Russia's ABM System's Modernization Programme Is On Track

Aerospace defence is a priority for Russia and since 1995 the A-135 anti-ballistic missile system has been primed to counter enemy missiles targeting Moscow. In February 2018, Russia successfully carried out an air defence missile test at Sary-Shagan in Kazakhstan. The new air defence missile can precisely intercept single and multiple strikes, including new-generation intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and will be added to the upgraded version of the A-135 (reportedly named the A-235). Deputy commander of the Air and Space Defense Alliance, Colonel Andrei Prikhodko, stated that the modernized anti-ballistic missile defence system successfully accomplished the task and struck the conventional target with the specified accuracy.

The Don-2N radar station, located in Sofrino near Moscow, is part of the A-135 and can detect warheads in flight and at a distance of up to 3 700 km. The information received is transmitted to the 5K80 command point and is then further processed and transmitted to missile launching sites with 53T6 interceptors. The A-135 includes 68 short-range 53T6 (Gazelle) interceptors (endo-atmospheric). The 32 long-range 51T6 (Gorgon) interceptors have been removed from the system. The A-135’s upgrade includes high-tech detection and tracking components.



Ballistic missiles can be launched from land and at sea (from submarines beneath the surface) and are classified as intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) with a range of approximately 1000 km to 5 500 km and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with ranges exceeding 5000 km. ICBMs are usually launched from silos – reinforced canisters set into the ground. With regards to an effective early-warning system, Russia has it covered.


Other early warning radar systems include the Daryal radar in Pechora, the Dnepr radar in Murmansk and Kazakhstan, and the Volga radar in Belarus. The Daryal and Dnepr radars are aging with new-generation radars being built in the Komi and Murmansk regions.


The Russian Aerospace Defence Forces monitors space objects and identifies potential threats in space and from space. EKS is the Integrated Space System or Tundra, which replaced the OKO early-warning system. The COSMOS 2510 is the first of a new fleet of satellites capable of detecting missile launches heading for Russia.

The space surveillance network uses the early-warning radar network to monitor objects on low Earth orbits. Over the next few years, Russia plans to install more than ten laser-optical and passive radiofrequency surveillance complexes with the task of permanently monitoring the near-Earth space at all inclinations and at a maximum altitude range.



Written by Sylvia Caravotas (Satovarac Consulting) for OIDA

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