Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watson
At the end of the Cold War, the level of international tension has considerably declined for at least a decade, thanks to widespread multilateral disarmament bolstered by a variety of arms control regimes for conventional and nuclear armaments. That decade also saw the rapid deterioration of Russia’s early warning and surveillance systems as satellites launched during the Soviet era exhausted their service lives and crashed into the atmosphere without being replaced. At first, this was either not seen as an urgent priority by Russian decisionmakers or, if it was, there were more urgent priorities for scarce defense funding in an era of a prolonged economic crisis.
Fast-forwarding a decade, we find ourselves in a radically different situation. There is no more “end of history” optimism in the air, nor is there a sense of durable US hegemony either that seemed so permanent in the 1990s. Unfortunately, history tells us that such shifts in the global balance of power are fraught with danger, as the fading hegemon has an incentive to resort to extreme, reckless measures to preserve that hegemony. What makes the current situation unprecedented is this being the first hegemonic transition of the nuclear age. In the past, nuclear deterrence existed only in the context of relatively stable bipolar and then unipolar systems. Does nuclear deterrence mutually assured destruction still work under conditions of a multipolar system experiencing a hegemonic transition?
International relations theory has no answer to that question, but the US national security establishment appears to think that it doesn’t, particularly in an era of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, drone and missile swarms, hypersonic delivery vehicles, and possibly even directed energy weapons. Crash US programs in developing all of the above, far beyond anything that might be termed reasonable defensive sufficiency under conditions of the US spending far more on defense than anyone else in the world, do raise the possibility of long-term plans to prevail in the new round of great power competition through not only covert action and “hybrid warfare”, but also, if an opportunity arises, through good old fashioned strategic first strike which need no longer be delivered using nuclear weapons.
The point of Cold War-era nuclear arms treaties was not to limit the number of nuclear warheads for its own sake. Rather, it was to deprive the two superpowers of their ability to launch a disarming and decapitating strike which, given technologies of the era, could only be launched using nuclear weapons. That is still the case today, but may not be by 2030 should the US complete its planned rearmament with a large array of land-, air-, and sea-based long-range stealthy and hypersonic weapons. Even the US Army, with its plans for “1,000-mile cannon” is once again getting into the game of strategic strike, to speak nothing of land-based hypersonic missiles. And strategic strike using non-nuclear warheads is a novel scenario in which the old “mutually assured destruction” calculations may not apply. Combined with the explosive growth of US anti-ballistic missile programs, if the rest of the world stands still, by 2030 US decisionmakers might find themselves tempted to launch such a strategic strike against even a major nuclear weapons state like Russia or China, to say nothing of mid-level powers like Iran or North Korea, particularly if they have no nuclear deterrent to begin with.
Except the rest of the world is not about to stand still, and the Liana space surveillance system is an important component of the Russian response to US initiatives. The imminent era of post-nuclear strategic strike demands strategic defense and stability cannot be provided solely by anti-ballistic early warning systems. They would simply provide warning of an attack once it was underway, and in view of the possibility that large numbers of hypersonic missiles could be launched very close to Russia’s borders from the territory of NATO member-states following a rapid and covert deployment, as well as submarines and stealthy bombers, that warning might come too late to make an effective response possible. To make matters worse still, US drive to destroy the Open Skies Treaty that is supposed to prevent precisely that kind of a covert preparation for a first strike, is also indicative of what the long-term US plans are.
Liana is therefore intended to provide that kind of strategic early warning, as well as operational target designation, in the event of an attempted surprise first strike. The satellite constellation is to consist of two types of satellites. The first, Pion-NKS, is a 6.5 ton satellite intended for a 67-degree, 500km orbit, with service life of more than three years. It’s development is nearly complete at the Arsenal Design Bureau. It is a high-resolution radar reconnaissance satellite, capable of positively identifying “car-sized” objects on the Earth’s surface. The second component of the Liana will be Lotos-S, a six-ton satellite operating on a 67-degree, 900km apogee orbit, and performing passive detection, identification, and location of electronic emitters, including radio communications. It was developed by the Arsenal Design Bureau, in collaboration with several other scientific research institutions. Both types of satellites are expected to be launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, using the proven and reliable Soyuz-2-1b launch vehicles. The complete Liana configuration is to consist of two Pion-NKS and two Lotos-S satellites, and open-source information sources suggest the two satellite types have a fair amount of component commonality in order to allow them not only to complement one another, but to perform each other’s primary missions though in a degraded form. So far there have been three Lotos-S launches from Plesetsk, with the first 2009 one being a failure, and the 2015 and 2018 one a success. No Pion-NKS launches have been scheduled yet, but the satellite’s advanced stage of development suggests they will occur in the coming years.
Technological advances mean that once complete, Liana will serve as a replacement for both the Legenda naval surveillance and target designation satellite network, and the Tselina radioelectronic reconnaissance one, thus providing Russian decisionmakers with the ability to monitor troop deployments and electronic activity that would inevitably precede a strategic first strike. Liana will also no doubt prove itself useful in non-Doomsday scenarios as well. The Syria experience revealed the need for reliable detection and target designation of NATO cruise-missile launch assets, including aircraft, submarines, and surface vessels. Liana’s capabilities mean both the assets themselves, other than submarines, and their communications can be monitored to reveal preparations for a strike and provide targeting information as well. It is not clear Russia would have been able to accurately strike at US warships launching cruise missiles at Syria had they been directed against Russian bases. The absence of radar surveillance satellites was a painful gap in Russia’s capabilities at that time, one that will be filled in the coming years.
The problem with all this theory, is that it still has to be funded by some mechanism. And most all those mechanisms have also run their course. In addition, needing to fund the new health care mandates in the beginning of an endemic as the financially and physically exhausted people examine each measure w/a microscope, will leave permission to fun such operations hamstrung.
Cooler heads will prevail and this will be delayed, possibly forever.
“… it still has to be funded by some mechanism …”
That’s right. Apparently, the U.S. got a significant advantage here at the moment, for it can just print $$$ at will. Since this particular “mechanism” can’t last forever, it all boils down to how long the dollar continues to be the world reserve currency. A couple of years? A couple of decades? Longer?… Let’s hope nothing “happens” until then.
Do you remember the Korean Air KAL 007 plane that was shot down over Sakhalin in 1983? The idea of that flight was to force the USSR to turn on is latest giant radars in Siberia so that a NATO RC35 reconnaissance plane flying just outside Soviet airspace could record its electronic signature. I have written about it here:
Now, in 2020, this is what Zerohedge says:
As such, it’s clear that Russia actually faces a very real threat and that the Ukranazi coup regime state is the most important path by which it can be threatened, if not by direct attack then by compelling Russia to lay its electronic defences bare. I am not convinced that the Amerikastani Empire propaganda promoting a real nuclear war as “winnable” is meant to be taken seriously by professionals in the Amerikastani military. It is however most definitely meant to be taken seriously not only by the American people but by the Russians. How after all can Russia assume that NATO planes in Ukranazi airspace aren’t preparing a decapitating nuclear attack, with more likelihood of sneaking through than a ballistic missile strike? It can’t, so it’ll have to turn on its air defence electronic systems, which will give the NATO forces the information they need to circumvent those systems. (Yet another consequence of Putin’s restraint on Ukraine in 2014.) So satellites may actually not only be the best shield Russia has, but its primary one.
If Russian EC jamming measures are as good as the choir chorus claim, then a few bombers on the doorstep are lost pidgeons. It be like handing over a dissident to the frienemy, then fiening surprise that someone claimed they were poisoned……….be afraid. It’s the real new normal.
Even if they’re as good as the “choir chorus” claims, no system is static or foolproof. Jamming means exposing the electronic signature of the jammers, meaning that the jammers are compromised and can be circumvented.
“… Yet another consequence of Putin’s restraint on Ukraine in 2014. …”
The truly “faithful ones” always start from “whatever Putin does is correct” as a given, an unquestionable premise. And then, as any particular case comes along, consider it their duty to supply us a myriad of interpretations that appear consistent with that “axiom” – and to silence anyone who dares provide a single one that does not appear so.
On the other hand, the reality has its own sobering, final way of judging; it just takes time.
We don’t know for certain these details, but consider this report and the ending words:
“It is significant that at the time when the B-52H were over the Black sea, two strategic Tu-160 carriers of the Russian air force (callsigns 99111 and 99112, as well as flight 99113, which worked as a communications relay), flying over the waters of the Barents and Norwegian seas, entered the airspace of the North Atlantic.
The flight duration was about 10 hours, according to the Russian defense Ministry. At some stages of the route, they were accompanied by MiG-31s of the Russian Navy’s Maritime aviation. This information is confirmed by the telegram channel “Zapiski Okhotnika”, which is engaged in tracking flights of Russian combat and transport aircraft.
Gnuss(//cont.ws/@GnuTssh)reat to the President: Russian Tu-160s were targeting London 80 in response to the appearance of B-52s in the Black sea…
In fact, the Russian missile carriers were at the point of possible launch of long-range cruise missiles X-101 (or X-102 in the nuclear version).
Moscow has shown that if there is a real threat to the life of the first person, it is ready to wipe out London, along with the local city, Downing street and the Royal family.”
A source (https://topcor.ru/16476-ugroza-prezidentu-rossijskie-tu-160- derzhali-na-pricele-london-v-otvet-na-pojavlenie-b-52-v-chernom- more.html)
” I am not convinced that the Amerikastani Empire propaganda promoting a real nuclear war as “winnable” is meant to be taken seriously by professionals in the Amerikastani military”
Whether you are convinced or not is of limited significance.
Most practitioners everywhere have realised since at least 1984 that a real nuclear war is not winnable and that resort to such weapons would assure mutual destruction.
“The United States of America” are social relations which are destroying the planet and the lives of many, and hence even if “The United States of America” do not resort to nuclear weapons it could be deemed by others that their own resort to nuclear weapons may prove a more humane alternative to extinction through other ways of destroying the planet, whilst some others may seek momentary satisfaction through rendering the species, including those immersed in the social relations deemed “The United States of America”, extinct.
Included in the social relations designated as “The United States of America” are resort to attempted coercion, a level of belief in “magic bullets”, a level of reliance on bluff/propaganda, a level of wish for enrapturement, resort to weapons of depleted uranium is only appropriate against others with no facility, and the misguided hope that death is for other people.
Consequently some others are not blackmailed by whether or not “The United States of America” choose to test their “hypotheses”, likely designed in large part to facilitate conformance of “their population” in the hoped continuation of social relations designated “The United States of America”, but are implementing co-operative strategies illuminated by – How to drown a drowning man with the minimum of blowback. – , including but not limited to “.. Putin’s restraint on Ukraine in 2014.”
“are implementing co-operative strategies illuminated by – How to drown a drowning man with the minimum of blowback. “
without remembering that premature ejaculations often end the strength of members, with no outside stimulation required.
“It is not clear Russia would have been able to accurately strike at US warships launching cruise missiles at Syria had they been directed against Russian bases”. I am rather surprised at this statement. Russia did detect all incoming cruise missiles launched against Syria, doing so on both occasions.
The first attack against Syria was twofold. The target was that Syrian airfield. In the first wave, the US Navy fired 30 Tomahawk cruise missiles. One misfired, while the remaining 29 missiles were intercepted by the Russian Khirbiny electronic jamming system, which penetrated the electronics of all 29 missiles, turning them away from that Syrian airfield. The US Navy fired another 30 Tomahawk cruise missiles. What happened during this second wave is not clear. It would appear that the Russians did not use the Khirbiny system, although I cannot guarantee this. Anyway, not a single missile struck the runways, falling either by the runways, or striking villages, killing civilians. A few Tomahawks did strike hangers where a few combat aircraft were repaired. However, the bulk of combat aircraft were flown away before the attack. A mere 24 hours after the attack, the airfield was again operational.
During the second attack against various targets in Syria, the US and NATO allies launched 103 cruise missiles and flying bombs. Of that number 71 missiles were shot down and two that did not explode were captured (and no doubt flown to Russia for analysis). The remaining missiles caused minor damage, with some striking empty buildings. The Russian Pantsir AA system, developed for use against cruise missiles and low flying aircraft, proved it’s worth. After that second attack, Russia sent more Pantsirs to Syria. What should be pointed out is that during this second attack against Syria, Russian combat aircraft, operating from Russia, were in the air, targeting US Navy ships with Kinzhal anti-ship missiles.This no doubt explains why Russian bases in Syria were not attacked. As one military expert stated, US sailors stayed alive only because the Russian Air Force did not attack their ships.
What is dangerous here is that in the US you will find people on Wall Street who think that Russia can be defeated by a sneak missile attack. Apparently these “military experts” have been watching too many Hollywood movies. When it comes to the US military, I have read contradictory analysis. It would appear that the US military has some individuals who also believe in US superiority. I hope they are a minority.
2030 is the target for this Super-duper Trumped up warfare system.!!?? Hmmm.. hardly see much relevant research coming out of a smokey, socially dysfunctional and scorching 40 degrees plus California with their over hyphed Hi-tech geniuses making a bee-line for cooler safer pastures.. How many 10000s PhD engineering and maths graduates do those naughty commies in Red China produce every year – plus an overbearing of international patents and Huawei leading the pack..!! Going Boing Boeing needing Sovietski titanium and still those commie rocket engines!! Perhaps those grounded 737 maxis could be recycled as civilian kamikazis using Windows 10 and Lego Mindstorms!!
Sorry, but the present unrest in a bankrupt USA is just getting started with food shortages already a reality in certain states. Is this 5G network really going to deliver Musk inspired brain implanted geniuses developing the New Star Wars system for 2030!! Sorry no way.. these disunited states are imploding..