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Russian Missile Modernization March 21, 2014

Posted by George C. Marshall Institute in Uncategorized.
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Video of the Marshall Institute’s March 19 discussion of Russia’s missile and nuclear modernization efforts.


Russian Missile Modernization Event on March 19 March 14, 2014

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As the Ukrainian crisis intensified, Russia launched an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) as part of a regularly scheduled test.  While Russia’s planned test was known in advance by the U.S., the test was a symbolic demonstration of Russian military prowess during a time of acute international tension.

Russian efforts to improve its ballistic missile arsenal long predate the Ukrainian crisis.  In 2012, Madelyn Creedon, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, in her statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warned that:

“Like the United States, Russia will have to limit the number of strategic warheads it deploys to comply with the 1,550 limit of the Treaty. This limit will constrain Russia as it modernizes its strategic nuclear delivery systems with the deployments of several substantially MIRVed new strategic missiles, including the MIRVed Yars ICBM, new Borey-class missile submarines carrying 16 MIRVed Bulava SLBMs, and, in the event it is deployed during the life of the Treaty, a planned new ‘heavy’ ICBM to replace the SS-18 that will almost certainly carry several MIRVs.”

On March 19, 2014, the George C. Marshall Institute will host a discussion to review Russian missile modernization efforts, the implications for U.S. security, and responses to this growing threat.

As the principal nuclear threat to the United States, Russia’s activities to improve the quality of its arsenal have significant implications for our own nuclear modernization and missile defense plans, while also raising concerns about treaty violations.

The event will feature presentations from:

  • Dr. Mark Schneider, Senior Analyst at the National Institute for Public Policy; and
  • The Honorable Paula DeSutter, formerly Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation

To register, call 571-970-3180 or email info@marshall.org

Intel Threat Assessment Summarizes Counterspace Threats January 30, 2014

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James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, summarizes Counterspace threats to the U.S. in the annual threat assessment:



Threats to US space services will increase during 2014 and beyond as potential adversaries pursue disruptive and destructive counterspace capabilities. Chinese and Russian military leaders understand the unique information advantages afforded by space systems and are developing capabilities to disrupt US use of space in a conflict. For example, Chinese military writings highlight the need to interfere with, damage, and destroy reconnaissance, navigation, and communication satellites. China has satellite jamming capabilities and is pursuing antisatellite systems. In 2007, China conducted a destructive antisatellite test against its own satellite. Russia’s 2010 military doctrine emphasizes space defense as a vital component of its national defense. Russian leaders openly maintain that the Russian armed forces have antisatellite weapons and conduct antisatellite research. Russia has satellite jammers and is also pursuing antisatellite systems.


Document at http://www.odni.gov/files/documents/Intelligence%20Reports/2014%20WWTA%20%20SFR_SSCI_29_Jan.pdf

Russian Missile Launches South Korean Rocket August 23, 2013

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Recent reports of a Russian SS-18 being used to launch a South Korean satellite offer further illustration of the close linkage between offensive missiles and space launch – something to remember when viewing Iranian and North Korean “space” launches.