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Academician: Russia ready to create super precision weapons

February 05, 2014, 1:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, February 05, 0:12 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian scientists and engineers are ready to create super precision weapons capable of hitting any pinpoint target at a distance of over 100 kilometers, whose effectiveness could be compared to that of nuclear weapons, Russian Academy of Sciences member Georgy Rykovanov said in a recent interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta government daily.

“Precision weapons have existed for a long time,” Rykovanov, head of research at the Federal Nuclear Center of the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics, said in the interview.

He recalled that systems had long been built using special target characteristics for guidance - increased signal intensity in the radar range (the electromagnetic wave length from 1 to 10 centimeters) and laser illumination of the target with a subsequent capture of the reflected signal by a homing device etc.

“Now a more ambitious task is being set, to hit any set pinpoint target at a distance significantly exceeding 100 km,” Rykovanov stressed. “Earlier, due to low delivery accuracy, nuclear weapons were needed to hit targets at such distances.”

Now the atomic bomb has alternatives. “Let’s assume we have achieved a miss of less than 10 meters. In such cases, the target may be brought out of operation by a conventional explosive due to the damage done to its most vulnerable or important part. In this regard, precision weapons are nearing nuclear weapons in terms of effectiveness,” Rykovanov said.

“I can soothe you,” the scientist said. “We have all required technologies: inertial navigation systems, control and global positioning systems (GLONASS) and microelectronics production with a sufficient degree of integration for the task have been developed. The key thing is that there are specialists capable of resolving the set tasks.”

Rykovanov said he believes “there is no need to resume field nuclear tests now or in the short term.” “As a result of work conducted in the past ten years, we have managed to keep powder dry,” he said, not ruling out however that such tests could be resumed at some point in the future.

Tests of new armaments, the scientist recalled, are currently held in particular with the help of computer simulation and other means.

“We need new experimental units to create conditions close to a thermonuclear explosion,” Rykovanov said.

“Our country’s government has already made a decision regarding one such unit. I mean a laser thermonuclear fusion installation whose construction is planned in Sarov [a town that is home to a nuclear research center],” he said.

“Specialists from Sarov [in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod Region] and Snezhinsk [closed town in the Chelyabinsk Region that is home to Rykovanov’s research institute] are believed to be able to hold their experiments at it,” Rykovanov said.

The academician also told Rossiyskaya Gazeta of prospects of scientific cooperation with US national laboratories.

“Earlier we conducted joint research in the sphere of dynamic properties of materials, dense high-temperature plasma and mathematic modeling. Work in the spheres will probably be resumed,” he said.

“We do not rule out that we will manage to organize interaction in the field of inertial thermonuclear fusion, including in experimental research at the National Ignition Facility - the national installation for laser thermonuclear fusion in the [US] Livermore Laboratory,” Rykovanov said.

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