A-135 anti-ballistic missile system

Last updated
51T6 (ABM-4 Gorgon)
ABM Pushkino.jpg
DIA drawing of an SH-08/ABM-3A GAZELLE 53T6 missile launching with Don-2 phased array radar in background
Type Anti-ballistic missile
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service1995–present
Used by Russia
Production history
Designer NPO Novator Design Bureau
Designed1978
Produced1988
No. built68
Specifications
Mass33,000-45,000kg (73,000-100,000lb)
Length19.8 m [1]
Diameter2.57m [1] [2]
Blast yield10 kilotonnes of TNT (42 TJ)

Engine2-stage solid fuel
Operational
range
350-900km [2]
Flight ceiling350-900km
Maximum speed Mach  7 (8,575 km/h; 5,328 mph; 2.3820 km/s)
Launch
platform
silo, launcher(?) [2] [3]
Russia Moscow oblast location map.svg
Missile 2.svg
Missile 2.svg
Missile 2.svg
Missile 2.svg
Ex missile 2.svg
Ex missile 2.svg
Radar icon.svg
A-135 ABM system in Moscow Oblast. The black missiles are operational 53T6s, the unfilled missiles are non-operational 51T6s and the dish is the Don-2N radar in Sofrino, which also has a 53T6 complex co-located with it [4]

The A-135 (NATO: ABM-4 Gorgon) is a Russian anti-ballistic missile system deployed around Moscow to intercept incoming warheads targeting the city or its surrounding areas. The system was designed in the Soviet Union and entered service in 1995. It is a successor to the previous A-35, and complies with the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. [2]

Contents

The system is operated by the 9th Division of Anti-Missile Defence, part of the Air Defence and Missile Defence Command of the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces. [5] [6]

History

A memo from the archives of Vitalii Leonidovich Kataev, written around 1985, had envisaged that the system "will be completed in 1987 to provide protection from a strike of 1–2 modern and prospective ICBMs and up to 35 Pershing 2-type intermediate-range missiles". [7]

The A-135 system attained "alert" (operational) status on February 17, 1995. It is operational although its 51T6 component was deactivated in February 2007. A newer missile (PRS-1M) is expected to replace it.[ citation needed ] There is an operational test version of the system at the Sary Shagan test site in Kazakhstan.

Testing

In November 2017, a successful test of the 53T6 interceptor was carried out. Target speed 7 kilometers per second (53T6 speed 3 [8] ), acceleration overload – 100 G, preload maneuvering – 210 G. [9]

Structure

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Baranavichy
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Qabala
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Balkhash
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Irkutsk
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Pechora
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Olenegorsk
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Moscow
A-135 Early Warning Radars

A-135 consists of the Don-2N battle management radar and two types of ABM missiles. It gets its data from the wider Russian early-warning radar network, that are sent to the command centre which then forwards tracking data to the Don-2N radar. [4] The Don-2N radar is a large battle-management phased array radar with 360° coverage. [10] [11] Tests were undertaken at the prototype Don-2NP in Sary Shagan in 2007 to upgrade its software. [11] [12]

Russian early-warning radar network consists of: [13]

Deployment

There are at least 68 active launchers of short-range 53T6 endoatmospheric interceptor nuclear-tipped missiles, 12 or 16 missiles each, deployed at five launch sites. These are tested roughly annually at the Sary Shagan test site. [14] In addition, 16 retired launchers of long-range 51T6 exoatmospheric interceptor nuclear-tipped missiles, 8 missiles each, are located at two launch sites. [4]

Location [13] Coordinates [4] Number [4] [13] Details
Active
Sofrino 56°10′51.97″N37°47′16.81″E / 56.1811028°N 37.7880028°E / 56.1811028; 37.7880028 12Co-located with the Don-2N radar
Lytkarino 55°34′39.04″N37°46′17.67″E / 55.5775111°N 37.7715750°E / 55.5775111; 37.7715750 16
Korolev 55°52′41.09″N37°53′36.50″E / 55.8780806°N 37.8934722°E / 55.8780806; 37.8934722 12
Skhodnya 55°54′04.11″N37°18′28.30″E / 55.9011417°N 37.3078611°E / 55.9011417; 37.3078611 16
Vnukovo 55°37′32.45″N37°23′22.41″E / 55.6256806°N 37.3895583°E / 55.6256806; 37.3895583 12
Retired
Sergiyev Posad-15 56°14′33.01″N38°34′27.29″E / 56.2425028°N 38.5742472°E / 56.2425028; 38.5742472 8Site was also used in the A-35 system
Naro-Fominsk-10 55°21′01.16″N36°28′59.60″E / 55.3503222°N 36.4832222°E / 55.3503222; 36.4832222 8Site was also used in the A-35 system

Successor

The successor system, dubbed 'Samolet-M' (and more recently A-235) will employ a new, conventional, variant of the 53T6 missile to be deployed in the former 51T6 silos. [15] [16] [17] The new PRS-1M is a modernized variant of the PRS-1 (53T6) and can use nuclear or conventional warheads. It can hit targets at ranges of 350 km and altitudes of 50 km. [18]

See also

Related Research Articles

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An anti-ballistic missile (ABM) is a surface-to-air missile designed to counter ballistic missiles. Ballistic missiles are used to deliver nuclear, chemical, biological, or conventional warheads in a ballistic flight trajectory. The term "anti-ballistic missile" is a generic term conveying a system designed to intercept and destroy any type of ballistic threat; however, it is commonly used for systems specifically designed to counter intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

United States national missile defense Nationwide missile defense program of the United States

National missile defense (NMD) is a generic term for a type of missile defense intended to shield an entire country against incoming missiles, such as intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs) or other ballistic missiles.

Missile defense

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Sary Shagan

Sary Shagan is an anti-ballistic missile testing range located in Kazakhstan.

A-35 anti-ballistic missile system

The A-35 anti-ballistic missile system was a Soviet military anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system deployed around Moscow to intercept enemy ballistic missiles targeting the city or its surrounding areas. The A-35 was the only Soviet ABM system allowed under the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. In development since the 1960s and in operation from 1971 until the 1990s, it featured the nuclear-tipped A350 exoatmospheric interceptor missile. The A-35 was supported by the two Dunay radars and the Soviet early warning system. It was followed by the A-135 in the early 1990s.

Dunay radar

Dunay radar was a system of two Soviet radars used to detect American ballistic missiles fired at Moscow. They were part of the A-35 anti-ballistic missile system. One sector of one of the radars, the Dunay-3U is still operational and is run by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces as part of the Main Control Centre of Outer Space.

Hantsavichy Radar Station

Hantsavichy Radar Station is a 70M6 Volga-type radar near Hantsavichy. It is an early warning radar, which is run by the Russian Space Forces. It is designed to identify launches of ballistic missiles from western Europe and can also track some artificial satellites, partly replacing the demolished radar station at Skrunda in Latvia.

ABM-1 Galosh anti-ballistic missile (ABM)

The ABM-1 Galosh was a Soviet, nuclear armed surface-to-air anti-ballistic missile. The Galosh was a component of the A-35 anti-ballistic missile system. Its primary mission was to destroy U.S. Minuteman and Titan intercontinental ballistic missiles targeting Moscow.

US-KMO, is a series of Russian, previously Soviet, satellites which are used to identify ballistic missile launches. They provide early warning of missile attack and give information for the Moscow A-135 anti-ballistic missile system. They were run by the Russian Space Forces and it was succeeded by the Aerospace Defence Forces.

Daryal radar

The Daryal-type radar is a Soviet bistatic early-warning radar. It consists of two separate large active phased-array antennas separated by around 500 metres (1,640 ft) to 1.5 kilometres (4,921 ft). The transmitter array is 30 m × 40 m and the receiver is 80 m × 80 m in size. The system is a VHF system operating at a wavelength of 1.5 to 2 meters. Its initial transmit capacity was 50 MW with a target capacity of 350 MW.

Dnestr radar Soviet and Russian early warning radars

Dnestr radar and Dnepr radar, both known by the NATO reporting name Hen House are the first generation of Soviet space surveillance and early warning radars. Six radars of this type were built around the periphery of the Soviet Union starting in the 1960s to provide ballistic missile warnings for attacks from different directions. They were the primary Soviet early warning radars for much of the later Cold War. In common with other Soviet and Russian early warning radars they are named after rivers, the Dnestr and the Dnepr.

Don-2N radar

The Don-2N radar is a large missile defense and early warning passive electronically scanned array radar outside Moscow, and a key part of the Russian A-135 anti-ballistic missile system designed for the defense of the capital against ballistic missiles. Located near Sofrino in Pushkinsky District of Moscow Oblast, it is a quadrangular frustum 33 metres (108 ft) tall with sides 130 metres (427 ft) long at the bottom, and 90 metres (295 ft) long at the top. Each of its four faces has an 18 metres (59 ft) diameter Ultra high frequency band radar giving 360 degree coverage. The system is run by an Elbrus-2 supercomputer.

Oko, is a Russian missile defence early warning programme consisting of satellites in Molniya and geosynchronous orbits. Oko satellites are used to identify launches of ballistic missiles by detection of their engines' exhaust plume in infrared light, and complement other early warning facilities such as Voronezh, Daryal and Dnepr radars. The information provided by these sensors can be used for the A-135 anti-ballistic missile system which defends Moscow. The satellites are run by the Russian Aerospace Forces, and previously the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces and Russian Space Forces. As of December 2015, it is being replaced by the new EKS system.

EKSKupol is a developing programme of Russian early warning satellites as a replacement for the US-KMO and US-K satellites of the Oko programme. The satellites are designed to identify any possible future ballistic missile launches, from outer space, and complement early warning radars such as the Voronezh. This gives advance notice of a nuclear attack and would provide information to the A-135 missile defence system which protects Moscow, as well as other Russian missile defense and counterattack resources. Six satellites are planned to be initially orbited. The first of these was launched on 17 November 2015 and as of May 2020, there are four in service.

Serpukhov-15

Serpukhov-15 is a military townlet near Kurilovo in Kaluga Oblast which is the location of the western control centre for Russia's Oko satellites. These give early warning of ballistic missile launches, mainly from the continental United States. The site is part of the Main Centre for Missile Attack Warning and information from here is processed at the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces centre in Solnechnogorsk and could be used, together with early warning radar such as the Voronezh, for launch on warning or the A-135 anti-ballistic missile system. A similar facility is located at Pivan-1 in the Russian Far East.

Pivan-1

Pivan-1 is a military townlet near Komsomolsk-na-Amur in Khabarovsk Krai in the Russian Far East which is the location of the eastern control centre for Russia's Oko satellites. These give early warning of ballistic missile launches, mainly from the continental United States. The site is part of the Main Centre for Missile Attack Warning and information from here is processed at the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces centre in Solnechnogorsk and could be used, together with early warning radar such as the Voronezh, for launch on warning or the A-135 anti-ballistic missile system. A similar facility is located at Serpukhov-15 near Moscow.

Main Centre for Missile Attack Warning

The 820th Main Centre for Missile Attack Warning is the Russian early warning network against ballistic missile attack. It has headquarters in the village of Timonovo near Solnechnogorsk outside Moscow and is part of the Russian Space Forces. The centre consists of a network of early warning radar stations which transmit their data to the control centre near Solnechnogorsk. Other information comes from the early warning Oko and EKS satellites as well as the Don-2N missile defence radar. Information from the centre could be used for a launch on warning nuclear missile attack or to engage the A-135 anti-ballistic missile system.

Missile defense systems are a type of missile defense intended to shield a country against incoming missiles, such as intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs) or other ballistic missiles. The United States, Russia, India, France, Israel, Italy, United Kingdom and China have all developed missile defense systems.

5N65 radar

The 5N65 radar was a Soviet military phased array radar initially designed for the S-225 anti-ballistic missile system which was never commissioned. The radar was later installed near the Kura Test Range in Kamchatka in the Russian Far East as a part of 5K17 tracking and measuring system and was demolished in 2006.

The RS-26 Rubezh SS-X-31 or SS-X-29B, is a Russian solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile, equipped with a thermonuclear MIRV or MaRV payload. The missile is also intended to be capable of carrying the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle. The RS-26 is based on RS-24 Yars, and constitutes a shorter version of the RS-24 with one fewer stages. The development process of the RS-26 has been largely comparable to that of the SS-20 Saber, a shortened derivative of the SS-16 Sinner. Deployment of the RS-26 is speculated to have a similar strategic impact as the SS-20.

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