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Doomsday machine: what is a nuclear strike and how does it work.

An old, still Soviet joke: “Dad, how long does it take to fly to America? Vovka said that he and his mother flew for 11 hours. This is nonsense, son, to fly there for 20 minutes. Well, maybe 21. Dad says and straightens the chevron of the Strategic Missile Forces on his tunic. Strategic Rocket Forces – Strategic Rocket Forces.

However, the real technology of sending a ballistic missile is not far from a joke. Solid-propellant missiles of the previous generation, such as Yars or Topol, hit conditional targets at firing ranges in about 10 minutes of flight, which means that they would fly 18-20 minutes to a potential enemy in World War III.

Back in 2019, Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Missile Forces Sergei Karakaev said that the missiles in service could not be intercepted by existing missile defense systems. One of the reasons for this reliability was the high flight speed – according to some reports, the flight speed of warheads after separation and breeding can be about 4 kilometers per second.

With the appearance of Avangard warheads in Russian missile units, the situation has changed radically – the hypersonic unit accelerates to a speed of 7.5 kilometers per second. And this is only the official data of the military, in fact, it can fly even faster.

Knowing this, you can also calculate the approximate flight time – it, according to rough estimates, is about 12 minutes. During such a period of time, only a separate section of the missile defense system (ABM) can be put on alert, but it will no longer be possible to evacuate people and property.

How does the Russian missile defense system work?

The military doctrine of the Russian Federation provides for a retaliatory nuclear strike. But few people fully understand what this term really means. In fact, everything is arranged like this: the missile defense system, which includes not only over-the-horizon radar stations (RLS), but also satellites, is ready for retaliatory measures long before the launch of ballistic missiles from the US missile base in Grand Forks or from submarines.

Almost instantly, the automation begins to “beep” at the control panel to the duty officer and reports: “Preparation for launch has been recorded.” It remains for the officers at the combat post to write down the time and report on the preparation of the launch to the leadership, the rest of the system will do itself – it will put the combat systems on alert and keep the weapons ready.

Further, through a special communication channel, the military will try to call the US and NATO headquarters. If they do not answer at the other end, then this will be a sure signal for the beginning of the Third World War. After that, the duty crews responsible for the first response launches will receive confirmation from the missile defense system.

It is also important to understand something else – the control systems of the strategic nuclear arsenal are set in motion as soon as the stations from the SPRN (Missile Attack Warning System) begin to detect incomprehensible objects.

retaliatory nuclear strike

If all channels of communication with a potential adversary are cut off, then the strategic nuclear forces will receive a “green light” to use weapons of mass destruction. It is important to understand that this happens approximately in the third, in extreme cases, the fifth minute of the flight of American ballistic missiles. After the country’s leadership decides to respond to aggression, almost half of the nuclear arsenal begins to be set in motion and start towards the target.

Russia’s military doctrine does not imply an attack with the help of nuclear weapons, however, for a retaliatory strike, there is enough confirmed evidence that the enemy used nuclear weapons against the country.

What happens next is what should happen in such cases – part of the warheads of a potential enemy falls on the territory of Russia, the other part is shot down by the anti-missile defense system covering certain, especially important areas of the country. After that, the so-called “second echelon” comes into play – units of the Strategic Missile Forces, the existence and location of which no one knows. Their missiles are located either underground or in camouflaged storage facilities.

At this time, the enemy thinks that a nuclear strike has been delivered, and Russia is calculating the damage, but in fact, nuclear forces at this moment are acting according to the plan: in radio silence, combat systems are switched on to strike mode and begin to operate without requesting additional, updated information.

The entire available arsenal is being used, including ballistic missiles remaining on submarines. The submarines themselves, after striking, must urgently leave the launch site and return to the base, which, in the event of a successful combination of circumstances, can still survive by that time.

Where is the Perimeter?

The famous “Dead Hand”, whose brain center, according to rumors, is located in Mount Kosvinsky Stone, at this time analyzes the situation and periodically checks the key subscribers who make decisions. If the President, the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff suddenly stop responding to “calls”, then “Perimeter” will decide to launch missiles on its own.