17 December 2012, 15:55

53rd anniversary of Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces

53rd anniversary of Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces

On December 17th this year Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces, or RVSN, mark the 53rd anniversary. Unlike other branches of the Russian Military, the Strategic Rocket Forces never engage in military operations but are always combat ready. As the Forces undergo a revamp, experts wonder what they will be like by 2020.

The Strategic Rocket Forces remain one of the pillars of the Russian Military, Igor Korotchenko of “National Defense” magazine, says.

"The Russian Strategic Rocket Forces make up a major element of the country’s Strategic Nuclear Forces. Their battle-readiness is vital for ensuring Russia’s national security. The Forces are now being re-equipped with the RS-24 “Yars” solid-fuel mobile silo-based intercontinental missiles."

First formed in the Soviet Armed Forces, the Strategic Rocket Forces continued to effectively guarantee the country’s battle readiness in post-Soviet days. This was largely due to efforts on the part of the country’s leadership. The current renewal of the Strategic Rocket Forces’ military potential became possible thanks to the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology and the Votkinsk plant – the designer and producer of the Topol, Topol M and Yars missiles.

The Teykovskaya Division located in the Ivanovo Region has become the first army unit to be fully rearmed with new systems intercontinental missile systems this year. Two regiments of the Division have been provided with the Topol M mobile systems and two – with the Yars missiles. 36 rocket launchers and more than 70 combat units are enough wipe out any enemy. In present-day conditions, however, the Strategic Rocket Forces’ striking power is secondary to their combat readiness and security.

Mobile systems acquired greater importance for the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces after Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev signed the START-3 Treaty, which lifted restrictions on the areas of their deployment. Given that it’s now become difficult to foresee which operational area the missile will be launched from, detecting and intercepting it has become much more difficult as well. Mobility is therefore giving much more security than thousands of tons of reinforced concrete and dozens of centimeters of silo’s armor.

The Yars mobile intercontinental missiles are to replace the Soviet-era Topols completely in the next 10 years. If this agenda is met, the program to maintain the Strategic Rocket Forces’ combat readiness amid the deployment of the US missile defense system will be implemented in full. Despite their mobility, the new systems need protection against any surprise attacks. To this end, the military authorities should create areas protected against enemy attacks by a reliable aerospace defense system. 

Strategic Missile Troops: Russia’s missile shield & sword. Photos

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