America’s relationship with Russia is now even worse than it was during the Cold War. During that period, both countries were armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons, enough to destroy the planet several times over. Today, Russia’s already impressive armament of nuclear warheads is supplemented by a range of new, advanced, cutting-edge weapons that could be extremely dangerous should we go to war with the Russian bear. There are many technological advancements that Russia’s military has made during the last few years that are causing American generals to worry.
A few days ago, Russia called all of its students studying abroad back to Russia, in anticipation of a major conflict. A direct confrontation between Russia and America seems more and more inevitable by the day. Russian television stations are actually warning Russian citizens that nuclear war is imminent, telling them the location of their nearest bunkers. Russia is seemingly preparing for a major world conflict. Putin and the Russian government is urging Americans not to vote for Hillary, as she seems intent on pushing the world into another world war. Trump, in stark contrast, raises the possibility of working alongside Russia to defeat targets such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
One must remember that Russia has historically led the way in many fields of technological expertise. Their rocket technology and space exploration missions are legendary. They put the first satellite into space. They put the first man into space. And it is Russia that provides the Soyuz rockets that transport American astronauts to and from the space station. The American Space Shuttle program has been indefinitely suspended due to safety concerns. Russia’s military has used this advanced rocket expertise to their advantage, and today Russia has some of the best missile systems in the world. In many cases, these missiles are much more advanced than their American counterparts. But they’re not only leading the way in rocket technology. They have spent the last few decades building and testing advanced weapons systems, preparing for a war with the west.
15. RPK-16 Sniper Machine Gun
Imagine a machine gun with the accuracy of a sniper rifle. Well that’s exactly what Russia has constructed with the RPK-16. Without the sniper scope or lengthened barrel, the RPK-16 is a formidable machine gun by itself. But with a few modifications, the gun can be transformed into a sniper rifle with extremely low recoil, given the fact that it’s a machine gun. It can fire both single shots and bursts, but it doesn’t really make any difference what the operator chooses to fire in this case. Firing both bursts and single shots, the gun is equally as accurate. That means the recoil from firing bursts is so negligible that the shooter can lay down a hail of fire and still hit the mark with every bullet (it comes with a 96-round drum). This is the newest weapon created from the famed Kalashnikov arms manufacturer, creator of the venerable AK-47. Apart from the RPK-16, Russia has created two new assault rifles: the AK-12 and the AK15, both capable of firing 700 rounds per minute.
14. Uran-9 Combat Robot
Russia has also been experimenting with robotics and drone technology for many years, much like the US and other developed nations. One example of this is the Uran-9 Combat Robot. It’s basically an unmanned, remotely-operated tank. Although it’s small, standing just a few feet taller than the average human, it packs a killer punch. It can be equipped with a variety of weapons, such as anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, a machine gun, and a 30mm cannon. It is meant to support the troops on the ground, scouting ahead for threats without ever putting a soldier’s life in danger. It is even capable of saving soldier’s lives, as reportedly certain variants have been designed to transport wounded soldiers back to base and even measure their vital signs. It has never been tested in the field, but is expected to enter service very soon.
13. Nudol Anti-Satellite Missile
So much of military communication relies on satellite connection, so what if you could shoot down your enemy’s satellites? That’s exactly what Russia has been wondering as they have created a missile dedicated to shooting down America’s satellites. Called the “Nudol,” this satellite has the rocket power to break through the atmosphere and destroy targets orbiting the planet. Just this year, they successfully tested the missile, and it seems ready to go if needed. In March this year, US Air Force Lt. Gen. David J. Buck said that, “Russia views US dependency on space as an exploitable vulnerability, and they are taking deliberate actions to strengthen their counter-space capabilities.” Theoretically, loss of US satellites will mean a huge drop in communication capabilities as well as a complete lack of GPS technology. Such a loss would be crippling for the US military, as former Pentagon official Mark Schneider: ‘The loss of GPS guidance due to [anti-satellite] attack would take out a substantial part of our precision weapons delivery capability and essentially all of our standoff capability.”
12. Khibiny Electronic Countermeasures Systems
In April 2014, US Navy Destroyer USS Donald Cook was operating in the Black Sea (dangerously close to Russian waters) when a Russian Su-24 Fighter Jet confronted it. The plane flew by the navy vessel about 12 times at close distance, unsettling the navy crewmembers. What’s interesting about this is that the Russians claim that the Su-24 was using an electronic warfare system called the “Khibiny,” and successfully shut down all electronic systems on board the navy vessel at that time. It’s not clear what is propaganda and what really happened, but the Khibiny system does actually exist. On paper, this system is purely a defensive one, coating a plane in an electronic “bubble” that makes it impossible for missiles to lock onto it. But there have been rumors that this electronic countermeasures system is also capable of going on the offensive, shutting down all electronic systems on enemy planes, boats, and artillery systems. Such a weapon could be devastating if the west can’t find a way to counter it.
11. Laser Weaponry
Russia has been involved with secret laser weapons programs since the Soviet era. But since then, laser weapons research has been a subject of much secrecy in the Russian military. Although there is no concrete evidence of any current laser weapons programs, rumor has it that Russia’s military is restarting its old research that it began during the cold war on this subject. In 1994, the Russians announced that they had tried to create a laser weapons system capable of bringing down enemy missiles, and although they had advanced laser technology considerably, they had discovered that lasers could not shoot down incoming missiles. Before that, the Russians were working on a CO2-based laser. But Russians admit that the technology has not advanced much since then. There are a lot of problems with laser weapons, from power supply, excess heat, and many more. Russia does use laser weapons, just not in the way you’d expect. One system, called the Potok, is designed purely to blind the enemy rather than actually damaging them.
10. Shkval Rocket-Torpedo
Russia leads the way in rocket technology, and they have applied their knowledge not only to traditional missiles, but torpedoes as well. The idea is simple: create a bubble of air around the torpedo as it travels through the water, and then use a rocket engine to propel the torpedo at high speeds. Such is the design of the Shkval Rocket Torpedo. Newer versions of the Shkval have been reported to travel at speeds of up to 300 knots. That’s 6 times faster than normal torpedoes. This greatly increases accuracy, as enemy ships no longer have time to try to maneuver out of its path. The rocket torpedo works so well due to an effect called “supercavitation.” When a bubble of air is created around the torpedo, the water no longer applies any friction to the side of the torpedo, thereby reducing drag and increasing speed. The bubble of air is created using a nozzle at the nose of the torpedo, which emits gas and forms the bubble. The engine also emits gas, which can be used to create the bubble.
9. ADS Amphibious Rifle
Russia is very innovative when it comes to underwater weaponry, and this expertise extends to its firearms in addition to its warheads. The ADS Amphibious rifle is a prime example of this inventiveness, and it is one of the few weapons that can fire both underwater and out of the water with equal effectiveness. This weapon was designed specifically for Russian Special Forces, the so-called “frogmen,” who sneak up on their enemies from within the watery depths. The ADS’s predecessor was the APS Underwater Assault Rifle, and although it was able to fire underwater, it wasn’t very effective out of the water. Russian frogmen wanted a gun that they could shoot in both conditions, so the ASM-DT was created. The ASM-DT has a magazine that contains two types of bullets, supercavitating underwater rounds and normal rounds for on land. The ASM-DT’s concept was perfected with the creation of the ADS Amphibious rifle in 2013, which was superior in almost every way. So what is America’s version of this weapon? None. No other country has a weapon capable of shooting the enemy through the water like this one can.
8. Electromagnetic Cannons
Railguns are all the rage right now in military science, and Russia is keeping pace with the west when it comes to the creation of these futuristic weapons. America has long been successfully testing these weapons, and some railguns have been installed on US Navy vessels since the mid-2000’s. However, Russia is not far behind. In recent years they have been testing their own railguns and have accelerated projectiles to speeds of 11 kilometers per second. Thus begins an arms race between America, Russia, and to some respects China, over who will be the first to perfect the railgun and deploy it en masse. The railgun works by using electromagnetic energy to propel a solid chunk of metal at incredibly high speeds. Those futuristic Japanese trains that “float” above their rails using magnetic energy? Same concept. Only these “trains” are going a lot faster and they’re pushing a chunk of metal forward, which then gets blasted towards the enemy. The benefits are simple. For one, the bullet is travelling so fast that you don’t need to add any explosive to it; it will completely demolish anything in its path. Second, its range is much greater, with current prototypes having ranges of about 25 miles. You would never expect it. But the cons are pretty big right now. It needs a massive power system and the entire ship’s power would have to be devoted towards one single shot. Still, it’s something that major nations are taking very seriously right now.
7. S-500 Air Defense System
Russia has an interesting way of dealing with potential military threats from America, who spends drastically more on their military than Russia does. They find cheap solutions to disable US weapons that are extremely expensive. The perfect example is the S-300 and S-500 missile systems. America has spent billions of dollars on creating new 4th generation aircraft such as the F-35. Russia could not hope to keep up with America’s spending in this area, so instead they invested in the heavy production of a cheap way to destroy these planes: surface-to-air missile systems. The S-300 is probably the most advanced surface-air-missile system today. This comes as no surprise, given Russia’s rocket expertise. But now a newer, even more advanced version is entering the battlefield: the S-500. This missile system is so advanced that US defense analysts say that it could potentially shoot down F-35s and even the B-2 stealth bomber
6. Microwave Weaponry
Russia’s arsenal has some seriously futuristic weapons in it, but microwave weaponry might just be the craziest of the lot. Microwave weaponry is useful in disabling electronic components of enemy weapons, and is yet another way Russia is pushing its electronic warfare systems further into unexplored territory. The weapon, dubbed the “microwave gun,” can be fitted onto the BUK missile system, and is reportedly capable of shooting down enemy missiles and drones. There is no actual projectile being fired in this case. The weapon merely emits a radiation burst, which make missiles and drones drop like rocks from the sky, as their guidance and electronic systems are rendered inoperable. Its range is 6 miles, and it was first demonstrated in 2015. Its main purpose would be to enforce a defensive perimeter around an area, as it is capable of hitting targets in a 360-degree periphery. Not much is known about this weapon, and it’s definitely one of Russia’s top-secret weapons programs.
5. Tu-160M2 ‘Blackjack’ Supersonic Strategic Bomber
The Tu-160 bomber was initially designed as a response to the American B-1 bomber, but it has since been modernized and has now evolved into one of the best supersonic bombers today. The new M2 versions will see their maiden flights in 2019. Although the B-1 can carry more bombs, the Tu-160 is larger, faster, and has greater combat range. Plans to upgrade existing planes and create new ones were announced in 2015. These new planes will be massively improved, with new engines, new radars, and new avionics. The avionics are the same electronic countermeasures systems that supposedly disabled the USS Cook. Basically the only thing that will remain the same is the outer shell, everything else will be improved. Its existing top speed of just over Mach 2 is expected to be increased dramatically. Russia plans to build at least 50 of these bombers in the near future and production has already begun.
We’ve all heard about Russian hackers in the news. They are being accused of interfering with US elections and it could be a deciding factor in provoking war between the two nations. Were they the ones who hacked the DNC? Maybe. Were they capable of doing something like that? Definitely. Russian hackers are some of the best in the world, and the military in that country is investing heavily in cyber warfare. The FSB, today’s version of the KGB, is in charge of employing hackers and using them to attack military targets and gather information, among other things. In the past, they have attacked NATO computers and European Union computers on more than one occasion. But good hackers leave no evidence, and much of Russia’s hacking activities can only attributed to rumor. The US government claims that Russian state-sponsored hackers were responsible for a massive power outage during the civil unrest period in 2015. And that’s what they’re capable of. Hackers today can cut power to crucial places like hospitals and police stations, and can even cause nuclear power plants to melt down.
3. Sukhoi PAK FA T-50
The Sukhoi PAK FA T-50 is Russia’s 5th generation fighter jet. Like America’s F-35, it’s not ready for deployment, and it will take almost a decade before this plane is perfected and ready to be mass-produced. It has seen a fair few snags along the development phase, but make no mistake; this plane is a seriously advanced weapon. It is designed for air superiority, which basically means killing other planes. It also features advanced stealth features and will be able to attack ground targets as well. One of the advantages it has other jet fighters is its extreme maneuverability. This thing can turn virtually on a dime. It can come to a full stop in mid-air and hover there like a UFO. This is extremely useful in dogfighting because it enables the plane to dodge missiles and get itself into a firing position on other planes with ease. In 2020, the preexisting engines will be replaced by much more powerful versions and by that time the plane should be ready for service.
2. Zircon Hypersonic Missile
Russia is about 4 generations ahead of America in its development of hypersonic missiles. Their newest missile, called the Zircon, will be ready for service in 2017. This missile is capable of speeds of up to Mach 6. That’s more than twice the speed of conventional missiles. Why is this important? Because hypersonic missiles are almost impossible to stop.
Missiles travelling that fast are very hard to track and destroy. Hypersonic missiles can be used to intercept nuclear warheads. They can also carry nukes themselves. The Russians are getting ready to equip its ships, bombers, and submarines with the Zircon. In comparison, America is nowhere near ready to getting a hypersonic missile to even be operational. The most they’ve been able to do is get a missile going at hypersonic speeds for 6 seconds. In addition, Russia is working on a top-secret project called the Yu-74, which is reportedly an attack plane capable of hypersonic speeds.
1. PAK-DA Space Bomber
Today, Russia’s space program is superior to America’s. This is incredibly dangerous because Russia is beginning to weaponize space and their newest project is a bomber that will fly in space, operating far out of reach. This plane (or spacecraft) is known as the PAK-DA space bomber. This plane will be travelling at high speeds and will be invisible to radar. It will be impossible to touch essentially. The plane will be equipped with a hybrid engine that will switch to methane and oxygen once it reaches space. This plane will carry hypersonic missiles, armed with nukes if necessary. There are so many conflicting rumors about this plane and it’s hard to know what’s true. Some people say the plane is going to be ready by 2020, while others say 2023. Russia claims that the plane has already done successful test flights. If this plane is indeed ready, it will certainly give Russia the edge in a nuclear war. How do you defend from a nuclear attack from space?