RS-26 Rubezh

Last updated
RS-26 Rubezh
Type Intercontinental ballistic missile
Place of originRussia
Service history
Used byRussian Strategic Missile Troops
Production history
Designer Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology
Produced2011
Specifications
Mass36,000 kilograms (80,000 lb)
Warhead4x each 150/300 Kt MIRV

Engine Solid-fueled (last stage or warhead block can have liquid)
Propellantsolid, third or fourth stage (warhead block) can be liquid
Operational
range
5800 km demonstrated [1]
Flight altitudeSeveral tens of km
Maximum speed over Mach 20 (24,500 km/h; 15,220 mph; 6.806 km/s)
Guidance
system
Inertial with GLONASS
Accuracy90-250 m CEP[ citation needed ]
Launch
platform
Road-mobile TEL

The RS-26 Rubezh (in Russian: РС-26 Рубеж) (frontier or boundary, also known under the name of its R&D program Avangard Авангард) SS-X-31 or SS-X-29B (another version of SS-27), [2] 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. [3] [4] 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. [5]

Contents

After an initial failure in 2011, it was first test-launched successfully from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on May 26, 2012, [6] [7] hitting its target at the Kura Range 5,800 km away minutes later. Further successful tests were performed from Kapustin Yar to Sary Shagan on October 24, 2012, [8] [9] and June 6, 2013. [10]

According to the commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, Colonel-General Sergei Karakayev, the RS-26 Rubezh could become operational as soon as 2016, [11] however the missile remains in the developmental phase and has not yet achieved Initial operating capability. In 2018, it was reported that development of the RS-26 was frozen until at least 2027, and funding diverted toward continued development of the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle. [12]

Political criticism

The missile has been criticized by western defense observers for indirectly breaching the INF Treaty. The missile demonstrated, with a light or no payload, the ability to reach above the agreed 5500 km limit of the treaty. However all further testing have been flights with significantly shorter ranges. The RS-26 was twice tested at a distance of about 2000 km. [13] While the RS-26 is technically an ICBM, its range falls just barely inside the ICBM category. According to a US magazine article, the RS-26 is exactly the same concept and a direct replacement for the RDS-10 Pioneer—known to NATO as the SS-20 Saber—which was banned under the INF treaty. [14]

The RS-26 is designed to pose a strategic threat to European capitals and has the ability to target NATO forces in Western Europe. According to an article by Jeffrey Lewis entitled "The Problem With Russia's Missiles", the purpose of these weapons is to deter Western forces from coming to the aid of the NATO's newer eastern members that are located closer to Russia's borders. [15]

See also

Related Research Articles

Intercontinental ballistic missile Ballistic missile with a range of more than 5,500 kilometres

An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a missile with a minimum range of 5,500 kilometres (3,400 mi) primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery. Similarly, conventional, chemical, and biological weapons can also be delivered with varying effectiveness, but have never been deployed on ICBMs. Most modern designs support multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), allowing a single missile to carry several warheads, each of which can strike a different target. Russia, United States, China, France, India, United Kingdom, and North Korea are the only countries that have operational ICBMs.

Strategic Rocket Forces Russian military unit

The Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Federation or the Strategic Missile Forces of the Russian Federation are a separate-troops branch of the Russian Armed Forces that control Russia's land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

RT-2PM2 Topol-M Russian ICBM

The RT-2PM2 «Topol-M» is one of the most recent intercontinental ballistic missiles to be deployed by Russia, and the first to be developed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It was developed from the RT-2PM Topol mobile intercontinental ballistic missile.

R-36 (missile) Type of intercontinental ballistic missile designed by the Soviet Union

The R-36 is a family of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and space launch vehicles (Tsyklon) designed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The original R-36 was deployed under the GRAU index 8K67 and was given the NATO reporting name SS-9 Scarp. It was able to carry three warheads and was the first Soviet MRV(multiple reentry vehicle) missile. The later version, the R-36M was produced under the GRAU designations 15A14 and 15A18 and was given the NATO reporting name SS-18 Satan. This missile was viewed by certain United States analysts as giving the Soviet Union first strike advantage over the U.S., particularly because of its rapid silo-reload ability, very heavy throw weight and extremely large number of re-entry vehicles. Some versions of the R-36M were deployed with 10 warheads and up to 40 penetration aids and the missile's high throw-weight made it theoretically capable of carrying more warheads or penetration aids. Contemporary U.S. missiles, such as the Minuteman III, carried up to three warheads at most.

RT-2PM Topol Intercontinental ballistic missile

The RT-2PM Topol is a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile designed in the Soviet Union and in service with Russia's Strategic Missile Troops. By the early 2020s, all SS-25 ICBMs will be replaced by versions of Topol-M.

RT-23 Molodets ICBM

The RT-23 Molodets was a cold-launched, three-stage, solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile developed and produced before 1991 by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau in Dnipro, Ukraine. It came in silo- and rail-based variants, and was armed with 10 MIRV warheads of 550 kt yield. All missiles were decommissioned by 2005 in accordance with the START II.

Sary Shagan Missile defence test site in Kazakhstan

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

R-12 Dvina Medium-range ballistic missile

The R-12 Dvina was a theatre ballistic missile developed and deployed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Its GRAU designation was 8K63, and it was given the NATO reporting name of SS-4 Sandal. The R-12 rocket provided the Soviet Union with the capability to attack targets at medium ranges with a megaton-class thermonuclear warhead and constituted the bulk of the Soviet offensive missile threat to Western Europe. Deployments of the R-12 missile in Cuba caused the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. A total of 2335 missiles were produced; all were destroyed in 1993 under the START II treaty.

UR-100N ICBM

The UR-100N, also known as RS-18A is an intercontinental ballistic missile in service with Soviet and Russian Strategic Missile Troops. The missile was given the NATO reporting name SS-19 Stiletto and carries the industry designation 15A30.

The RT-21 Temp 2S was a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was assigned the NATO reporting name SS-16 Sinner and carried the industry designation 15Zh42.

Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology Russian Engineering and Scientific Research Institute

Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology is a Russian engineering and scientific research institute founded on May 13, 1946. The institute is located in the Otradnoye District in the north of Moscow.

A-135 anti-ballistic missile system Anti-ballistic missile

The A-135 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.

A-35 anti-ballistic missile system Soviet missile defence 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.

RS-24 Yars Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

The RS-24 Yars - modification 24) also known as RT-24 Yars or Topol'-MR is a Russian MIRV-equipped, thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile first tested on May 29, 2007, after a secret military R&D project.


RSM-45R-31 was a Soviet submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Prompt Global Strike (PGS) is a United States military effort to develop a system that can deliver a precision-guided conventional weapon airstrike anywhere in the world within one hour, in a similar manner to a nuclear ICBM. Such a weapon would allow the United States to respond far more swiftly to rapidly emerging threats than is possible with conventional forces. A PGS system could also be useful during a nuclear conflict, potentially replacing the use of nuclear weapons against up to 30% of targets. The PGS program encompasses numerous established and emerging technologies, including conventional surface-launched missiles and air- and submarine-launched hypersonic missiles, although no specific PGS system has yet been finalized as of 2018.

35th Rocket Division

The 35th Order of the Red Banner Kutuzov second degree, and Alexander Nevsky Rocket Division is a strategic rocket division under command of the 33rd Guards Rocket Army of the Strategic Rocket Forces of Russia based in the closed settlement (ZATO) of Sibirsky, near Barnaul, Altai Krai.

The RS-28 Sarmat is a Russian liquid-fueled, MIRV-equipped super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) under development by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau since 2009. It is intended to replace the R-36M ICBM in Russia's arsenal.

The RS-27 (?) or SS-X-32Zh (?) Barguzin BZhRK (БЖРК) Project is a rail-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) under development for the Russian RVSN, as a replacement of the previous railway missile train Molodets BZhRK SS-24 Scalpel. BZhRK stands for railway strategic missile train. The missile was expected to enter testing in 2019 and enter service in 2020.

Avangard (hypersonic glide vehicle) Russian Hypersonic glide vehicle

The Avangard is a Russian hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) that can be carried as a MIRV payload by the UR-100UTTKh, R-36M2 and RS-28 Sarmat heavy ICBMs. It can deliver both nuclear and conventional payloads.

References

  1. ARG. "RS-26 Rubezh Intercontinental Ballistic Missile - Military-Today.com". www.military-today.com.
  2. Kristensen, Hans (7 May 2014). "Russian ICBM Force Modernization: Arms Control Please!". Federation Of American Scientists. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  3. "RS-26 Rubezh / Avangard - Road Mobile ICBM" . Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  4. "Russia's hypersonic trump card edges closer to reality". 23 Oct 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  5. Forss, Stefan. "Russia's New Intermediate Range Missiles - Back to the 1970s".
  6. "Russia tests secret missile after Nato shield launched". BBC News. BBC. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  7. Podvig, Pavel (23 May 2012). "Russia tests prototype of a new ICBM". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  8. "Russia to create new missiles to compete with U.S." Missile Threat. 9 January 2013. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  9. Podvig, Pavel (24 Oct 2012). "New ICBM tested in Kapustin Yar". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  10. Podvig, Pavel (6 Jun 2013). "Russia continues tests of new ICBM, named Rubezh". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  11. "Russia's New Ballistic Missile Can Become Operational in 2016". 29 Dec 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  12. "Avangard hypersonic missiles replace Rubezh ICBMs in Russia's armament plan through 2027".
  13. "Russia's Rubezh Ballistic Missile Disappears off the Radar".
  14. Majumdar, Dave (14 February 2017). "Russia's Dangerous Nuclear Forces are Back".
  15. Lewis, Jeffrey. "The Problem With Russia's Missiles".