With Top U.S. Army General saying that Russia can easily destroy the U.S., many military experts are evaluating what chances American armed forces have against some of Russia’s cutting-edge military weaponry.
First Russia’s deadly military toy that comes to mind is the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA stealth air superiority fighter, according to the Daily Express. It’s a prototype fifth-generation fighter jet that is currently being developed by Russian engineers.
The T-50 PAK-FA is expected to replace the MiG-29 and Su-27, both of which have been repeatedly spotted during the ongoing Russian military operation in Syria. The stealth fighter jet was first tested in 2010 and is expected to start supplying the Russian Air Forces in 2017.
And even the price of about $32 million apiece does not stop Russian President Vladimir Putin from modernizing his country’s army to greatly outweigh the U.S. army. It is expected that such jets will have service life of around 35 years.
When manufacturing the T-50 PAK-FA, Russian engineers were designing a direct competition for the U.S.-made F-15 stealth strike fighter. It is the first Russian aircraft to use stealth technology, which also features an airframe that reduces its visibility on radars.
Another Russia’s advanced military development is the PAK DA strategic bomber, which is expected to become operational in the Russian army by 2025. With little details about the secretive strategic bomber, the jet was rumored to have a stealthy, subsonic flying-wing.
After the Russian Tupolev Tu-95 Bear bomber has carried out a number of incursions near British airspace in past few months, it could be replaced with the PAK DA as a more advanced threat to NATO’s airspace.
Russia’s new military technologies are all about automation and stealth
U.S. military would also be challenged by Russia’s active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, which is a direct replacement of all older passive electronically scanned array radars.
The AESA is practically impossible to detect over background noise, which means Russian aircraft and warships are able to emit powerful radar signals while staying unnoticed by the U.S. army.
Such radars also provide more in terms of reliability compared to older radars, and can even confuse the enemy’s receiver as to which is the real pulse and which is the jammer’s pulse.
Another advantage Russia will have in case of military confrontation against the U.S. is its T-14 Armata main battle tank, which was unveiled during the 2015 Moscow Day parade. Putin has already ordered 2,300 of the Armata tanks for the Russian army by 2020.
The 49-ton battle tank is equipped with a 125mm cannon and a machine gun as a secondary weapon, and is capable of traveling at over 50 mph. Moscow also promised to make the Armata tanks fully autonomous and remote controlled, which means with such a tank, Russian soldiers will not have to risk their lives on the battlefield against the U.S.
Nuclear-powered submarines pose great challenge to the U.S.
But the most concerning development of Russian military engineers is the Yassen attack submarine, which is expected to replace most Soviet-era naval vessels currently participating in patrols and operations in the world’s oceans.
The submarine with an estimated cost of over $1 billion is 450ft-long and weighs 8,000 tons. The Yassen can travel at over 30 mph in silent mode, and more than 40 mph at max speed.
Washington’s primary concern is that the submarine is nuclear-powered and is the first Russian submarine to be equipped with advanced spherical sonar. Just like with the Armata tank, Russian engineers aspire to make the process of navigating the vessel as automated as possible. And while modern U.S. vessels require more than 130 crew members, the Russian submarine needs only about 90.
As of today, Russian engineers have built only one Yassen submarine, with at least four more reportedly being under construction.
With the submarine being nuclear-powered, Vladimir Putin has taken a sudden interest in developing defensive nuclear equipment. Moreover, last week a source in Pentagon said Moscow is poised to use nuclear weapons to “bring a speedy peace.”
Russia views the Arctic as potential battlefield with U.S.
And it’s not just Syria Russia views as a possible future battleground in a potential war with the U.S., but also the Arctic. The Russian military are poised to start drills of the Arctic version of the Mi-8 transport helicopter later this month. The helicopter also uses space technologies that can withstand even the most extreme conditions of the Arctic.
“The Mil Mi-8AMTSh-VA will be handed over to the military on November 25,” a source familiar with the development of the helicopter told Itar-Tass. The fact that Russian engineers are working on the Arctic version of the Mi-8 helicopter to supply the Russian Air Forces was first reported in 2013. The new copter is a modified version of the combat transporter Mi-8AMTSh, unofficially nicknamed the ‘Terminator’, which has been in use by the Russian Air Force since 2009.
The transport helicopter can withstand the extreme cold, strong winds and low visibility of its designated climate zone, including long periods of darkness during polar nights.
The cockpit of the Mil Mi-8AMTSh-VA will be protected from extremely low temperatures with technologies adapted from Russia’s space exploration program. The Russian Defense Ministry has already announced it is interested in purchasing up to 100 helicopters of this model, which would significantly boost Russia’s presence in the Arctic.
The Kremlin has repeatedly expressed its concern that the West is looking to turn the Arctic into a potential battleground against Russia, which is why Putin has been actively upgrading its armed forces to be able to protect Russia’s interests in the resource-rich northern region.