With reports indicating that the U.S. is going to station new atomic weapons and 20 new nuclear bombs in Germany, analysts are weighing in what consequences it could entail.
As a response to U.S. plans to station nuclear weapons – which are four times the destructive power of the one that was used on Hiroshima in 1945 – Russia expressed protest and has been intimidating the U.S. with ‘preventative measures’.
Could it mean that the Kremlin is poised to launch a nuclear arms race and could these ‘preventative measures’ be dangerous?
ValueWalk asked this question Igor Korotenko, a Russian military expert, who is often published in Russian media.
“First of all, the U.S. should expect Russia’s stationing of Iskader complexes to Kaliningrad region, the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea,” Korotenko told ValueWalk.
“However, even if they do station Iskanders equipped with missiles with the 500 km (310 miles) range, they will not be able to reach Germany. It would be the Baltic states, Poland and Swedish islands in the Baltic Sea who Russia would be targeting from there,” he noted.
The expert warns that P-500 missiles would pose a more serious threat to Europe, since their range reaches up to 2000 km (about 1250 miles).
“Then it would be Germany as well as most of EU states who Moscow would be targeting with its warheads,” Korotenko noted. “However, it would violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.”
Large-scale nuclear build-up in Russia and NATO
The expert notes that the appearance of American warheads in Germany will likely accelerate the current rate of the arms race between Washington and Moscow.
“Russia has been taking advantage of its oil profits in order to invest in modernizing its armed forces for many years now. But it was crucial for the Kremlin to do so,” the expert said.
Russia wanted to bring back the might of its armed forces from the Soviet era rather than intimidate NATO with its new military developments.
“But what we see now could be a major game changer. First [Russian President Vladimir] Putin announces the establishment of an airbase in neighboring Belarus, and then a few days later the U.S. decides to station nuclear weapons in Germany,” Korotenko noted.
In June, Russian Foreign Ministry warned the Washington against stationing its nuclear weapons in Europe to avoid “dangerous consequences.”
The expert warned that we are unlikely to see it, but behind the scenes there is a large-scale secretive nuclear build-up going on in both Russia and NATO.
Russia could destroy ‘a few NATO states’
However, at the same time, “Russia doesn’t want to step outside the limits of the New START treaty [a nuclear arms reduction treaty signed between Russia and the U.S. in 2010], as Moscow itself would not benefit from it,” Korotenko said.
He noted that dissolution of the treaty would damage Russia’s interests, since the Kremlin would not be able to compete in an all-out arms race against the U.S.
When asked by ValueWalk if the Kremlin could use the fact that the U.S. is planning to station nuclear weapons in Germany to throw mud at Washington, Korotenko said that Moscow will most likely return to battle-cries from the Cold War-era, when the Kremlin called the U.S. its main enemy.
“Russian media depicts the U.S. as the main ‘bad boy’, who always acts in only its own interests and spreads its rules across the world,” the expert noted. “That’s what we’ve heard from Mr. Putin himself in his UN general assembly speech yesterday.”
The Kremlin also holds the U.S. responsible for the migrant crisis in Europe, for destabilizing political order in many states and destroying their political systems, according to Korotenko.
Commenting on Russia’s latest military developments earlier this month, Korotenko noted that if realized, they could potentially destroy “a few NATO states.” However, then the U.S. would respond with much more advanced military hardware, and thus unleash a global war “with no point of return.”
Is Russia building lethal combat robots to counter NATO?
Russian defense trade newspaper Military-Industrial Courier has recently published an article showing Moscow’s potential new cutting-edge military technology that could help Russia gain a significant advantage in a war against NATO.
Modern war strategists around the world rack their brains over how to break through fortified defenses without suffering terrible losses.
And Russia might have just came up with the idea how to do it: with the help of military robots.
Leonid Orlenko, a professor at Moscow State University, wrote in the Military-Industrial Courier that Russian army equipped with military robots would attack in three waves.
The first wave would consist of six robotic armored engineer vehicles, stopping near the enemy defenses, clearing mines and conducting reconnaissance
The second wave would launch artillery, rocket and mortar fire at the enemy. After that, three human-manned tanks and three robotic “assault machines” would attack the enemy.
The ‘assault machines’ could be based on T-72, T-80, T-90 and Armata tanks models but equipped with larger guns, 30-millimeter cannons and guided missiles with the capability to target hard-to-reach places.
Then the third wave, consisting of seven infantry fighting vehicles, would attack under the cover of the two preceding waves. After that, the infantry would be able to disembark from the vehicles and support the attack.
Orlenko noted that such ground combat robots would reduce the need in human soldiers to assault a defense.
Russia has already been developing prototypes such as the Wolf-2 armored car equipped with a 12.7-millimeter machine gun as well as a seven-ton robotic platform named the URP-01G and a ‘military cyborg biker’.