Arms race continues unabated with astonishing weapons
By Nadia Batok*
– Wall Street
There are no signs of a halt
There are no signs of a halt to the arms race… on the
contrary, production of the most modern 5th and 6th generation
technological weapons and the most terrifying and lethal weapons continues
The world is being armed with the most
sophisticated nuclear and hypersonic weapons, cruise and ballistic missiles,
supersonic fighter jets, unmanned air vehicles (drones), lasers, robots… all
experimenting with hardware and software technologies and digital engineering.
Nuclear weapons are the most
destructive instruments ever invented, although it is always said that nuclear
weapons would be used only in extremism when nations and countries are in the
Technology will make
long-range ballistic missiles available to almost any country that has the
money and the basic technical capability to acquire and use them.
The principal role of nuclear
weapons is to deter potential adversaries from an attack on a country, on its
allies, or in vital interest. The United States and Russia maintain very large
strategic and nuclear forces, China is modernising its nuclear arsenal, and
India, Pakistan, North Korea, Iraq, and Iran have the capacity of mid-level
technology states to develop nuclear weapons.
A nuclear military force
structure consists of land-launch nuclear missiles, submarines armed with
nuclear missiles, strategic aircraft with nuclear bombs and missiles, and
intercontinental ballistic missiles allowing for long-range strikes which are
launched from a controlled environment.
missiles and ground-launched cruise missiles were assigned to strategic targets
but were eventually forbidden by an arms control treaty between the United
States and Russia.
Tactical nuclear weapons,
also known as non-strategic nuclear weapons, are used in air, land, and sea
warfare. Their primary use in a non-strategic war-fighting role is to destroy
military forces in the battle area. Ground forces have included tactical
nuclear artillery shells, surface-to-surface rockets, land mines, and medium
and small nuclear engineering demolition charges.
Naval forces carry weapons
that include nuclear-armed naval rockets, torpedoes, and naval gunnery shells.
Russian President Vladimir
Putin has recently unveiled a range of new generation hypersonic missiles that
have no equivalents anywhere in the world.
Avangard is a hypersonic
missile, boost-glided vehicle. It appears to be reasonably successful, will
probably be deployed next year, and is expected to carry a warhead of 150 kt.
Once launched, the missile is designed to sail over the atmosphere and is
supposed to be able to reach up to Mach 27, that is 20 times the speed of
Burevestnik is a
second-strike strategic-range weapon of a type that has not been deployed by
any other nation.
Kinshal is an air-launched
hypersonic ballistic missile which is already in the military arsenal on 10
MIG-31 interception jets. The Kinshal missile can hit targets at a distance of
up to 2,000 km. It can strike missile-defense installations and carrier groups.
Sarmat is a liquid-fuelled,
multiple-warhead heavy intercontinental cruise missile, and is expected to have
a range of 16,000 km, which would allow a southern approach to U.S. targets,
thereby avoiding current missile-defense installations in Alaska and
Tsirkon is a sea-launched
hypersonic cruise missile, and such a missile deployed in Kaliningrad could
potentially reach missile-defense installations in Poland.
The Buk-M2E missile system is
a self-propelled medium-range surface-to air-launched missile and uses 9M317
anti-aircraft guided missiles.
Poseidon is a nuclear-type
torpedo, designed to be released from a submarine in safe waters, then travel
at depths of 1000 m and speeds of 70 mph for distances of 5,000 km. It is
difficult to detect and intercept.
The Russian Navy is expected to deploy more than 30 Poseidon unmanned
underwater vehicles, once, the weapon system is declared operational.
Five new nuclear delivery
systems (vehicles) utilise new technologies to evade U.S. missile defenses and
have ongoing development and test programmes.
The United States has one of
the most advanced missile arsenals in the world, deploying ballistic and cruise
missiles across multiple platforms, armed with warheads for a variety of
targets and applications.
The B-53 nuclear bomb is the
most powerful weapon in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. As of 2019, the U.S. has an
inventory of 6,185 nuclear warheads, of which 2,385 are decommissioned and
awaiting dismantlement, 3,800 are part of the U.S. stockpile, and 1,365 are
The UGM-133A Trident II is a
submarine-launched ballistic missile with a range of 11,300 km and is currently
deployed by the U.S. Navy’s Ohio and British Vanguard Class submarines.
The B-41 is a thermonuclear
weapon with a maximum yield of 25 megatons, first deployed in September 1960.
It is the most powerful and most deadly weapon ever created by the U.S.
Cruise missiles travel within
the Earth’s atmosphere, one the fastest of which is probably Shaurya (8,000
km/hour) in the cruise missile category.
However, the Russian Satan
missile with a range of 16,000 km is faster.
Sineva (11,547 km) is a
Russian 3rd generation
The Russian Topol-M (11,000
km) was developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology. It is launched
from silos or mobile launchers and can carry a 550 kt warhead.
The U.S. programme comprises
a common glide vehicle called the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) designed to
provide a range of 6,000 km, along with Navy, Army, and Air Force delivery
The U.S. Navy is developing
an intermediate-range conventional prompt-strike weapon as a submarine-launched
And the U.S. Army is
developing a medium-range (2.250 km) ground-based hypersonic two-phase booster
system to be launched from B-52s, and an air-launched rapid response weapon
with a range of 925 km.
The U.S. is not currently
developing an ICBM-boosted conventional hypersonic missile weapon. The Pentagon
abandoned this approach out of concern that such systems could be confused with
nuclear-armed missiles and could unintentionally cause a nuclear exchange.
In addition to developing
conventional hypersonic weapons, the United States is also investing in new
missile-defense technologies that can defeat adversarial hypersonic weapons.
The Defence Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA) continues research activities on more advanced glide
vehicle and cruise missile programmes along with delivery systems.
Historically, Russia has
deployed a higher proportion of its strategic nuclear forces on land rather
than at the sea, in contrast to the United States, which relies more heavily on
China is also working on
modern hypersonic weapon systems. The most significant weapon development in
China has been the DF-2F-HGV hypersonic glide vehicle and the DF-17
medium-range ballistic missile, which was reported to have flown between Mach 5
and Mach 10 over 1,400 km at an altitude of about 60 km. and to have struck
“within metres” of the intended target.
There are also the DF-21 and
DF-41, which is expected to carry multiple warheads and be capable of a 12,000
km range and reaching the U.S. mainland.
In the age of increasingly
capable conventional munitions, cyber warfare, and autonomous robots, why are
nuclear weapons still deployed in the territory of Europe, at a time when
discussions on lethal weapons, drone swarms and the weaponisation of outer
space make nuclear weapons seem as retro as a Sony Walkman?
The risks and rationale for
pursuing such systems, as well as the implications of new technologies, should
be a priority agenda item for the United States and Russia in their discussions
on strategic stability and nuclear risk reduction. But the nuclear-armed
nations of the United States. Russia and China are once again investing heavily
to create more sophisticated and diverse nuclear arsenals.
Military drones are becoming
deadly weapons across the globe and will conquer the world. They can perform
various tasks, such as sensor-functions targeting weapons transport or
electronic warfare activities.
Drones can begin missions
while in the air much closer to an objective, without having to travel long
distances from a ground location or forward operating base. Another advantage
of technological advances in drone autonomy is that one human may have the
ability to control multiple drones and perform a command and control function.
Drones could carry a small
warhead of the order of half a pound of high energy explosive, which would be
used to target people and /or lightweight vehicles.
Meanwhile, the Perching Micro
Air Weapon can do something other drones cannot: recharge itself by solar cells
or other means. The ability to harvest power/energy from external sources is
critical to persistent surveillance, allowing it to wait days for the right
moment to strike a target.
Small solar-powered drones
are being developed for non-military and commercial applications. Perching
drones might make good guards for human oversight and control. They might move
around to form ad-hoc unmanned checkpoints, reading the license plates of
passing vehicles from roadside perches, or they might, as the air force seems
to imply, find and attack specific individuals (Iranian general Qasem Soleimani
was assassinated by a U.S. drone strike on 3 January 2020) in urban
environments, even inside buildings.
New air force drones will
perch, stare, and destroy. Killer drones will become more like birds, the air
force wants miniature drones that can perch and wait days or weeks for a target
before attacking with an explosive warhead, and it is better to watch from a
tree 100 feet away than a predator at 10,000 feet. Bird-sized drones are able
to land, for example, on structures, power lines, trees and buildings.
China is unveiling a new
super Sharp Sword stealth-combat drone which is highly sophisticated and capable
of hitting top military powers like the U.S. and Australia and will go
undetected on radar. The drone will be capable of dropping two tonnes of bombs
and will be able to stay in its target area for long periods.
Not to mention weapons of the
future… by 2050, it is expected that the world will have full-body military
Exoskeletons, modern high-performance humanoid robot-soldiers carrying the
sorts of heavy machine guns that are today mounted on special vehicles.
The future of air arms is
sophisticated and scary. The 6th generation programme of
the U.S. air force is looking at hypersonic attack planes, unmanned aircraft,
drone fighter jets, artificial intelligence, lasers, electronic warfare, and
sensors woven into the fuselage of an aircraft.
In the meantime, these are
the latest 5th generation fighter
The U.S. Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightening II is the
most lethal and versatile aircraft of the modern era. The only international 5th generation single-seat, multi-role fighter,
armed with an array of weapon systems.
The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a single-seat,
twin-engine, extremely advanced tactical fighter. The stealth integrated
avionics and superior performance make the F-22 a super-maneuverable and
multi-mission fighter. It employs sophisticated air-to-air and air-to-ground
missiles. The emerging technologies integrated aboard the F-22 make it a
superior platform for a wide array of missions including surveillance,
reconnaissance, attack, electronic warfare and signals intelligence. The U.S. Air
Force has sent stealth F-22 Raptors to Qatar as part of a build-up of forces
ahead of a possible clash with Iran and deployed stealth F-35s to the United
The Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle is a superior
next-generation multi-role strike fighter. It can fly at more than twice the
speed of sound and can carry up to 23,000lb of payload including attack
munition and stand-off weapon systems, missiles and a variety of bombs.
The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which is in service
with the U.S. Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The combat
capabilities of the fighter jet were provided during Operation Iraqi-Freedom,
Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Southern Watch and the war in
U.S. Air Force F-22s and
F-35s will soon launch and control recoverable attack drones, to expand
air-combat operations, test enemy air defenses, conduct long-range ISR and even
technology is closer to reality due to DARPA’s Gremlins programme, which plans
to break new ground by launching and recovering four drones from an in-flight
C-130 next year. Air recoverable drones are slated to become operational within
a few years. Gremlins are specially configured aerial drones able to be both
launched from and return to a host aircraft.
Russia’s MIG-21 is the most produced supersonic jet in
aviation history. MIG-21 will reach 60 and probably last 70 years, and it
remains one of the iconic fighters of the supersonic age.
The Sukhoi SU-57 is a 5th generation,
single-seat, twin-engine, multi-role fighter aircraft manufactured by Sukhoi, a
subsidiary of Aircraft Corporation. The aircraft is designed to perform attack
missions of the Russian Air Force. It can defend all types of ground-air and
surface targets of the enemy and monitor airspace at longer ranges.
The SU-30 MKI (Flanker-H) is a two-seat long-range
multi-role fighter in service with the Indian Air Force, designed by Russia’s
Sukhoi and assembled under license by Indian Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The components are supplied by 14 manufacturers from
The Sukhoi SU-35 is a heavily- modified version of the
SU-27. The SU-35 is a 4++ generation aircraft employing 5th generation
technologies. The SU-35 is capable of deploying long and short-range air-to-air
missiles, bombs and rockets.
There are also big plans
ahead for testing and further developing the heavily upgraded TU-22M3M, TU-16O
and TU-95 MS.
Whereas Russia’s current crop
of heavy strategic, nuclear-capable bombers is entirely composed of models from
the Soviet era, the flagship military hardware project for the first prototype
of Russia’s super new 6th generation PAK-DA
stealth bomber, a fundamentally new fighter, will be based on new conceptual
solutions and is expected in 2021-2022 with serial delivery beginning in
China has some of the world’s
most advanced weapon systems. China is now on the leading edge of a range of
technologies, including its naval designs with medium and intermediate-range
missiles, and with hypersonic weapons, where missiles can fly at many times the
speed of sound and dodge missile defenses.
The Chinese Army has the
Chengdu J-20, a 5th generation,
single-seat, twin-engine stealth jet, which can perform aerial combat
operations for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. It is armed with
air-to-air and short-range missiles, long-range air-to-air missiles,
air-to-surface missiles, laser-guided bombs and anti-radiation missiles.
The Chinese Xian H-6 bomber
is capable of carrying huge anti-ship ballistic missiles.
And China is building exact
replica of U.S. stealth F-35 Jets … its FC-31 Gyrfalcon stealth prototype
strives to match the U.S. F-35.
British Eurofighter Typhoon
is a new generation multi-role fighter aircraft and is currently one of the
best in the world. It is a delta wing aircraft and incorporates modern avionics
and sensors. The Eurofighter Typhoon made its combat début in 2011 for
reconnaissance and ground strike missions in Libya by the Royal Air Force (RAF)
and the Italian Air Force.
France’s Dassault Rafale
fighter jet is one of the best military aircraft in the world.
India has the 5th generation Sukhoi/HAL fighter aircraft.
The Japanese Mitsubishi X-2
Shinshin is a prototype of a stealth jet fighter and was constructed and used
to study the radar cross-section in France in 2009.
Iran is not defenseless
against M.S. air raids, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Militia
operate Russian-made S-200 and S-300 air defense systems as well as hundreds of
fighters including dozens of modernised F-14s that Iran acquired from the
United States in 1970.
Turkish military F-16 Viper
fighter jets engaged in Libya and the country has Peace Eagle airborne early
warning and control planes.
Countries and armies which
possess these modern sophisticated weapons are the most powerful, but as we see
they are powerless against the invisible Coronavirus.
Human civilisation has
learned nothing from the wars in its history and is continually striving to
make ever more destructive wars with enormous numbers of victims. Human beings
have demonstrated so many times in history that they are not civilised.
We all well know that if it
comes to warfare with the new generation weapons mentioned above it will lead
to the total destruction of humanity and the planet … there will be no winner.
Understanding the lethal
capabilities of these incredible combat aircraft and the future modern
technological projects for the production… is this a warning of what is to
come? 29 OCTOBER 2020,
political scientist, international relations. She has a degree in Political
Sciences, International Relations. She worked as a collaborator, protocol
officer, secretary, and assistant in international organizations and
conferences, such as UNCTAD, IMF, European Center for Peace and Development-
Belgrade (ECPD), Western Balkan Summit Series, World Philosophical Forum-Athens
(WPF); she is a staff member of Humanitarian Bureau of Yugoslav Red Cross.