tokom 2014. kao i u odnosima između SAD i NATO – a sa jedne, i Rusije sa druge strane. Svoju analizu ću početi sa godišnjom pres konferencijom koju je održao predsjednik Rusije Vladimir Putin 19.12.2013. Sama konferencija je trajala nešto više od 4 sata  i pričalo se o raznim temama, od Snoudena do Ukrajinskog pitanja, ali ono što je bitno za ovaj tekst i što ću posebno izdvojiti je pitanje ruskih raketnih sistema Iskander. Ovaj dio je bitan jer se odnosi kao potencijalni odgovor na postavljanje NATO (američkog) raketnog  štita u Evropi pod nazivom EuroPRO. Sama konferencija je veoma zanimljiva za pogledati, a od 28. minute možete vidjeti pitanje koje je novinar postavio Putinu vezano za raketne sisteme Iskander. Video samo ovog djela posebno izdvajam ispod.

Najbitnije u samom odgovoru je informacija da Moskva još nije donijela zvaničnu odluku oko postavljanja ovih raketa u Kalinjingradsku oblast, ali i da Iskanderi “nisu jedini odgovor kojim Rusija raspolaže u zavisnosti od prijetnji koje je okružuju“. Koji su to po mom mišljenju dodatni potencijalni odgovori i šta ovo znači objasniću dalje u tekstu, ali prvo riječ više o samom operativno – taktičkom raketnom sistemu Iskander i njegovim preformansama.

                     Slika 1. Kalinjingradska oblast i domet Iskandera

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Iskander sistem se sastoji iz dva podsistema Iskander – M i Iskander – E. Ovo su nove ruske taktičke, balističke rakete na čvrsto gorivo dometa od 50 do  280 km (Iskander M) i do 400 km (Iskander E). Osim ovoga imaju i inercijalno – optički sistem navođenja, bojevu glavu težine 480 kg  i mogućnost upotrebe na temperaturama od – 50 do + 50 stepeni. Raketa se lansira sa visokoprohodnog vozila koje nosi dva takva projektila, a može i samo jedan. Preciznost “Iskandera” iznosi dva metra podbačaja, što je idealno za gađanje malih  ciljeva. Iako ima balističku putanju, “Iskander” se postavlja kao kosi metak, pa mu to omogućava da dio leta ostane skoro sakriven od radara. Na slici ispod možete vidjeti grafiku koja objašnjava karakteristike “Iskandera”.

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Kao što je i sam Putin u odgovoru rekao, Iskanderi nisu sve što Rusija može da “ponudi” i to je samo jedna od mogućih opcija. Pravo pitanje je šta je to još što Rusija ima čime bi dala adekvatan odgovor na poteze NATO saveza? Odgovor nam je upravo dao Dimitrij Rogozin u svojoj novogodišnjoj čestitki upućenoj NATO savezu sa svog tviter profila.

Naravno da se naš veliki i osvjedočeni prijatelj Rogozin koji je svojevremeno istakao i informacije o svom srpskom porijeklu, sa ovom slikom malo i našalio. No, kao što znamo “u svakoj šali ima malo šale”, pa tako i ova fotografija ima snažnu diplomatsku poruku. Na fotografiji se tako osim Djeda Mraza, zgodne “mrazice” i vojnika, nalazi raketa Topolj – M ili najpametnija raketa na svijetu! Smatram da je Putin u svom odgovoru sa konferencije prevashodno mislio upravo na ovu raketu, kao ono što Rusija dodatno može da pokaže kao ili “druga faza raketne diplomatije”. Topolj-M je raketa na čvrsto gorivo, statične i mobilne baze. Dužina njenog trostepenog korpusa  uz čeoni dio iznosi 22,7 m, a prečnik je 1,95 m, dok je težina a bojeve glave – 1,2 tone! Domet je veći od 10 000 km, a tu razdaljinu ona pređe, kako su pokazale probe, za 20-25 minuta. Po stepenu borbene gotovosti i preciznosti ona duplo prevazilazi sve dosad postojeće interkontinentalne balističke rakete u svijetu. Raketni kompleks „Topolj-M“, po ocjeni njegovog generalnog konstruktora Jurija Solomonova, prevazilazi sve ostale interkontinentalne balističke rakete  po mnogim parametrima i spadaju u najpametnije rakete koje imamo danas. Da bi se oborio Topolj – M potrebno je između 5 i 7 presretača sa kopna. Danas SAD ima 26 presretača u bazi Fort Greely na Aljasci i 4 u bazi Vandenberg u Kaliforniji. U prilog ovome treba dodati interesantan izvještaj Čaka Hejgela američkog sekretara za odbranu, o uvođenju još dodatnih 14 presretača do 2017. godine. Dakle, iz svega navedenog se jasno vidi da je “Topolj M” druga faza koja dolazi poslije “Iskandera”. 

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Ukoliko ni stavljanje Topolj M sistema u pripravnost ne bude dovoljno da se SAD i NATO zamisle i zaustave svoju jednostranu hegemoniju u sopstvenom polarnom svijetu, smatram da će Rusi ući u još samo jednu fazu prije one konačne i najgore, odnosno globalnog rata. To će biti samo ukoliko budu primorani, prvi ga sigurno neće izazvati jer na zapadu “Ja” stavljaju velikim, a “ja” na istoku pišu malim slovom. Prema mom mišljenju i istraživanju treća faza ruske raketne diplomatije bi bila slanje svojih podmornica na obale Kube. Da je pozicija Kube korištena i ranije u odnosima između SAD i SSSR svjedoči nam i “Kubanska raketna kriza 1962.” Ovog puta predsjednik Rusije “vjerovatno ne bi” ništa instalirao direktno na teritoriju Kube, ali bi se zato u kubanskoj obali našla bar jedna podmornica. Ta podmornica bi vjerovatno bila ona najnovije proizvodnje i najmodernija koju Rusija trenutno gradi iz klase Borej, a zove se “Vladimir Monomak“. Ime je dobila po jednom od najkvalitetnijh državnika na prostorima srednjovjekovne Kijevske Rusije koji je učestvovao 13 uspješnih vojnih bitki u ime svoga oca, a veoma često sudjelovao i u diplomatskim pregovorima, morate priznati i sama pozadina imena podmornice se uklapa u cjelu priču. Prva podmornica iz ove klase “Yuriy Dolgorukiy” čija je izgradnja počela 1996. godine, nedavno je uspješno završila program testova i  već se službeno nalazi u upotrebi. Druga podmornica iz iste klase imena “Aleksandar Nevski” je pre par dana uvedena u sastav ruske mornarice prigodnom svečanošću. One nose rakete iz sistema “Bulava” koji je ustvari mornarička verzija kopnenog sistema “Topolj M” sa sličnim preformansama i dometom, što dovoljno govori o njihovoj snazi i namjeni.  Osim ove dve Putin je najavio da će Rusija do 2020. proširiti svoju flotu na 8 novih podmornica iz klase Borej.

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Da priča o trećoj fazi u kubanskim obalama ima i svoje pokriće, pokazuje nam i vijest iz avgusta mjeseca prošle godine koju su svjetski mediji slabije ispratili, a riječ je o “prijateljskom boravku” ruskih brodova na Kubi. Svi mi koji svijet promatramo očima geopolitike svakako ćemo osim prijateljskih motiva tu svrstati i one geostrateške. Da su odnosi Kube i Rusije više nego prijateljski i da ova posjeta nije slučajna govori i vijest iz decembra 2013. da je Rusija otpisala 90 % duga koji je Kuba imala prema bivšem SSSR – u, a koji je iznosio 29 milijardi dolara. Pored toga na kraju teksta u jednoj rečenici se navodi i zainteresovanost ruskih naftnih kompanija za bušotine na Kubi. Tragom ove rečenice došao sam i do podataka o sastanku krajem prošle godine, između Raula Kastra i Igora Sečina izvršnog direktora Rosnjefta, kao i o aktivnostima Zarubežnjefta na Kubi u 2013. Sa svim tim geostrateškim, prijateljskim, diplomatskim i ekonomskim potezima se očito pokušava obezbjediti Kastrova podrška i nesmetan prilaz kubanskim teritorijalnim vodama. Neko bi rekao “jednom partneri uvijek partneri”.

Ovim bi i završio ovaj mogu slobodno reći iscrpan tekst,  koji nas lagano uvodi u povratak bipolarnog svijeta ili ako mene pitate onog boljeg, jer ovaj polarni kojeg imamo na sceni od pada Berlinskog zida se nije pokazao kao opšte uspješan. Mnogi su u proteklih 20 i kusur godina osjetili taj hegemonizam na svojim leđima. Ako ste mali i nejaki kao što su to rascjepkane rebublike bivše SFRJ, nije bilo druge opcije osim ostati svoj pa dobiti po leđima odmah i sad, ili pridružiti im se i isto tako dobiti po leđima vremenom, suptilno i sa osmjehom, te na kraju opet još više izgubiti sebe. Svakako u geopolitici vlada ono staro pravilo da su samo interesi vječni. Prema tome ne izuzimam ni Rusiju kad su interesi u pitanju. Oni su takođe pokazali svoje kapitalističke zube i prema nama, a posebno pri sporazumima oko Južnog toka. Mi tu možemo biti za ili protiv, ali zbog svijeta u cjelini i budućnosti planete, buđenje Rusije i pomjeranje tasa na istok je generalno pozitivna stvar. Prvi primjer kojem smo bili svjedoci je onaj u Siriji i zaustavljanje rezolucije za bombardovanje što se do sada pokazalo kao ispravna odluka. Što se tiče nas “malih i nejakih” ali velikog srca, trebalo bi malo usporiti i sačekati da se tas na globalnoj vagi potpuno izravna. Ako stavimo pitanje Kosova* u fokus, Rusija je ta koja će uložiti veto pri zahtjevu za prijem u UN, to zasigurno neće učiniti evropske države u Savjetu bezbjednosti, a još manje SAD. Ako je u tom istom fokusu pitanje Republike Srpske onda će prisustvo ruskih kompanija svakako osim strateške kompaktnosti RS kod Brčkog, obezbjediti mir i stabilnost u BiH jer sumnjam da bi Rusi svoj kapital prepustili “ratnoj hunti” ako bi nekim slučajem došlo do rata u BiH,  kako neki na moje čuđenje i priželjkuju. Treći argument je ta istorijska povezanost i sentimentalnost koju naš narod ima prema Rusiji i to je fino, ali u vrijeme kapitalizma, velikih interesa naftnih kompanija i treniranja globalnih mišića, ostaviću ovo ipak na trećem mjestu. Ovakve argumente svakako nemamo sa zapadnim civilizacijskim tekovinama, osim ako izuzmemo onaj prvi veliki izvoz suve šljive iz Srbije u SAD 1882. i njegovu vrijednost od milion dolara godišnje. To su ipak bila neka davna i karakterno bolja vremena, neke druge Amerike, a bogami i Srbije. Большое спасибо!