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Treaty without rules: Russia was given the last chance to destroy its missiles

NATO Secretary General calls on Moscow to keep the INF Treaty, which the United States has terminated.

Very little is left before the final termination of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF). On August 2, 2019, it will lose its force. We note, at the initiative of the United States, which on February 1 unilaterally announced the start of the procedure for termination of the INF Committee calculated for six months. Russia accepted and responded with a willingness to withdraw from the treaty, the terms of which the “partner” is not going to observe. Well, how else? As a result, it was Moscow, and not Washington, who was demanding to destroy the new 9M729 cruise missiles, which allegedly violate the provisions of the treaty, but, in fact, are within the permitted parameters, which was to blame.


And now, when the INF Treaty can finally sink into oblivion, there was a call from NATO about the need to somehow preserve it. The secretary general of the alliance, Stoltenberg, called on Russia to “take the last chance it has” to refuse to withdraw from the treaty. Otherwise, it is Russia that will be responsible for the actions that violate stability in the world, especially in Europe. At the same time, a similar appeal to the United States for some reason did not follow. And, according to political analyst Vladimir Bruter, the reaction of Moscow to such “initiatives” by NATO will be very predictable – no. We did not destroy the contract, we did not try to save it.


  • The historic treaty on the elimination of medium and shorter-range missiles, signed in 1987 by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, has long ceased to exist, – said political scientist Alexander Zimovsky.

– Initially, American President Donald Trump refused it, and then Russian President Vladimir Putin responded “mirror-like”, signing a decree on the suspension of the implementation of the contract. The sides returned to their original positions, in fact, to the state of the new cold war and the arms race. It happened quite predictably, because the terms of the contract, which determined the limitations in the firing range of ballistic and cruise missiles, were repeatedly violated. True, behind the scenes, sometimes under the guise of trials, but the United States and Russia always kept crossed fingers behind their backs and deceived each other – there was no special trust between the “sworn friends”. In fact, the INF Treaty became a formality long ago, and the observance of its conditions was very doubtful, while still remaining a kind of deterrent in the missile confrontation. Now all restrictions are officially destroyed.


If we go back to historical prescription, when the INF Treaty was signed, its need was dictated by the fear that the Cold War would develop into a real war – primarily in Europe. Arsenals were bursting with missiles, and the readiness of their use was mutual. Western Europe, with NATO military facilities stationed in it, was at gunpoint to the same extent as the location of Soviet units in Eastern Europe, and at the same time over the vast territory of the USSR itself — it was believed that the flying time of American missiles to Moscow was only ten minutes. Then the parties agreed on a large-scale reduction of nuclear forces and reduced the “degree of tension”, primarily in Europe.


The subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union, the withdrawal of troops from East Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, the expansion of NATO to the borders of Russia, significantly reduced the distance of the “direct shot”. And the terms of the treaty were to a greater extent unprofitable for Moscow, which was “shortened hands” than for Washington, which was not used to fighting on its territory, concerned about European security. Nevertheless, it was the United States who went to break the DRMSD, suspecting the 9M729 missile at increased range and demanding its destruction. This rocket, indeed, can be modernized and instead of the declared characteristics of 500 kilometers to fly and 5000, but until recently, under the contract, it was not “accelerated”, held in reserve and, as it turned out, not in vain.


Then, already in the distant 1987, medium-range (from 1,000 to 5,500 km) and shorter (from 500 to 1,000 km) range rockets went “under the knife”. In accordance with the agreement, the Soviet Union destroyed four types of medium-range missiles, including the RSD-10 Pioneer mobile missile systems, the OTR-22 Short-range missiles Temp-S and the OTP-23 Oka –

a total of 1846 missile systems. The United States, in turn, destroyed the Pershing ballistic missiles and the Tomahawk cruise missiles. True, exactly a thousand less. For some reason, no more were found in the Pentagon’s arsenals, with the parity that existed. That is, the United States initially left itself a “nest”, especially since no one specifically controlled them in compliance with the agreements.


We will not say that Russia has always rigorously complied with the conditions of the INF Treaty, although it adhered to the established rules until about 2000. Knowing about the new developments of the United States with an increased range of missiles (Hera, MRT, Aries, LV-2, Storm, Storm-2, MRBM, imitating a wide range of medium-range and shorter-range ballistic missiles), I myself began to carry out similar work, achieved good results. Take the same “Caliber” cruise missiles, which have shown their effectiveness in the combat use of terrorist bases in Syria, and as it turned out, can be used not only in the sea, but also land-based. 9M729 missiles were also upgraded. And the Daggers, Sarmatians, Avant-gardes and other types of weapons presented by Putin showed that the Russian defense industry was not frozen in its development, but was actively improved.


The heads of the Ministry of Economic Development “hit the rally on the road and sloppiness” and looked at the new route to Kazan.

Initially, the 9M729 rocket (R-500 according to the Russian GRAU index), which was state tested in 2008, was not developed or tested for such a range (well, those same American calculations of 5500 kilometers) and did not fall under the INF Treaty. The situation changed, primarily because of the activity in violation of the treaty by the United States, so it was necessary to do “higher, further, faster.” Something was screwed by domestic developers (length increased from approximately 6.7 to 8.1 meters, which increased the fuel tank and flight range), but the current 9M729 is very different in its characteristics from the original version, which in itself is logical. And now the subsonic long-range cruise missile is already entering service with parts of the Missile Forces and Artillery of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, its mass production and deployment began in the 9K720 Iskander-M missile system.


It is known that this rocket is equipped with an inertial navigation system coupled with a GPS / GLONASS signal receiver. It carries 500 kg of combat load, which can also be used as a nuclear warhead with a capacity of 10 to 50 kilotons. The missile is capable of hitting even moving targets, and the coefficient of probable deviation is only 5 meters. It is assumed that the 9M729 rocket propulsion engine is similar to the 3M-14 cruise missile engine of the Caliber-NK missile complex and is a small-sized and short-life RDK-300 developed by the Soyuz design bureau, which allows you to accelerate to 3 Machs when approaching the target.


  • There is no special reason to worry about breaking the INF Treaty – considers military expert Boris Dzhereliyevsky.

– You would think that the United States really complied with this treaty throughout its existence. In general, the very concept of medium-range and shorter-range missiles is very blurry. Americans still place their missiles in Europe, and these are just medium and short range missiles. For the USA, this is really important, because these are first-strike missiles in the event of a war. Ballistic and strategic missiles will go second and third echelons of strikes. Russia is far from the United States and it cannot bring its missiles closer, as the Americans did in Europe. And Russia may benefit from the elimination of the INFMT to be able to adequately respond to emerging threats.

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