A-235 PL-19 Nudol
TypeAnti-ballistic missile
Anti-satellite missile
Place of origin Russia
Production history
DesignerAlmaz-Antey
VariantsSee Variants

System A-235 PL-19 Nudol (Russian: Система А-235 / ПЛ-19-181М / Нудоль) is a Russian hypersonic anti-ballistic missile and anti-satellite weapon[1][2] system in development.[3][4] It is designed to deflect a nuclear attack on Moscow and other regions within European Russia. The main developer of the system is JSC Concern VKO Almaz-Antey. The new system should replace the current one — A-135. The two main differences will be that the A-235 will use conventional warheads and it will be road-mobile.[5]

The A-235 system will use Don-2N radar as well as Don 2NP / 5N20P as range radar, with updated software and hardware; the guidance system of the A-235 complex will be similar to the existing system A-135. The A-235, when deployed, could be equipped with a nuclear warhead which would greatly increase its ability to destroy incoming warheads. The yield on which it would be deployed is not yet known.[6] According to reports in early 2018, the system will not be equipped with nuclear warheads.[7] According to Russian sources, the system will be deployed at points surrounding Moscow by the end of 2018.[8]

The new PRS-1M (45T6)[9] is a modernized variant of the PRS-1 (53T6 Gazelle) and can use nuclear or conventional warheads. It can hit targets at ranges of 350 km and altitudes of 50 km.[10]

The long-range missiles will most likely be equipped with nuclear warheads, while the others will have kinetic energy warheads. Testing of new missiles for the A-235 Samolyot-M system began in August 2014.[5]

Design

Initially, the A-235 missile defense system was planned to have three-echelons: long-range echelon with the A-925 missile, the middle echelon was the 58R6 firing complex, and the short-range flight was the PRS-1M missiles (the result of the upgrade of the PRS-1 missiles).[5] In the modified A-235 anti-missile and anti-space defense system, it is planned to use two-stage anti-missiles with high-explosive and nuclear warheads, providing it with the ability to shoot down hypersonic attack weapons, hypersonic orbital platforms, ballistic missiles, and their combat units, as well as satellites in near space.[11]

Tests

On 4 June 2019, the Russian Ministry of Defense posted a video showing the successful interception of the test target which was a test of a new anti-ballistic missile system in the form of a long-range surface to air missile. Though the nature of the air defense system which was being tested was not mentioned it has been widely speculated to have been a test of the S-500 Prometheus long-range surface to air missile system which entered early production earlier in the year. However, it also could have been the test of the A-235 anti-ballistic missile system which tests have been conducted on since 2014.[12]

The anti-ballistic missile system was tested at Plesetsk Cosmodrome, on 15 April 2020, at the ex-launch site of the Tsyklon-2 rocket.[13]

On 15 November 2021, the missile successfully destroyed the Kosmos 1408 satellite. The breakdown of the satellite caused space debris to form, which forced the crew of ISS to shelter. The debris passed every 93 minutes.[14]

The latest test was conducted on 1 December 2022.[15]

See also

References

  1. ^ "S-500 or A-235? Russia Tests Advanced New Missile Defence System With Extreme Range".
  2. ^ Diplomat, Ankit Panda, The. "Russia Conducts New Test of 'Nudol' Anti-Satellite System". The Diplomat. Retrieved 21 January 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Soviet BMD Programs". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  4. ^ Graff, Garrett M. (26 June 2018). "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space". Wired. Russia has repeatedly flight-tested a so-called direct ascent weapon, the PL-19 Nudol ballistic missile, which could strike objects in orbit, although it hasn't conducted a live attack on an orbiting satellite.
  5. ^ a b c Matveyev, Vadim; RIR, specially for (3 February 2016). "New missile defences being developed". www.rbth.com. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Russia Flight Tests Anti-Satellite Missile - Washington Free Beacon". freebeacon.com. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Москва получит новую противоракетную защиту". Известия (in Russian). 21 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  8. ^ "СМИ: в Москве усилят систему ПРО". Газета.Ru. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  9. ^ "53T6 Gazelle". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  10. ^ @DFRLab (1 December 2017). "#PutinAtWar: New Russian Anti-Ballistic Missile". medium.com. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Russia Flight Tests Anti-Satellite Missile - Washington Free Beacon". freebeacon.com. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  12. ^ "S-500 or A-235? Russia Tests Advanced New Missile Defence System With Extreme Range". Military Watch. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  13. ^ Thomas Nilsen (16 April 2020). "Anti-satellite weapon tested from Plesetsk". Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  14. ^ "Russian anti-satellite missile test draws condemnation". BBC. 5 November 2021. Retrieved 5 November 2021.
  15. ^ "Russia successfully test-launches new ABM interceptor missile".