The arms race may be escalating quite quickly and intensely, after the public acknowledgment that Russia has developed missiles and laser weapons that are ready for service, Russia posted a video in July 2018 which showcased a laser death weapon, and they have recently announced that it has officially entered service. Here is all you need to know about the Peresvet Combat Laser System, which is essentially a laser cannon, and how Russia plans on using it.
The Peresvet Combat Laser
Just recently, Russia announced that the Peresvet Combat Laser System has officially entered service and now has been permanently installed. The inspiration for the name Peresvet comes from the ancient Russian monk warrior named Alexander Peresvet. The video that Russia released back in July, which openly shows the unveiling of the laser, is said to be able to obliterate targets in a fraction of a second. Not much else is known about the laser cannon itself and thus, many people have speculated that it will not be used to kill people, but will actually be used for defence against enemy missiles and airplanes. It definitely looks like it is straight out of a movie though.
A Boastful Putin
Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia has been boasting about this laser cannon/death ray by saying, “Russia’s capacities for defending itself have multiplied.” Putin also boasted about the fact that laser weaponry, “is not just a concept or a plan any more. It is not even in the early production stages. Since last year, our troops have been armed with laser weapons.” He also taunted those against Russia in the arms race that, “We are one step ahead of our rivals,”
Is This The Start Of A Whole New Arms Race?
The implications of this cannon are far more deadly than they might seem. The death machine of which we do not even know the full details of will probably be used for more than just defence. The US is now threatening to pull out of the INF treaty as they claim the development of this laser cannon violates the treaty. However, Russia is retaliating and saying they are following all the conditions specified in the treaty. Putin also showed his concern over the fact that the New START pact between the US and Russia will expire in 2021 and that the US is not keen on discussing the future of the pact.
Real or Fake?
Some have even speculated that this laser cannon is not all that it is hyped up to be. The speculations stem from the fact that the laser cannon was announced during a press conference that was also hosting the launch of many other overly-hyped weapons. People also claim that Russia has previously lied or not been completely honest about their new technologies and that there is no evidence whether the cannon actually works as it claims to (since the video never showed it firing).
All we can hope for is that Russia and America stay true to their agreement and talk it out before deciding to fire on each other.
Having designed many of the stealth bombers that are currently being used by Russia, Tupolev Design Bureau was the natural choice for the country’s new proposal. The Pak-Da will be a strategic bomber meant to revolutionise wartime aviation. The meaning of Pak-Da is aviation complex for long range aviation and the Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, in a television announcement made reference to the fact that this will be an entirely new design of stealth bomber, which is being created to replace both the turbo-powered Tupolev Tu-95 and supersonic Tupolev Tu-160.
Aircrafts that are used in war are frequently upgraded, as our technology gets more advanced. The aim of the Russians in developing the Pak-Da is to keep up with and even surpass the US military, focusing specifically on their B-21 stealth bomber design. In April 2013, the design was finalised and the construction of a prototype began. If everything goes according to the country’s plan, the prototype’s first flight is expected in 2019. Production of the aircrafts that the country will use should then begin in 2020, and be fully integrated into the military between 2025 and 2030.
Even though the bomber’s full design has yet to be revealed and will probably remain vague until the prototype is completed, a few of its components have been shared. In March 2013 the Russians announced that the aircraft’s design would include a subsonic flying wing, meaning that the bomber would be able to fly at subsonic speeds as well as use advanced types of supersonic speed, including hypersonic. This would allow the Pak-Da to arrive at any place in earth’s atmosphere within two hours.
Other aspects of the bomber’s design, continuously curvature shapes and radar absorbent outer materials, will enable the aircraft to fly into space from the upper atmosphere. This will mean that two engines and two fuel tanks will be necessary, in order to facilitate the transition from earth to outer space. One of the current engines being used is a variant of the NK-32 (used on the Tu 160), a suitable design, which will facilitate the burning of jet fuel in earth’s atmosphere where the Pak-Da will use oxygen to fly. When the aircraft has entered space it will make the shift to using its own oxidiser, and will then be propelled by oxygen and methane.
Other features that may be included in the design are:
- The ability to fly outside the range of any interceptor
- A combat radius of 3500 km
- A loaded weight of between 100-120 tonnes
- The use of avionics
- A 30 tonne weapons payload
- A range of 6740 nautical miles
The Russians seem to have thought of everything that will make the Pak-Da surpass any other stealth bomber currently available, and with the help of the Tupolev Design Bureau they are well on their way to achieving this.
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