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Chill Out

Vladimir Vladimirovich is running for reelection and is talking up the great “new” weapons that are going to “Make Russia Great Again”: New Russian nuke weapons aren’t new and may not be ready, say experts.

All ICBMs are “hypersonic” and travel at speeds of Mach 5 and higher. US anti-missile defense missiles move faster than Mach 15. You have to move at hypersonic speeds to get high enough to to travel intercontinental distances. Changing direction at those speeds is more than slightly problematic.

These weapons, if they work as claimed and get deployed , which is not certain at this point, doesn’t alter the reality of a massive US response.


1 Badtux { 03.06.18 at 1:59 am }

Given Russia’s economy, they won’t be able to afford to build more than a half dozen of anything they build, so it’s not as if we’re talking about anything that worries me. People criticized Trump for saying nothing about Vlad’s speech, but nothing was the appropriate response for a change — the speech was entirely about Russian domestic politics and was, to put it bluntly, total BS.

2 Bryan { 03.06.18 at 6:28 am }

It was a campaign speech and had the same relevance as Trump’s wall. Russia needs to start maintaining some of what they currently have deployed to prevent it from devastating their own countryside. Spending money on space, the military, aligned with corruption is what really toppled the Soviet Union – their economy can’t support it and $100/barrel oil isn’t coming back.

3 Badtux { 03.06.18 at 11:26 am }

That is why I always laugh at those who fret about some advanced new tank or jet fighter or whatever that the Russians supposedly have or are working on. They lack the infrastructure to build more than a handful and lack the cash to build more infrastructure, and their latest and greatest gets sold to China or India for cash because they are so cash-starved, not to their own military. Their own military is still mostly equipped with old Soviet-era gear with few or no upgrades and would be nothing but target practice for any modern military. Militarily, they are at best a regional power. Other than the nukes. Can’t ignore the nukes. But they can’t really use the nukes either, because that would result in overwhelming response from *everybody*.

So saber rattling. And covert ops. That’s what they can do, and the latter in particular can be annoying, but whenever Tsar Vlad rattles about some new weapon or something, I know that’s entirely about his domestic politics, not about what he’s *really* up to.

4 Bryan { 03.06.18 at 4:38 pm }

They really need to start inspecting their aircraft so they don’t suddenly drop out of the air. It really annoys the people on the ground. The people in those aircraft would probably be annoyed , but since they are dead they can be ignored.

I wouldn’t count on anything they have in a silo. If they are lucky they won’t explode inside the silo. The Northern Fleet is being consumed by rust as it sits in Murmansk polluting the Barents Sea and annoying the Norwegians.