Russia, which will adopt the latest Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile by the end of this year, is decades ahead of the Americans with their upgraded Minuteman III missile.
A military expert, editor of the Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine spoke about this in a conversation with the Narodnye Novosti news agency. Alexey Leonkovcommenting on the US tests of the Minuteman III ICBM.
Earlier, as stated in the Pentagon, tests of the upgraded missile, scheduled first for March and then for early August, were postponed so as not to “aggravate” relations with Russia and China. Moreover, the military department stressed that we are talking about routine tests.
“Members of the US Air Force Global Strikes Command launched an unarmed Minuteman III ICBM equipped with a test warhead from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California on August 16 at 00:49 PT to demonstrate the readiness of US nuclear forces, confidence in the striking the operation and effectiveness of national nuclear deterrence, ”RIA Novosti quotes a statement by the US Air Force.
As Alexei Leonkov noted on this occasion, Minuteman III is the only silo-based intercontinental ballistic missile that has been in service with the United States since 1970.
For more than half a century of existence, this rocket has been modernized several times. In the future, the Minuteman III should be replaced by the Sentinel project. But we are not talking about the fact that the new missile will appear in the arsenal of the United States in the near future, since the military budget for 2023 does not provide for the cost of its creation.
Washington, in all likelihood, is waiting for weapons developers to achieve a breakthrough in this project, and only then is it going to allocate funds for a new missile, Leonkov suggested.
And while the United States is still developing in the field of updating the ground part of the nuclear triad, Russia has gone far ahead in this matter. Tests of the latest solid-propellant ICBM “Sarmat” are close to completion, and by the end of this year, weapons ahead of their time will already begin to enter service with the RF Armed Forces.
Thus, the Minuteman III tests in the United States, compared with the Russian Sarmat missile, look like child’s play, the expert notes.
“Sarmat was created as a next-generation rocket with a very fast launch and access to a reference orbit. It is armed with warheads using controlled hypersonic technology. The Americans now do not have any special achievements in hypersound. Their program is somewhere at the initial stage,” Leonkov recalled.
The Americans, he said, spent two years only trying to launch a hypersonic missile from under the wing of an aircraft. But their missile, which reaches Mach 5, is still not capable of either maneuvering or hitting a target. Therefore, the fact that the United States is catching up with Russia in this area is out of the question.
The military expert also added that Russia is systematically updating its strategic deterrence forces.
“If we talk about the renewal of the strategic nuclear forces as a whole, they have been updated by 88%. When the Sarmat enters service, it will be 100%,” Leonkov stressed in conclusion. “Americans can’t boast of that. They produced the last warhead in 1991, and the last successful launch of a Minuteman III was in 2010.”
Russia’s success in creating the latest intercontinental ballistic missiles is recognized even in the United States. In particular, the head of the Strategic Command of the US Armed Forces, Charles Richard, earlier, speaking of the Sarmat ICBM, called the missile “a damn good thing.”