Monday, 31 December 2018

Hypersonic Glide Vehicle


Photo Credit :

December 26th , 2018 marks a watershed moment for Russian Strategic Forces as it culminated with the  third and final successful flight of Avangard ( Project 4202 ) advanced ICBM armed with Hypersonic Glide Vehicle Program.  The project started in 2004 and after  14 long years of R&D and Flight Test program with many challenges and failures the final go ahead for first operational deployment of Avangard Hypersonic Glide Vehicle referred to as Yu-71 ( HGV ) was given the go ahead to be  operationally deployed at Dombarovskiy by the end of 2019

What are Hypersonic Glide Vehicle's ( HGV's ) 

HGV's are technically Reentry Vehicle also sometimes refereed to as Warhead , as the name suggest is a Flying Glider which Glides its way to its target at very high Hypersonic speed and with high degree of maneuverability as it races towards its target. This Glide by a Hypersonic Flying Glider in layman's term is similar to a Stone Skipping over the Water.  The Stone here would be the Glide Vehicle and the Water would be a thin layer of Atmosphere almost at the edge of Space called Kármán line where the Atmosphere and Space  tends to meet.

Hypersonic Glide Vehicle (HGV) is a fusion of multiple scientific discipline involving Advanced Materials that can withstand tremendous heat and dynamic pressure without breaking the structural integrity of Glide Vehicle/Warhead as it glides through this thin layer of atmosphere thousands of kilometers in Range , Aerodynamics similar to an Aircraft but something that flies at Hypersonic Speed ( i.e greater than Mach 6 almost Mach 25 for ICBM Ranges ) while maintaining maneuverability ( laterally and vertically )  as it flies towards its target in a ball of fire due to atmospheric friction , Aero Thermodynamics , Control and Guidance are few aspect of HGV's.
The glide vehicle uses a combination of Hypersonic Blended Wing Design built from materials that can withstand heat of upto 2000 * C as it glides in near space at hypersonic speed along with control surfaces with combination of  Gas-Dynamic Control System/Reaction control system to maintain maneuverability as such hypersonic speeds

Many countries are currently working on Hypersonic Glide Vehicle program or just pure Hypersonic Program using Scramjet Engine and have attained varying degree of experience and success. US leading with DARPA Technology Demonstrator HTV-1 and later HTV-2 and later more military oriented Advanced Hypersonic Weapon , Chinese with DF-ZF HGV , Russian Yu-71 and possibly India with its Hypersonic Technology Development Vehicle (HSTDV) Program.

US has a more advanced program for Hypersonic glide body (HGB) vehicle in form of AHW , it has a conical design with winglets and was designed to fit within the payload assembly. The structure of AHW is made of aluminium, titanium, steel, tantalum, tungsten, carbon fabric, silica and other alloys, including chromium and nickel.

                                             Advanced Hypersonic Weapon ( AHW )

HGB is powered by one lithium-ion actuator battery, two lithium-ion and five nickel manganese hydride batteries. Pressurized nitrogen gas is used as a propellant for the vehicle via its Reaction Control System,Other equipment includes radio frequency transmitters and small electro-explosive devices etc

                                                                    via USAF

The AHW is designed to provide a 6,000km range with 35 minute time-of-flight and achieve less than ten metre accuracy. It delivers a conventional payload at medium and global ranges, using a hypersonic glider. The weapon’s high manoeuvrability allows it to avoid flight over third party nations when approaching the target. It employs a precision guidance system to home in on the target. [9]
US Navy tested its HGV last year ( 2018) as on an Intermediate Ranged weapon as their requirement is to put out tactical Intermediate ranged capability for Submarine and Surface launch and the congressional mandate asks them to do this by late 2020-September 2021. The successful FE-1 which occurred last October (and successfully struck its intended target) was at a 3500 km range which appears to be the design range for the Intermediate Range HGV that the US Navy is fielding into service. The USAF is using the same HGV and will mount it on an Air-Launched weapon in the medium sub 2000 km range class weapon, and the US Army is also likely to look at similar range.

On top of this the 2nd generation HGV is currently being worked on by DARPA under its Tactical Boost Glide program and it will likely form the basis of the next gen. common HGV sometime in the mid to late 2020's once it has been put through its paces. The 2nd gen HGV is expected to be flight tested by September, 2019 and follow on test demonstrations (beyond the first few) would be done by individual services starting with the USAF under its ARRW program. [10]

Avangard ( Yu-71/Project 4202 )

                                                         Photo Credit: Russian MOD

Russia began its own research on Glide Vehicle Program during the time when Soviet Union existed but much of the program was either on drawing board or ended with partial success with Yu-70 HGV program a precursor to the current Yu-71 HGV.

Yu-70 was tested few times approximately 4 times but the initial test ended in failures with either Glide Vehicle not separating from booster or if it did the HGV burnt up during atmospheric reentry since then the program remained frozen for most part of the 90's due to funding constrains and lack of interest by political leadership of the time.[1]

A major impetus on building a Hypersonic Glide Vehicle arose when US withdrew from the ABM Treaty and subsequently the Corner Stone of Cold War treaties in limiting the deployment of Offensive and Defensive system was nullified and US was free to develop its ABM system deployed nationally and globally.

A  test vehicle for HGV was presented to country leadership during a major nuclear exercise in 2004 in which President Putin was present and Yu-70 HGV was tested from SS-19 launch platform and in President Putin's words, were capable "hitting targets at an intercontinental depth," "with a hypersonic speed, high precision and the opportunity of deep manoeuvre in terms of height and course".[2]   The HGV subsequently disintegrated upon re-entry

                                               Avangard Launch ( via Russian MOD )
A new HGV program Project 4202/Yu-71 was initiated and it took over a decade of  R&D  to test these new HGV with SS-19 ICBM as a primary launch platform to carry the Glider atop.  SS-19 Mod 3 variant were capable of carrying 4.3 Ton of Throw Up Weight ( Warhead and Decoys ) to a range greater than 11,000 Km. 

Yu-71 program had its own share of technology challenges and after few failures in 2014 the program was on the verge of getting mothballed , Quoting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov who held the post of Deputy Defense Minister in 2014

"This complex was born quite hard. Four years ago, at a meeting of the Supreme Commander, the question was to continue or close this work, because, unfortunately, this is a very difficult job ... I remember well how the Supreme Commander asked a direct question to the general designer and got enough convincing answer: “Give us another chance.” And they used this chance, ”said Borisov. [4]

                                                                Credits: Russian MOD

He noted that the test on December 26 was the third test,it confirmed all the main declared characteristic. Borisov recalled that the serial contract for the production of Avangard complexes was concluded in 2017. From next year(2019 ) , it would be operationally deployed [3]

Borisov also mentioned in interview with MOD Press Red Star " Russian scientists had to overcome a number of difficulties associated with the fact that the temperature on the surface of the combat unit reaches 2 thousand degrees. "It really flies in the plasma, so the problem of managing this object and the issues of protection were very acute, but solutions were found," Borisov said.  Avangard HGV carries a ThermoNuclear warhead with a blast yeald of more than 2 megaton[8]

HGV versus Ballistic Missile ( BGRV/MRV ) 

A logical question to ask and answer would be what makes a Hypersonic Glide Vehicle different from a Ballistic Re-entry Vehicle like those carried by ICBM i.e  MRV/MaRV/MIRV or Boost Glide Reentry Vehicle ( BGRV )

While the Hypersonic Glide Vehicle and ICBM with  MRV/MaRV/MIRV/BGRV payload travels at Hypersonic Speed and post Boost Phase during Mid-course Phase of ICBM it travels at  more than Mach 18-20 speed and re-enters the atmosphere at about the same speed that it flies during its mid-course phase and post 3rd stage burn out  in case of MIRV when the BUS gets deployed. Post re-entry of Warhead which begins at ~ 100 km altitude the Warhead  speeds to its target experiencing great atmospheric drag/friction and burns in a flame of fire as it gushes through atmospheric drag and gradually slows down to ~ 4- 6 km/sec as it hits the target , in the case of advanced vehicle like Boost Glide Re-entry Vehicle , The warhead post - reentry boost glides to its target a form of Maneuvering in the atmosphere to avoid ABM system , due to BGRV long cross range ,high speed in multiple mach numbers and extreme High G forces as it maneuvers and boost glides it makes intercepting via ABM system extremely complex and time sensitive task . In both cases the re-entry phase though do not last beyond couple of minutes.

A Hypersonic Glide Vehicle on the contrary post launch of the ICBM and after the termination of Boost Phase and 2nd stage  would get ejected by the launch platform ( eg SS-19 in case of Avangard ) and would then deep dive till it reaches ~ 100 km Altitude which is edge of space where the atmosphere exist though thinly and space environment just begins known as Kármán line a boundary between Earth's atmosphere and outer space as starts its long complex journey towards its target . The HGV glides at this altitude for extended period of time at IRBM/ICBM ranges as it travels in a ball of fire due to formation of Plasma and maneuvers in what can be termed loosely as  Zig-Zag fashion towards its target. The HGV experiences extreme heat and pressure that would last tens of minutes and temperature approaching 2000 degree centigrade , compare this to re-entry time of few minutes in case of MRV/MIRV/BGRV warhead post re-entry the technology complexity to design an HGV becomes more clear.

Though the first operational deployment of HGV warhead is currently limited to ICBM system , HGV is also getting developed for IRBM and MRBM class of missile by US China and possibly India. As IRBM and MRBM travels at much lower speed ( 3-5 km/sec ) the HGV would consequently travel at similar lower speed ,lower ranges and at altitude ~ 80 -100 km but would still represent a very potent system versus the ABM

ABM versus HGV Advantage   

What makes HGV even more dangerous compared to a very capable BGRV or MIRV is its ability to dodge ABM defenses which is HGV's pièce de résistance and  a USP of this program.  Current ABM defense works on the basis of ABM Radar constantly tracking the target which can be a ballistic missile or warhead and computes an optimum path of interception and sends the data to the ABM missile interceptor which then at high speed approaches the target. If the target maneuvers to some degree or drops in altitude or speed  the radar keeps track of it and data is sent to missile interceptor via Mid-course Guidance or data links to set the interceptor missile on a path into a narrow box of intercept envelop.  

As the ABM interceptor missile reaches a narrower box of  its intercept envelop then the on-board Radar or IIR Seeker of the interceptor would then track the target and try to hit the target head on to destroy it completely  a process no different to intercepting a fighter by a SAM but more complex due to Speed , Time , Distance and Low RCS of Warhead.  Unlike a SAM interceptor the ABM Interceptor does not need a warhead to obliterate the target as the closing velocity between ABM Interceptor its target can be as high as 10 km/sec which is good enough to destroy any target without using warhead.

The entire sequence of launch to intercept is a very complex mechanism where Speed , Maneuvering , Distance /Altitude ,G Forces and Time is a key factor.  A delay in intercept of just 1 second  by an ABM interceptor would be a miss distance of 3-4 km for a target approaching  speed of 3-4 km/sec ( Mach 12- 14 ).  It is similar to hitting a bullet with another bullet albeit far more complex. 

Intercepting HGV adds up to a far greater challenge to ABM system to the already complex mechanism of ABM interception

1 )  Due to formation of Plasma on the entire Warhead as it boost glides at high speed , this makes any Radar Tracking a daunting task as Radio waves cannot penetrate the thick plasma screen nor can the glide vehicle transmit any kind of radio signal outside the plasma screen it travels under making ABM  Radar Tracking of the Glide Vehicle/Warhead a difficult task.   

2 ) As HGV travels at extremely high speed which is greater than Mach 20 ( top speed of Yu-71 approaches Mach 27 ) and maneuvers  Laterally ( side ways ) and in Altitude ( Height ) a kind of Zig Zag maneuver when loosely defined , The ABM Radar cannot compute an optimum intercept path for a random Zig Zag manouvering target which  can constantly keeps changing its direction and height and  due to  its ability to maneuver in a random manner the interception compute point is impossible to predict , to add the complexity of intercepting a Laterally moving target at extremely high speed of Mach 20 and above which is difficult due to High G Load Factor an ABM interceptor would experience while intercepting such targets ( as a thumb rule an interceptor has to pull in 3-4 times as much G as the target it is intercepting )  which would cause a ABM interceptor  missile to simply miss the interception as the target can out maneuver the interceptor 

3 ) As it travels at Low Altitude  of around 100 km for the Ground Based Early Warning Radar the warning time would reduce as  detection time of  low flying HGV Warhead due to its lower Horizon and for Space Based Early Warning Satellite which would generally predict an approximate impact point of a BM as soon as it is launched giving ABM Radar system advanced warning to cue its Radar may not be able to predict this approximate impact point as HGV keeps changing its direction and like a Sub-Orbital vehicle could simply break out or de-orbit any time and could hit any target on to its path and from any direction a concept similar to Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS ) .

It is possible though remains untested at a speed more than 8- 9 km/sec or Mach 27 as the final test experienced for Yu-71 the HGV/Warhead would have the capability to orbit at LEO for few days before it can re-enter the earth atmosphere on command giving it a FOBS like capability which was considered a very destabilizing in 70's and was withdrawn from service. The technical capability do exist for Yu-71 to act as FOBS though the possibility of exercising remains non-existent due to its destabilizing nature of FOBS

4 )  The effort though seems well worth the time and money , according to estimate of  Viktor Bondarev, chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, it would need many dozens of  ABM interceptor to intercept one single  HGV making the exchange ratio highly uneconomical for any adversary. [6]  Compare this to mid 90's deployed Topol-M with a BGRV Warhead which would according to Russian SRF commander Viktor Yesin would need around 5-7 GBI interceptor to intercept a single Topol-M [7]

ABM versus HGV Disadvantage

1 )  As currently HGV are heavy for ICBM Ranges it needs to be carried by Heavier Launch Platform like SS-19 which has a throw up weight of 4.2 Tons but this makes the system limited to Silo Launch impacting its Mobility which is offered by TEL and makes the TEL vulnerable to potential bolt from blue strike by any adversary.

2 )  Due to tailored trajectory that HGV follows  it needs a  limited stage  launch vehicle ( typically 3 stages launch vehicle for ICBM plus BUS in case of MIRV/MaRV ) it is not possible to carry Decoy and Jammers which a ICBM carrying MRV/MIRV/MaRV or BGRV does employ as part of its ABM mid-cource defense , making the vehicle vulnerable to Boost Phase Intercept or early mid-course intercept when 1st Stage is initiated , Deployment of advanced Decoys that can re-enter the atmosphere with the warhead , it is not possible due to HGV trajectory , speed and maneuvering. 

3 ) Only a single HGV can be carried by Launch Platform due to size and weight limitations making its application limited to Very High Value Target in a potential Nuclear Conflict . 

                                  Sarmat ICBM configuration with 5 HGV  ( via ) 

It is planned that next generation of Heavy ICBM Sarmat will carry multiple upto 5 Heavy HGV due to its larger throw up wight ~ 10 T and  more new generation lighter HGV with possibly lower yeald warhead.[11]

The Test and Deployment of Advanced Hypersonic Glide Vehicle like Russian Yu-71 , US AHW , Chinese DF-ZF and possibly Indian HSTDV can be regarded as the next stage in development of a constant battle between ABM and Offensive system but this also opens the gate to deployment of similar system by other countries in coming years leading to an open ended Arms Race in absence of ABM or similar Treaty , with INF demise  all but a certainty both Russia and US followed by China and India would deploy HGV on IRBM and ICBM class of  ballistic missiles and  Semi-Strategic Air and Ground Launched variants of it.

                                                                                                                             - Austin Joseph


[5]Interiew with Deputy Defence Minister Deputy Defense Minister Yuri BORISOV
[10] via BRF/brar  ( )

P.S. Kindly note that the Information and Analysis in this article are mine and official references provided where ever available.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

RS-24 Yars Intercontinental Ballistic Missile ( MIRV )

RS-24 Yars Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

Brief History

A short write up on Mobile RS-24 Yars ICBM a MIRV'd ((Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles) variant of Mobile Topol-M ( SS-27 ) ICBM , both share quite a few common characteristics ( 50 percent similarity per its Chief Designer ) but differ significantly in their payload and next generation BGRV/Glide Vehicle that Yars carry  compared to single warhead Topol-M. 

Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology (MITT ) is the lead designer & developer for both SS-27 Topol-M and RS-24 Yars ICBM under the leadership of legendary Yuri Solomonov  Hero of Russia 

As with previous write up on S-500 will stick to  known facts on these system with reference to interview with MITT Chief Yuri Solmonov and Commander of Strategic Missile Forces Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev where these ICBM are managed and deployed.

SS-27 Topol-M was developed in the early 90's with ability to MIRV the ICBM and as replacement of SS-25 , The MIRVng part was not followed through due to Arms Limitation Treaty of the late 80's and the political event that followed with the disintegration of Soviet Union in the 90's with the Political and Economic upheaval that followed. Nevertheless the designer went with a solution for Topol-M SS-27 that could be MIRV'd with 3-4 Warhead if need be and a single 800kt TN warhead was adopted for Topol-M.  

As older SS-27 and SS-19 started getting decommissioned at the end of its guaranteed life  MIRVng Topol-M was becoming an attractive option with MITT spending years in developing new generation of BGRV/HGV that would be lighter , manouverable , faster and that  could carry a lower yeald warhead with much better accuracy and so was born the RS-24 Yars.

BGRV  - Boost Glide Re-entry Vehical
HGV - Hypersonic Glide Vehical

                                          RS-24  Transporter Erector Launcher ( TEL )

Photo Credit: Vitaly V Kuzmin

Technical Details 

RS-24 Yars  ICBM has a launch weight of  49 Tons and has a range exceeding 11,000 Km with a throw-up weight of 1200 kg and carries 4 ThermoNuclear Warhead of 250-300 kt yeald along with decoys and jammers as countermeasures. 

Yuri Solmonov its Chief Designer mentioned in an interview that compared to Topol-M half of RS-24 design and features are new Interview with Yuri Solmonov

Most interesting is its New Generation of  BGRV/HGV that compared to its Single Warhead  Topol-M Warhead that  follows a Porpoise ( Skipping ) Trajectory  , the New Generation of Hypersonic Warhead of RS-24 was capable of performing altitude and trajectory maneuvers

 To quote  RVSN Commander Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev Russian Strategic Rocket Forces (RVSN)  
“The capabilities of such combat means were demonstrated to U.S. technical control means during the trials of the Yars ground-based mobile missile system and the Bulava sea-based missile system. It also concerns hypersonic warheads capable of performing altitude and trajectory maneuvers,” he told journalists. “The new missiles have characteristics that allow them to stay invulnerable at all sections of their flight,” Karakayev said.

The capability of RS-24 ICBM was further reveled to  some extent by RVSN Commander Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev New RVSN missile invulnerable in all phases of their flight and are able to break through any possible over the next 20 years, missile defense  

The Strategic Missile Forces of the Russian Federation stand on alert missile systems to successfully complete the flight test missiles RS-24 "yars", equipped with multiple reentry warhead. As reported in a press briefing the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, Lieutenant-General Sergey Karakayev, this weapon has incorporated the best features of the missile "Topol-M" and received new combat capabilities.

"It should be noted the ability of new missiles to be invulnerable during launch due to mobility and address, if necessary, challenge any possible breakthrough in the next 15-20 years in missile defense. To solve the problem of missile defense effort the developer have provided such characteristics that allow us to speak about the invulnerability of our new missiles in all phases of their flight, "- said Karakayev.

He explained that the ICBM "YARS" invulnerable to missile defense, including Boost Phase, the most dangerous phase of the flight, with its Multiple Warhead. New ICBM Yars "have maximum reduction in boost flight phase, much shorter in time than the older types of missiles." "In this short boost phase of flight the rocket vigorously maneuvers in height and on the direction (trajectory ) making it impossible to forecast the meeting point for interceptor", -  said the commander.

"To make the missiles of these properties required to create a robust and lightweight design, powerful engines and control devices, the ability to accurately operate at significant G Factor ( overload ). , flight tests carried out in recent years have confirmed that this problem has been solved ", - he stated.

Speaking about the next section of the flight "Yars" - Exo-Atmospheric flight warheads Karakayev noted that all of these units are covered and Decoys and Jammers "Warhead themselves are now  "stealthy" that is, the maximum reduction in the intrinsic radiation in all ranges. waves through the use of special forms and surfaces that absorb heat and radar radiation ", - informed the commander.

In the final atmospheric portion of flight during and post re-entry ICBM warheads flight portion is protected by the "Special Heavy Decoys" which are indistinguishable from the real warhead till it reaches earth " "The results of the flight tests have shown that in this area our designers managed to solve tasks," - said Karakayev.

"All this allows you to confidently predict the ability of Russian strategic nuclear forces to ensure security of the country in any development of the international situation", - concluded the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces.

Further details on RS-24 capability was provided by Yuri Solmonov in an interview quotinq excerpts 

On Missile Defence:  

Yuri Solomonov, questioned the effectiveness of a number of American and development on missile defense. "Those technical means by which the Americans are trying to solve the question of the object of interception, moving at a speed exceeding 10 kilometers per second, this task is technically unsolvable," - says Solomon. In real conditions of combat employment with the surrounding dozens of blocks and hundreds of false elements, completely identical warheads on the totality of recognition features (dynamic, thermal and radar characteristics), he emphasizes, to solve the problem of interception in the time available it is impossible. 
Missile Shield 

On Boost Phase 

In liquid-propellant rockets very long active part (boost phase) of the trajectory, they can not be implemented in a high level of linear accelerations, which is associated with the specific LRE. Therefore, the existing liquid-propellant rockets active regions is 3-4 times longer than that of "Topol-M", "Yarsa" or "Bulava", while promising, this value will decline slightly - is 2-3 times longer.  
Interview with MITT Chief Yuri Solmonov 

Trajectory of Topol-M  vs  Yars ( RS-24 ) 


Photo Credit : Russian MOD 
Note : The Dotted line in the fig indicates Ballistic trajectory , solid lines representing Maneuvering trajectory of Missile

 Topol-M : Propoise ( skipping ) Trajectory
  RS-24 :   Constantly Manouvering ( Height & Trajectory )

Key Features of RS-24

1 )  Short Boost Phase of ICBM as per its designer Yuri Solmonov the Boost Phase of  RS-24 has been reduced 3-4 times compared to Liquid Fuel ICBM like SS-19/SS-18  , Boost Phase of Liquid Fuel ICBM like SS-19 and SS-18 is 3-5 minutes or 180-300 second Solving Imaginery Problem

Reducing Boost Phase or Active Phase of Flight of RS-24 by 3-4 times reduces its boost phase to 1 minute 15 seconds  or 75 seconds of Active Flight in Boost Phase 

Short & Energetic Boost Phase has also a bearing on Speed of Reentry which translates to higher speed during re-entry

2 )  During Boost Phase the missile experiences significant Overload/Acceleration which increases its G Factor manifold as it accelerates and changes direction to avoid getting intercepted during boost phase of flight. 

Note Boost Phase of Missile is the most vulnerable phase of any Ballistic Missile as it tries to leave the earth atmosphere and start the 2nd stage of flight with ejection of 1st stage booster. 

3 ) Once the 2nd stage starts as it reaches an altitude of 150-200 km the Yars deploys  Decoys and Jammers which makes it harder to distinguish its warhead from ICBM Warhead/Missile  and Jammers try to Jam the ABM Radars while protecting the Missile & Warhead , while Yars accelerates and manouvers in space at speed of 10 km/sec ( Mach 29 )  as mentioned by Yuri Solmonov in his interview 

Note Advanced Decoys and Jammers are a highly classified subject and much less is known on this subject in any open literature. 

4 ) Post the 3rd Stage and deployment of BUS the Warhead Manoveres and Heavy Decoys are employed as it re-enters the atmosphere.

Development of Heavy Decoy which has lighter weight and yet  re-enters at the same speed as the heavier warhead is a key breakthrough achieved during development of Topol-M SS-27 . Decoys have the tendency to burn out during re-entry and only the warhead enters the atmosphere making it easier for ABM system to track the real warhead as it reenters and slows down to a speed of 5 km/sec , With the deployment of Heavy Decoys that re-enters with the warhead and remain till it is closer to earth complicates the discrimination of Decoys with Real Warhead and forces the ABM system to target the decoys and warhead an exchange ratio favorable for  attack system like ICBM.

Yars advanced BGRV starts its maneuvering phase in the atmosphere towards the targets with significant G Overload due to lateral manouvering of BGRV making it difficult for the interceptor to predict an intercept point while keep up with High G Manouver in Atmosphere.

ABM interception is both space and time constrain as the Interceptor does not just have to deal with  Trajectory and Height of the target it is intercepting which itself keeps changing for advanced BM but also Time is a key factor as the target acclerates at more than 5 km/sec in the atmosphere a miss factor of just 1 second by Interceptor while intercepting the target will be a miss distance of more than 4 km from the target. 


As the initial deployment  of Yars RS-24 started in 2004  the system has been deployed in number gradually replacing the Single warhead Topol SS-25 and Multiple Warhead SS-19 in both Silos and Mobile system

Although the throw up weight of RS-24 is lower then SS-19 with a lower yeald warhead but with the Mobility of the System , Matching Range and Significantly improved Missile Defense Characteristics  and four warhead of  300 kt each and much better accuracy of system , RS-24 will not just replace these older generation missile but would also serve as base platform for next generation of RS-26 ICBM and Rail Mobile System currently under development.  
RS-24 Advanced Warhead has also been adopted for Bulava SLBM


Weight 49 T
Length 20.9 m
  Diameter 1.8-2 m
Warhead 4 MIRVs with 250-300 kiloton warheads , BGRV/HGV

 Range:      11,000 km 
 Speed:       10 km/sec  ( Mach 29 ) 1

 Stage:         3 Stage Solid Fuel with BUS 

 Missile Defence:    Decoys & Jammers  post Boost Phase
                                Heavy Decoy   during Rentry and Atmospheric Flight 


Friday, 3 June 2016


Got my copy of Linux Firewalls , 4th Edition .  This takes the 3rd Edition of  the excellent book Linux Firewalls Robert  by Robert L. Zeigler's  one step forward and adds new features of Linux Firewall , NFTABLES IDS and VPN to it.

The 4th Edition of the book is a must for anybody who loves Linux Firewall and IP Tables and what it can do.  

Sunday, 29 May 2016

S-500 Air & Space Defense System

S-500 Air & Space Defense System

My goal for writing this article is recently there has been lot of press coverage on Russian S-500 Air Defense System ,  many opinions , facts mixed with truth and half truth thrown around to describe the system with many conflicting and contradictory information.

This article on S-500 is not a comprehensive one nor a one stop write-up on S-500 AD system , it is merely a collection of information ( links & quotes ;) collated from official Russian MOD and Almaz Antey Press release/interviews  linked to provide better clarity on S-500 AD system

Many component of S-500 system is under development e.g Radar , C4ISR etc remains classified or specification not reveled hence avoiding these aspect where official information remains unknown.

Official Picture and Sketches of S-500 system reveled by Almaz Antey recently but no specification of these systems were provided.

Launcher S-500 chassis type 77P6-1 MZKT-792 911 (New Calendar Concern PVO "Almaz-Antey" for 2015 ) 

Anti-aircraft missile systems S-500 - top-down: 77P6 launcher, radar 96L6-1, radar 77T6, 76T6 radar, para 55K6MA 85ZH6-2 or command and control

40V6MT tower and radar 91N6A (M) anti-aircraft missile systems S-500 

Photo Credit : Almaz Antey Design Bureau & Military Russia  ( )

S-500 Missile System [ MOD & Almaz Antey Excerpts ]

1 )  The main requirements for the S-500 SAM system are: an increased capability to destroy ballistic targets (medium-range ballistic missiles, tactical and operational-tactical ballistic missiles) at an interception altitude of up to 200 kilometers and flight speed of up to 7 kilometers per second, and a capability to destroy warheads of hypersonic cruise missiles, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Work on the S-500 SAM system is going on scheduled. The work is part of the state armament program and will be completed before 2020," Ostapenko said.  Interfax    
Almaz Antey

2 ) Major-General Alexander Golovko the aerospace defense forces under the current state armaments program until 2020 will buy five sets of S-500. The system is capable of hitting not only ballistic, but also aerodynamic targets (aircraft, helicopters and other air targets), as well as cruise missiles. VZ News

3 ) S-500 is a new generation of anti-aircraft missile systems and is a universal set of long-range and high-altitude interception with increased potential missile defenses capable of intercepting ballistic missile warheads, flying at a speed of 7 km / s.  Prospective Air Defence Missile will be able to intercept not only ballistic, but hypersonic and aerodynamic targets (aircraft, helicopters, other aircraft objects). Medium-range air defense missile systems "Vityaz" is to replace the legendary "S-300 SAM." With new construction principles Vityaz significantly increased its combat potential in both spatial capabilities and performance goals and physical destroyed. Starting serial deliveries of the system is expected in the near future "- said the former" Red Star "Deputy Commander of the Aerospace Defence Air Defence Major General Kirill Makarov. MOD Press Red Star

4 )
This was stated by Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov.  "The work on the creation of a promising inter-service antiaircraft missile systems of the fifth generation of the S-500, which will ensure the defeat of the aerodynamic and ballistic targets of all types at all altitudes combat use," - he said.  Itar-Tass

5 ) RG: Q  In space, too, would be nice to have such a barrier. he will provide the S-500?

Popovkin: This is the most important weapons - missiles. Because ninety percent of the pledged in the S-400 there will be - on technology, command centers, all other things. It (S-400 ) is still, in my opinion, till 25-30 years it will be modern. But a new, more "vigorous" rocket do need to be able to contend not only with the tactical, operational and tactical, strategic missiles, but also hit warheads flying at a speed of 7 kilometers per secondRossiya Gazetta ( RG ) 
V Popovkin : Deputy Defense Minister

6 ) S-500 will be able to simultaneously hit 10 ballistic targets with near orbital velocity. Told reporters on Air Force Commander, Lieutenant General of the Russian Federation Viktor Bondarev. He recalled that at the S-500 is tasked with responding to a number of new weapons for the class of tasks, primarily related to ensuring the defeat of both existing and future air and space attack, including in near space.

"S-500 will provide cover specific regions, cities, industrial facilities and priority strategic objectives. System will be capable of detecting and simultaneously hit up to 10 ballistic targets flying at a speed of 7 km / s, as well as warheads hypersonic cruise missiles. in its combat capabilities of S-500 is much higher than the standing now armed with S-400 "Triumph" - said the commander in chief. He said that in the S-500 is supposed to apply the principle of separation tasks destroy ballistic and aerodynamic purposes. "The main objective of the system - the fight against warheads medium range ballistic missiles, and if necessary and intercontinental ballistic missiles in the terminal phase and, within limits, in the middle part (mid-course )," - said General Bondarev.
S-500 will be able to simultaneously hit the 10 ballistic targets with almost the first cosmic velocity - Air Force Commander

 "By analyzing the existing technological advance and the momentum to solve problems facing developers - continued Air Force Commander - we estimate the prospects for the creation of the S-500 in a timely manner and in quantitative terms, the state program of armaments for the period up to 2020 as a very high" . "Although these issues are not perfect surprises," - he added.  ( S-500   Dec 2012 )

7 )  Q  Well, I congratulate you and sailors to this event, but still lets an S-500. The various sources of the concept of "system S-500" is interpreted in different ways. Moreover, even air and missile defense experts are confused in the testimony: what kind of system is it different from a S-400? I would like to hear the opinion of a professional.

- For obvious reasons, I can not tell you all the details. Nevertheless, I will answer: a completely new, not something in common with the S-400 system, since its design uses different from those used in the S-400 solutions. They allow you to implement tasks to be undertaken by means of a system on a different qualitative and quantitative level. And while we're on the topic of "what it is like", then I open another secret. In the guise of a new system, you will not find the same physical similarity, which is at the S-300 and S-400. Moreover, the results of our work is not a typical AAMS in its usual representation. It's more than that. We have always tried not to give the characteristics of the best world standards, I hope that this will be achieved in this project.   Interview With Almaz Chief 2011

8 )  The S-500 is a new generation of anti-aircraft missile systems and is a universal set of long-range and high-altitude interception with increased potential missile defense system capable of intercepting warheads of ballistic missiles flying at a speed of 7 km / s. Prospective AAMS will be capable of hitting not only ballistic missiles, but also hypersonic, as well as aerodynamic targets (aircraft, helicopters and other air targets). Red Star

9 )  As for the anti-aircraft missile system S-500, it is definitely clear that it is entrusted with the solution of a number of new weapons for this class of problems, primarily related to ensuring the defeat of both existing and future air and space attacks, including in near space.

In this anti-aircraft missile system is supposed to apply the principle of separation tasks destroy ballistic and aerodynamic purposes. The main task of the complex - the struggle with the combat equipment of medium-range ballistic missiles and, if necessary, and intercontinental ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of flight and, within certain limits, in the middle section.  Red Star

10 ) "S-500 is now in development, we know that not far off when it will be put into service and will go to equip the troops. It is a new word is to develop air defense systems, because before that the missile defense system developed separately, and air defense systems - separately. Here the system is being developed jointly and in a single-loop command and control will be possible as the fight against ballistic purposes (intercontinental ballistic missiles) and aerodynamic targets, "- said K.Makarov in the program," the General Staff "on radio RSN. Arms-Expo

11 ) "In the future, the S-500 is planned to merge with Russia's only missile defense system A-135, standing in the defense of Moscow and part of the central region of the country. In the near future to replace the latter should come a new missile defense system A-235," - says the publication .  Ria Novosti

12 )  The creators of System A-135. General Designer of A-135, Anatoly Bassistoff stated that "the system has shown significant reserves in all respects." "High-speed interceptor missile can carry Lyuleva 53T6 defeat ballistic targets at ranges of 2.5 times larger and at altitudes of 3 times larger than we currently have certified them. Military InformantZA

13 ) S-500 Interview

"MIC": When our armed forces will receive the first set of the latest generation of air defense missile systems S-500? How many army divisions of these systems can get to 2020?

- The long-term anti-aircraft missile system S-500 is under development, its adoption into service is planned until 2020. The timing and amount of deliveries of S-500 to the troops planned in accordance with the decision of the President of the Russian Federation to ensure the completeness of species and genera of the Armed Forces with modern weapons, military and special equipment. They will maintain the necessary level of combat effectiveness and objectives for air defense, concentrating its efforts on critical strategic sites.

"MIC": About this system is known not so much. What are the performance characteristics it will have?

- Anti-aircraft missile system S-500 will be able to solve the problem of the destruction of short-range missiles, medium-range missiles, as well as targets in near space.

As a guide tell you that in the S-500 is supposed to apply the principle of separation tasks destroy ballistic and aerodynamic purposes. The main task - fighting combat equipment of medium-range ballistic missiles and, if necessary, and intercontinental ballistic missiles in the terminal phase. Anti-aircraft missile system will affect both hypersonic aircraft and cruise missiles at low altitudes.

C-500 will provide cover for some large cities, industrial facilities and priority strategic objectives. In its combat capabilities AAMS will be significantly greater standing now armed with S-400 "Triumph" and its foreign counterpart - the American THAAD.

By promising the S-500 system to meet a series of requirements. This extended range of speeds and facial features of the targeted objectives, improving immunity, expansion affected areas, unification, integration with other types of firepower and air defense missile systems. Also, it must have the maximum possible mobility, the ability to operate in all weather conditions and operate effectively in the use of funds to overcome air defense, missile defense.

14 )  "Currently, the corporation is developing the next, sixth-generation radio communications resources for completing the various types of military technology, including air-to-surface missile systems – those already present in the armed forces and those that will be in the future," said a representative of the Russian defense industry, noting that the future S-500 surface-to-air missile system is one of them.

"The equipment will have completely new potential and will significantly increase the quality, range, protection and stealth of communications. Sixth-generation communications technology will be created within the next two years," said the representative.  S-500 Sixth Generation Communication System


Information reveled by Russian MOD Official and Almaz Antey which is the parent organisation which has designed S-500  Air & Space Defence System , S-400 among others.

S-500 is designed from ground up to intercept  Air Breathing Targets , Ballistic Targets ( ICBM , IRBM , SRBM ) and LEO Satellite this is keeping in with the tradition of Russian AD system to be multirole system.

S-500  Range though officially has not been reveled but the general known characteristic of the system  is 600 plus Km Range with known Near Space Capability of Interception.

Near Space is a term used by Almaz Antey to describe interceptor space interception capability , S-400 newest 40N6 Long Range Interceptor Missile has Near Space Interception Capability of 185 km in Altitude but limited in intercepting targets flying at  top speed of 4.8 km/Sec.

Two new Long Range Interceptor the 77N6-N and the 77N6-N1 are under development with Inert Capability ( Hit to Kill HTK ) and seperation warhead , it is not known if both the interceptor will have capability to intercept air breathing and space target  or two different interceptor will have its own unique capability i.e one of Air Breathing targets and other for LEO/ICBM type target

S-500 Air & Space Defence System as mentioned by Russian Officials will have Terminal Defence Capability at 200 km Interception Altitude for ICBM type targets ( 7 km/sec ) and Mid Course Intercept Capability against IRBM type target flying at higher altitude , S-500 system are capable of Intercepting LEO Satellites with predictable trajectory and  Hypersonic Glide Vehical a key requirement for this new AD system as interception of HGV are order of magnitude more complicated then Missile with ballistic profile , Intercepting Air Breathing Targets like aircraft and cruise Missile are inbuilt in the system.

S-500 is also built as Universal Missile much like S-400 system and its predecessor S-300 , due to its Universal Nature S-500 system will be part of future Russian Ships providing  Air and Space Defense capability similar to land based counterpart.

S-500 does not provide  ABM defence against Midcourse Target Flying at 7 km/sec speed i.e ICBM nor is it designed to provide ABM Defense on a National Scale like US GBI system but is designed to be Mobile and provide  defense against Cities,Key Installation , ICBM Silos etc

S-500 AD system will be integrated with  modernised A-135 system i.e A-135M and the yet under development its successor A-235 system that will provide National ABM System from Static sites.

Modernised A-135M system range has been increased to  2.5x times compared  to current range of 60 km  and altitudes of 3x times greater compared to its current altitude of 30 km of A-135 system as mentioned by its designer  ,nothing much is known on A-235 system

Main characteristics of the S-500 

Max target speed :                    7 Km/sec  ( Mach 21 )
Range:                                        600 km
Altitude:                                     200 km +
Interceptor :                              77N6-N , 77N6-N1      Izvestia
Warhead :                                 Inert , Hit To Kill , Separating Warhead
Type of Target:                         ICBM ,LEO Satellite,Hypersonic Glide Vehical,
                                                   IRBM,MRBM SRBM,
                                                   Air Breathing/Aerodynamic Target,Cruise Missile etc

Target (Terminal Defense - Exo) :        ICBM ,LEO  ( ~ 200 km )
Target (Mid Course Defense - Exo ) :  IRBM, MRBM, SRBM
Target ( Endo-Atmosphere )        Hypersonic Glide Vehical , Air Breathing Targets ,
                                                        Cruise Missile, Aerodynamic                                                       
Radar:                                           AESA  X-BAND Almaz Antey Anual Report 2010
Missile Guided:                            10  Interceptor  ( targets at near orbital velocity )                             

Monday, 6 December 2010

GLONASS: GLObal NAvigation Satellite System

GLONASS is a Russian global navigation satellite system which is extensively used for Civilian and Military navigation purpose. Its equivalent to US GPS ( Global Positioning System ) which is globally used for navigation purpose.

India is one of the countries which will benefit from GLONASS as it would avail the precision signal from GLONASS for military application. There are many combined GPS/GLONASS navigation gadgets available in the market for civilian applications.

Recently India used GLONASS signal for its Brahmos test and it successfully acquired and engaged the target and has been performing reliably and consistently.
GLONASS Navigation Satellite and Signal Modernisation Prospects


Saturday, 13 November 2010

Sukhoi Superjet

Sukhoi Superjet First Flight

Sukhoi Superjet 100 Farnborough International 2010

Pininfarina Interior offered as an alternative for Superjet Customers