Creation of a nuclear missile shield in the USSR

History 2023

Table of contents:

Creation of a nuclear missile shield in the USSR
Creation of a nuclear missile shield in the USSR

As paradoxical as it sounds, the main impetus for the creation of a new type of weapon was the Treaty of Versailles. Under its terms, Germany could not develop and have modern armored vehicles, combat aircraft and the navy. Missiles, especially ballistic missiles, were not mentioned in the treaty. However, there were no missiles then either.

First ballistic missile

Demonstrating obedience to the will of the winners, Germany focused on research into new promising areas in the field of armaments. By 1931, a liquid-propellant rocket engine had been created by German design engineers.

In 1934, Wernher von Braun completed his Ph.D. thesis with a neutral and very vague title. The paper analyzed the advantages of ballistic missiles in comparison with traditional aviation and artillery. The work of a young scientist attracted the attention of the Reichswehr, the dissertation was classified, Brown began working for the military-industrial complex. By 1943, Germany had created a "weapon of retaliation" - a long-range ballistic missile V-2.

For most countries, the era of rocket science began after the shelling of London by German V-2s.

London, V-2

Allies fight for trophies

The victory of the allies over Nazi Germany smoothly turns into the beginning of a new cold war. From the first days of the occupation of Berlin, the USSR and the USA began to fight for German rocket technology. It was clear to everyone that this was the weapon of the future.

Wernher von Braun and his team surrender to the Americans. German scientists, along with the surviving missiles (according to some sources, about 100 pieces) and equipment, are evacuated overseas and in the shortest possible time all conditions are created for the continuation of work. The US gets access to rocket technology and promising developments of the Reich.

The Soviet Union will urgently have to create technologies both for the creation of ballistic missiles and for the means of combating these weapons of the future. Without this trump card in the foreign policy game, the country's position was unenviable.

In its occupation zone, the USSR creates a Soviet-German rocket institute. In the autumn of 1945 Sergei Korolev arrives in Germany. He was released, given a military rank and given the task of creating a ballistic missile in a fantastically short time.

In 1947 Korolev S.P. reported to Stalin on the completion of the task. The gratitude of the party was a complete rehabilitation. Stalin realized the value of rocket specialists.

The first step towards creating a nuclear shield has been taken.

Creation of the atomic bomb in the USSR

In August 1945, when the US Air Force dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,America was a monopoly in the field of nuclear weapons. There was no need to use atomic weapons, Japan by that time was on the verge of surrender. This bombing was an outright blackmail and an act of intimidation against the Soviet Union.

By the end of 1945, the United States had already developed plans for atomic bombing of the cities of the USSR.

A new, more terrible threat hung over the country, lying in ruins after the terrible Nazi invasion.

In the post-war years, most of the scientific and financial potential was directed to the creation of a nuclear missile shield. The USSR is using all available personnel for this, including captured German and imprisoned Soviet scientists and design engineers.

Kurchatov and Ioffe

The potential of foreign intelligence, both the NKVD and the Main Intelligence Directorate, is actively used. All information about US nuclear programs goes to Igor Kurchatov, scientific director of the Soviet atomic project. Klaus Fuchs confessed to the British authorities in 1950 that he had given considerable information to the Soviet Union, and in the States Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed in 1953 for espionage.

The information received about the design of the American plutonium bomb accelerated the work on the project. But the creators of the nuclear shield had to work hard to materialize the existing theoretical developments into real weapons.

Arms race

For forty years, the Soviet-American nuclear arms race dominated world politics. Soviet nuclearthe establishment was strictly classified. Only after the collapse of the Soviet Union did the names of the creators of the nuclear shield of the USSR become known.

HELL. Sakharov

After the explosions of the first Soviet atomic bomb in 1949 and the hydrogen bomb in August 1953, it was time for the United States to think. The revolutionary transformation of the Soviet armed forces proceeded at a rapid pace.

Intercontinental ballistic missile

Sergei Korolev

On August 21, 1957, the Soviet Union successfully conducted flight tests of the world's first R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile. The design was based on the theoretical calculations of the mathematician D. E. Okhotsimsky about the possibility of maximizing the range of a rocket by dropping its fuel tanks as fuel is consumed.

Starting from Baikonur, S.P. Korolev's OKB-1 rocket flew to the test site in Kamchatka. The USSR received an effective nuclear charge carrier and dramatically expanded the country's security perimeter.

The multi-stage rocket became the foundation on which a whole family of rockets was created, including the modern Soyuz launch vehicle.

Artificial satellite of the Earth

In October 1957, the Soviet Union successfully puts a satellite into orbit. It was a shock to the Pentagon. A satellite launched by an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) can be replaced by a nuclear weapon at any time. US strategic bombers needed several hours of flight time to reach targets in the USSR. Application of intercontinentalballistic missile reduced this time to 30 minutes.

First satellite

The Royal G7 raised Russia's nuclear shield to a space height beyond the reach of American technology at the time.

Strategic nuclear triad

The USSR did not stop there, it continued to move forward and improve its nuclear shield.

In the 1960s, the Soviet Union began research and development to miniaturize and improve the reliability of nuclear weapons. Air Force tactical units began to receive new, smaller nuclear bombs that could be carried by supersonic fighters and attack aircraft. Nuclear depth charges have also been developed for use against submarines, including those operating under the ice.

Development activities included strategic systems for the Navy, cruise missiles, aerial bombs. In addition to strategic weapons, tactical ones were also developed, in other words, artillery shells of various calibers for conventional guns. The minimum nuclear charge was designed for the 152mm artillery gun.

The Soviet system of nuclear deterrence has become complex and multilateral. She had not only missiles, but also other means of delivering nuclear charges to the target.

It was in those years that the structure of the Russian nuclear shield was formed, which has survived to this day. These are land-based and sea-based nuclear missile forces and strategic aviation.

Nuclear war - continuation of politics?

BIn the sixties of the last century, before the development of the concept of limited nuclear war, there was an active debate in the Soviet Union whether nuclear war could be a rational instrument of policy.

Public opinion and some military theorists have argued that, given the dire consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, nuclear war cannot be a continuation of military policy.

In the 1970s, Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev said that only a suicide could unleash a nuclear war. The General Secretary claimed that the Soviet Union would never be the first to use nuclear weapons.

In the 1980s, Soviet civilian and military leaders took a similar stance, repeatedly declaring that there would be no winner in a global nuclear war that would lead to the annihilation of humanity.

Missile defense system (ABM)

In 1962-1963, the Soviet Union began building the world's first operational missile defense system designed to protect Moscow. Initially, it was assumed that the system would have eight complexes, sixteen interceptors would be based on each.

By 1970, only four of them were completed. Plans for additional facilities were curtailed in 1972 when the signing of the ABM Treaty limited the Soviet Union and the United States to two ABM sites totaling 200 interceptors. After signing the Protocol to the treaty in 1974, the architecture of the system was again reduced to one site with a hundred interceptors.

ICBM missile

Moscow missile defense system reliedon a huge A-shaped radar for long-range tracking and combat control. Later, another radar was added to it for the same purpose. A network of radars on the periphery of the Soviet Union provided early warning and information about enemy missiles.

Like the American missile defense system, the Soviet system used a nuclear missile with a warhead of several megatons as an interceptor.

The Soviet Union began a major upgrade of the missile defense system in 1978. By the time the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the modernization had not been completed. In addition, many peripheral radars ended up on the territories of independent states - the former Soviet republics.

Currently, the upgraded system based on the Don radar station is on combat duty.

Which troops are called a nuclear shield? These are strategic missile troops.

On the brink of nuclear war

The arms race between the two largest nuclear powers, which has been going on for almost 40 years, has repeatedly put the whole world on the brink of catastrophe. But if the Caribbean crisis is on everyone's lips, then the situation of the early nineties, or more precisely, the period of 1982-1984, when the tension was an order of magnitude higher, is somehow less known.

NATO's intention to deploy Pershing II medium-range ballistic missiles in Europe worried the leadership of the Soviet Union. In order to make progress in the negotiations, Brezhnev introduces a moratorium on the deployment of missiles on the European territory of the USSR in the hope that the United States will appreciate this goodwill gesture. It didn't happen.

In July1982 The Soviet Union with the troops of the Warsaw Pact countries conducts strategic exercises with the participation of land-based and sea-based nuclear forces, as well as the Shield-2 strategic aviation.

This was a carefully planned display of nuclear power. However, exercises of this magnitude by all countries are carried out not only to develop the combat skills of army units. Their main task is to psychologically influence a potential enemy.

According to the exercise plan, the troops of the eastern coalition repelled a simulated nuclear strike. Repelling an enemy attack required the launch of cruise and ballistic missiles by the Soviet strategic missile forces using submarines, strategic bombers, warships and all military missile ranges.

In the West, these exercises were dubbed the "seven-hour nuclear war." That is how long it took the troops of the socialist camp to repulse the conditional attack of the enemy. Notes of hysteria were clearly visible in the comments of the Western press.

Nuclear exercises began on July 18 at 6:00 a.m. with the launch of a Pioneer medium-range missile from the Kapustin Yar range, which hit a target at the Emba range 15 minutes later. An intercontinental missile fired from a submerged position in the Barents Sea hit a target at the Kamchatka test site. Two ICBMs launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome were destroyed by an anti-missile. A series of cruise missiles have been fired from warships, submarines and Tu-195 missile carriers.

BWithin two hours, three satellites were launched from Baikonur: a navigator satellite, a target satellite, and an interceptor satellite, which began hunting for a target in outer space.

The fact that the Soviet Union had weapons to control outer space shocked the enemy. Reagan called the Soviet Union an evil empire and was ready to mix it with the earth. In March 1983, the US President launched the Strategic Defense Initiative, colloquially known as Star Wars, which would seek to ensure that the United States was fully protected from Soviet ballistic missiles. Project not implemented.

Nuclear shield of modern Russia

Today Russia's nuclear triad guarantees the destruction of a potential aggressor under any circumstances. The country is capable of launching a massive nuclear strike in response even in the event of the death of the country's top leadership.

The automatic nuclear perimeter control system, called the "Dead Hand" by Western strategists, developed in the early 1970s by the creators of the nuclear shield, is still on alert in Russia.

The system evaluates seismic activity, radiation levels, air pressure and air temperature, monitors the use of military radio frequencies and communication intensity, as well as sensors for early detection of missiles.

Based on the results of data analysis, the system can independently decide on a retaliatory nuclear attack if the combat mode is not activated within a certain time.

Monument to scientists and design engineers

Monument to the creators

To the creators of the Russian nuclear shield in Sergiev Posad in 2007, a monument was erected by the sculptor Isakov S.M. a temple in one hand, a sword in the other. The monument was erected at the former Gethsemane skete of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, where the Center for Nuclear Research of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is currently located and symbolizes the unity of spirit and military prowess of the defenders of the Fatherland.

Popular topic