Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
29th January, 2016
The Obama administration intends to spend a trillion dollars in the next 15 years, about half the annual defence budget of the USA, on the modernization of the arsenal of cruise missiles, writes The Economist. The reason for opening one of the most expensive military programs was the demonstration of the Russian cruise missiles “Kalibr”, dispelling the myth of the hegemony of the United States in the field of precision weapons.
“Russia is moving ahead towards its goal, which is placed on heavy bombers, submarines, and ships with winged long-range missiles equipped with non-nuclear warheads and long range weapons… If this trend continues, then over time the national missile defense system will face challenges in ensuring the protection of North America from the threat from Russian cruise missiles,” the head of the aerospace defense of the U.S. Admiral, William Courtney, said at the hearings in Congress.
“None of our ships are able to destroy the enemy ship using the standard weapons at a distance greater than 100 kilometers (the range of American anti-ship CU “Harpoon”). And none of the ships are capable of launching these missiles since their 1999 entrance into the service of the Navy,” said the Deputy Director of the Center for the study of American naval power at the Hudson Institute, Bryan McGrath.
However, US military commanders do not understand the panic because of the accumulated arsenal of thousands of “Tomahawks” – the main cruise missiles of the USA, which arms destroyers, cruisers and submarines. In recent history these missiles effectively fought desert guerrillas in Libya and other “hot spots”. They can be converted into cruise missile nuclear submarine type “Ohio”, which can carry 154 Tomahawks each. Should they be afraid?
The fact is that the subsonic flight of the Tomahawks at their full range may take more than three hours. During this time the enemy ship doing a conservative, slow speed, will be able to move at 60-100 kilometers from the point of impact. Thus, the previously included guidance system of the missile to the target’s data source is dangerously obsolete. Therefore, it is necessary to decisively increase the speed of the missile. Or to make a principally new guidance system, explains the portal “Novosti VPK”.
Also, “Tomahawks” were created almost 40 years ago, when the modern means of air defense systems and electronic warfare were not on the scene. Slow and unmasked in flight, the rocket will become an easy target for the more or less powerful anti-aircraft missile systems, and such complexes as S-400 “Triumph”, which is able to deflect a massive raid of “Tomahawks”.
It seems that in America they have only now realized the true meaning of the statement of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, made in 2013. “By 2016 Russia intends to quintuple the number of high-precision long-range missiles, the Minister said. “And by 2020 – 30 times”.