With the geopolitical situation as complicated as ever, Russia is making sure that it is prepared for any eventuality, up to and including World War 3.
Ongoing military exercises involving hundreds of military vehicles are going on across Russia, with drills including mobile intercontinental ballistic missile complexes (ICBMs). Soldiers are training in counter-sabotage operations and taking part in simulated launch drills in readiness for a potential conflict such as World War 3, according to RT.
Missile launchers accompanied by security units
Approximately 400 military vehicles are involved in the drills, including Topol, Topol-M and Yars autonomous missile launchers. They are accompanied by security vehicles, command posts and anti-sabotage units complete with drones and combat robots, according to a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry.
Topol and Yars missiles can fire one to four nuclear warheads to within one thousand feet of a target. This means that they are more than capable of destroying American nuclear weapons housed inside silos, and are a great first-strike weapon for if Russia wants to wipe out the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
The huge vehicles that the missiles sit on top of are known as transporter-erector-launchers (TELs). They are specially designed to give the missiles a smooth ride over even bumpy roads, and could launch the missile during World War 3 as well as transporting it.
Accompanying units detect and engage enemies
These land-based mobile systems are valuable because they can move around. However this also makes them vulnerable to attacks from enemy ground troops. The missile systems must be protected at all times, and this patrol will last up to a month as the convoy rolls from European Russia to the Altay Region.
ICBM launcher crews are practicing pre-launch tests, making sure equipment is ready and changing locations quickly on a rolling basis. The purpose of this particular drill is to train in counter-sabotage measures.
The missile launchers are protected by special units such as the Taifun-M armored reconnaissance vehicle, which is packed with sensors, radars and scanners that detect enemies. In this way it can control the space around the convoy, detecting human activity up to 3 kilometers away and also using a drone to defuse mines.
The convoy also has a robotic vehicle with a machine gun. As an unmanned vehicle it is able to quickly engage the enemy threat and fire on them before they can approach and attack the highly flammable nuclear missiles.
Drills will culminate in simulated World War 3 launch
Over the course of the latest patrol, the convoy will simulate navigating areas contaminated by radiation, seeing off ground and air attacks and dealing with enemy troops in Russia. The finale of the drills will see crews simulate a launch of the ICBMs.
In January Russian officials announced 16 ICBM launches this year. Last year there were just 8 test launches. Over the course of the year 120 command and tactical exercises will be undertaken in order to keep troops well prepared for any eventuality.
The strategic missile forces are made up of 40 regiments, along with support and security units. Approximately 6,000 personnel make up 500 operational crews that are constantly on duty.
Tensions with Russia continue to be a worry for the United States and its allies. Russia has demonstrated its continued military strength in Syria, despite economic troubles caused by low oil prices. To this day Russia represents a formidable enemy and should not be underestimated.
Mobile nuclear missiles are quite frankly a terrifying proposition and one that we must hope is never used in anger.