3 ‘trump card’ weapons to help Russia strengthen its military potential in 2022

In 2018, the Russian military signed agreements worth 300 billion USD with arms manufacturers to purchase modern, high-tech weapons until 2027. According to the agreement, each year. The army will receive new planes, tanks, ships, and submarines. Below is a list of weapons that will enter the Russian army next year.

MiG-31K fighter with hypersonic missile

First of all, the Russian military will receive fighters equipped with hypersonic missiles, including MiG-31 interceptors and Kh-47M2 ‘Kinzhal’ missiles. This plan was revealed by Lieutenant General Andrey Yudin, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force at the end of November 2021.

mig-31k with Kh-47M2 Kinzhal
Mig-31k with Kh-47M2 Kinzhal Hypersonic missile

Ivan Konovalov, Development Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of 21st Century Technology, said: “The MiG-31 is a Soviet-era fighter aircraft chosen to deploy advanced offensive weapons. It has many outstanding features compared to other aircraft, such as taking off faster and having a much higher ceiling.”

According to Ivan Konovalov, the MiG-31 has a flight ceiling of 25km. From this altitude, the aircraft can still hit ground targets or air targets up to 2,000km away when armed with the Kh-47M2 ‘Kinzhal’ hypersonic missile.

The expert further explained: “The main feature of the Kinzhal missile is its speed and the distance with which it reaches the target. Simply put, no modern foreign or Russian air defense system has it, that can intercept high speed threats from a distance of 2,000km,” Konovalov said.

Kinzhal missiles can accelerate to a speed of Mach 10 (about 12,240km / h), making it very difficult for modern air defense systems to intercept.

“In order for an anti-aircraft missile to be able to shoot down another missile in the sky, it must first be faster than the target’s speed and be able to intercept enemy missiles in orbit. There is currently no air defense system that can do that,” Konovalov explained.

But Kinzhal is not the only hypersonic missile to be delivered to the Russian military in 2022. Another extremely powerful missile that is expected to appear in Russia’s arsenal is the Zircon.

Zircon hypersonic missile

At the end of November 2021, the Russian military successfully conducted a test of a supersonic Zircon missile. This test is to test the integration of the missile on the warship. Previous tests were carried out with submarines and warships

Graphic of Russia's Zircon hypersonic missile
Graphic of Russia’s Zircon hypersonic missile

“The tests were so successful that the Russian military ordered a large number of these missiles for their fleet,” said Dmitry Litovkin, editor-in-chief of the independent military magazine.

Therefore, from January 2022, Russian warships will begin to receive Zircon missiles. However, the equipping of the submarine was postponed to 2025 for reasons that have not been disclosed.”

Zircon missiles can hit targets at a speed of 2.5km/h (8 times faster than the speed of sound). This is also a new weapon system that is expected to be out of reach of air defense systems in the next decade.

“These missiles equipped with the most powerful warheads will give the Russian military unprecedented deterrence,” said expert Dmitry Litovkin. According to him, Zircon was developed with the initial goal of dealing with an aircraft carrier battle group with up to 10 warships.

“Currently, there is no country in the world that possesses missiles comparable to the capabilities of Zircon and Kinzhal. The reason is very simple. Foreign militaries have only begun to focus on investing in hypersonic technology development after President Putin announced that Russia had built this weapon in 2018, “said Konovalov.

This expert noted that, despite investing a lot of resources and funds, it still takes many years for Western countries to successfully build hypersonic missiles. Currently, the US is planning to spend about $ 800 billion by 2022 to upgrade the military and develop new weapons.

T-14 Armata

In November 2021, the Russian military signed an agreement to purchase 132 more T-14 Armata tanks. This is considered the only 4th generation main battle tank in the world. According to military experts, the T-14 Armata is far superior to foreign competitors in terms of combat capabilities.

T-14 Armata tanks practice military parade on the outskirts of Moscow in April 2019.
T-14 Armata tanks practice military parade on the outskirts of Moscow in April 2019.

Expert Konovalov explains: “The T-14 Armata has a lot of features that other tanks do not have. It is the only tank with an automatic turret controlled by a crew sitting in a heavily armored compartment in the front end and an automatic targeting system.

It also has a “tactical link management system” that allows coordination with drones operating in the sky or sending data and intelligence to artillery units or air defense systems in the air in the battlefield”.

The Armata is also considered the “first stealth tank”, which can avoid detection by infrared, magnetic and radio systems. It is equipped with active defensive armor Afganit, can detect incoming anti-tank projectiles thanks to the active electronically scanned array radar (AESA).

According to Mr. Konovalov, the T-14 Armata has not yet had a peer competitor: “Currently, a version similar to this tank is being built by the French company Nexter within the framework of the project “Main ground combat system“.

The company said that it has successfully built a smooth tank cannon with superior performance to the Armata tank gun, but has not yet put it to the test. So we will wait to see the capabilities of the French tanks,” Konovalov said.

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