Ian Johnston / The Independent & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge & SputnikNews – 2014-12-09 00:57:09
Experts Warn Risks of Nuclear War Rising because of Global Tensions and Insecure Stockpiles
Ian Johnston / The Independent
LONDON (December 8, 2014) — Urgent action is needed to minimise the risk of a nuclear war, more than 120 senior military, political and diplomatic figures from across the world have warned.
Ahead of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, which starts today, the experts wrote in a letter that the danger of such a conflict was “underestimated or insufficiently understood” by world leaders.
The signatories include people from across the political spectrum such as former Conservative Defence Secretary Lord King, a Labour counterpart Lord Browne, former Foreign Secretaries Margaret Beckett and David Owen, and former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell. John McColl, former NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Lord Richards, former Chief of the Defence Staff, and General James Cartwright, former Vice-Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, also signed the letter.
“Tensions between nuclear-armed states and alliances in the Euro-Atlantic area and in both South and East Asia remain ripe with the potential for military miscalculation and escalation,” says the letter to Sebastian Kurz, Austriaâ€™s Minister for Foreign Affairs.
“In a vestige of the Cold War, too many nuclear weapons in the world remain ready to launch on short notice, greatly increasing the chances of an accident.
“This fact gives leaders faced with an imminent potential threat an insufficient amount of time to communicate with each other and act with prudence.”
There should also be better crisis management in “conflict hotspots” and new security measures, warning that stockpiles were “insufficiently secure, making them possible targets for terrorism.”
Russia Conducts Full “Nuclear Triad” Drill,
Launches Topol-M ICBM
Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge
(November 3, 2014) — While east Ukraine, aka the Donetsk Republic, was voting over the weekend in what the West pre-emptively classified as another sham vote as its outcome would merely push east Ukraine even closer to the Kremlin, Russia was busy conducting its most comprehensive Nuclear preparedness drill in recent history, one involving the entire “nuclear triad” consisting of strategic bombers; submarines and an the ICBM shown below on Saturday morning.
As reported earlier by the Barents Observer, the silo-based Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from Plesetsk in Arkhangelsk Oblast. A few minutes later, the dummy nuclear warhead hits its target on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s far eastern corner, the Ministry of Defense reports.
The Ministry, conveniently, adds that the Topol-M missile has an “extremely high accuracy of target destruction.”
This took place after a close encounter on Friday, when Norwegian F-16s were scrambled from BodÃ¸ airbase for the second time this week as a group of four Tu-95 strategic bombers were approaching from the northeast, Norway’s TV2 reports. The bombers, flying out over the Barents Sea from Russia’s Kola Peninsula, were accompanied by four Il-78 tankers.
On Wednesday, a similar group of four strategic bombers and four tanker aircrafts were flying southbound along Norway’s northern coast. Six of the aircrafts turned around and flew north again over the Norwegian- and Barents Seas before heading home to Russia. The two last flew all the way south to outside Portuguese airspace before heading north again.
After scrambling fighter jets from Norway and Great Britian, NATO said in a statement that the Russian bombers pose a risk to civilian air traffic.
“The bomber and tanker aircraft from Russia did not file flight plans or maintain radio contact with civilian air traffic control authorities and they were not using on-board transponders. This poses a potential risk to civil aviation as civilian air traffic control cannot detect these aircraft or ensure there is no interference with civilian air traffic,” NATO said.
Tu-95 is a turboprop aircraft built during the Cold War to carry nuclear weapons and is because of its long range included in the strategic nuclear forces.
And then there were the nuclear subs (of which one was supposedly lost somewhere near Stockholm only for the rumor to be quietly vaporized).
The third arm of Russia’s nuclear triad, the submarine based ballistic missiles (SLBM), were tested on Wednesday, when “Yury Dolgoruky” launhced a Bulava missile from submerged position in the Barents Sea.
This was the first operational test launch of Bulava in line with the program of combat training. All previous launches were part of development testing of the new weapon.
It is also the first time a Borey-class submarine had a full set of missiles on board when the launch was conducted. The Borey-class submarines carries 16 missiles that each may hold as many as 10 nuclear warheads. “Yury Dolgoruky” got her full set of Bulava missiles in June this year.
Three US Ballistic Missile Launches Detected by Russia’s Aerospace Defense
MOSCOW (November 29, 2014) — Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces (ADF) have detected the launch of three foreign ballistic missiles, Major General Anatoly Nestechuk, the deputy chief of the Space Command, said.
“We’ve detected a foreign ballistic missile launch this morning, and another two similar launches were detected the day before yesterday — that is exactly the kind of job our crews perform,” Major General Nestechuk said.
Over 140 Carrier Rockets, 500 ICBMs Launched from Plesetsk in 20 Years
He also added that Russia was notified about these launches beforehand, but the fact that they were successfully detected illustrates the high combat readiness level and professionalism of the ADF.
Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces were formed on December 1, 2011. They are responsible for air and missile defense, as well as for launches and the control of satellites.
The Trident Missile = $112 Million for Lockheed-Martin;
Global Devastation for Planet Earth
The UGM-133A Trident II, or Trident D5 is a submarine-launched ballistic missile, built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, California, and deployed with the US and Royal Navies. It was first deployed in March 1990, and is still in service. The Trident II Strategic Weapons System is an improved Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile with greater accuracy, payload, and range than the Trident C-4, strengthening US strategic deterrence.
The Trident II is considered to be a durable sea-based system capable of engaging many targets. It enhances the US position in strategic arms negotiation with performance and payload flexibility that can accommodate active treaty initiatives (See New START). The TRIDENT II’s increased payload allows nuclear deterrence to be accomplished with fewer submarines.
[US$ 37.3 million per missile, so launch of three = $111.9 million.]
Trident II was designed to be more advanced than Trident I (retired in 2005), and have a greater range and payload capacity. It is accurate enough to be used as a first strike weapon. Trident II missiles are carried by US Ohio and British Vanguard-class submarines. USS Tennessee (SSBN-734) was the first submarine to be armed with Trident IIs.
Trident II missiles are currently carried by fourteen Ohio class and four Vanguard class SSBNs, with 24 missiles on each Ohio class and 16 missiles on each Vanguard class. There have been 150 successful test flights  of the D5 missile since 1989, the most recent being from the USS West Virginia (SSBN-736) in June 2014.
The development contract for Trident II was issued in October 1983. The first Trident II launch occurred in January 1987, and the first submarine launch was attempted by Tennessee, the first D-5 ship of the Ohio class, in March 1989.
The launch attempt failed because the plume of water following the missile rose to greater height than expected, resulting in water being in the nozzle when the motor ignited. Once the problem was understood relatively simple changes were quickly made, but the problem delayed the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) of Trident II until March 1990.
It is estimated that 540 missiles will be built by 2013. The Trident D5LE (life-extension) version will remain in service until 2042.
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