A not-so-secret secret: the Russian rocket 9M729


With NATO support, the US to increase pressure on Russia: It is said to have violated the INF disarmament Treaty. It is a new rocket. Details about the US has made intelligence chief Coats known.

The Russian short-range missile “Iskander”: may be the Basis of new medium-range missile

After US President Donald Trump announced in October, from the INF-agreement with Russia out, the strife now in the next round: After the meeting of NATO foreign Ministers, the Alliance unveiled on Tuesday in Brussels, on the side of the United States and joined the accusations against Moscow: It violated the 1987 and signed a disarmament Treaty with the United States, which prohibits all land-based cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5500 kilometers. Now, Washington, Moscow issued an Ultimatum, within a period of 60 days to comply with the Treaty, to return. Otherwise, getting out of the contract.

The dispute revolves around a rocket, which is called in the media “Novator 9M729” or, in the NATO Code, “SSC-8”. Before the recent NATO decision, the Pentagon had shared its intelligence information with the partners. But there are also numerous public sources about the cruise missiles.

A new Russian rocket: how it all began

It was the end of July 2014, as the New York Times reported for the first Time about suspicion in Washington that Moscow will be in breach of the INF Treaty. The then-US President Barack Obama informed his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin in a letter. Russia will have Tests of the new missile as early as 2008 began. According to the NYT, the Obama administration has discussed the issue several times with Russia, however, sharp public Statements avoided – apparently in the hope to agree with the Kremlin. Five meetings have there been since 2014 at the technical experts level, informed on Tuesday, the U.S. state Department in a statement. However, Moscow responded with “denial, obfuscation and untruths”.

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev come across on the signing of the INF Treaty (December, 1987)

The new government under Donald Trump has made the designation of the missile is alleged to be inconsistent with the INF Treaty, open to the public. In Washington Wilson Centre Christopher Ford, a member of the National security Council, said that it was the rocket of the type 9M729 from the rocket builders “Novator” in Yekaterinburg in the Urals. The company, part of the state defense concern “Almaz-Antey”, has also developed the new sea-based cruise missiles, “CALIB”, as well as an inter-continental missile of the latest Generation with atomic drive.

As the rocket 9M729 according to the United States was developed

In Russia there are hardly any official information about the development or the technical data of the Novator 9M729. In the USA, Daniel Coats, Director of the US-secret services, by the end of November 2018 for the first time, Details of public. Therefore, Russia should have in the mid-2000s with the development of land-based medium-range missile started.

Daniel Coats, the chief of US national intelligence services

In the process, Novator received the order, “to build a rocket that is supposed to be very similar” to the other, which were developed at the time, such as the tactical ground-to-ground rocket of the type “Iskander”, which can be equipped with various conventional and nuclear warheads. The ballistic Iskander is traded – as well as the guided missile Cal – as a possible Basis for the new development.

By 2015, Russia will have completed a comprehensive flight test program, Coats. In fact, the INF will allow the Treaty to certain Tests of Long – and medium-range missiles on Land, if they are not designed as land-based systems, but for Navy or air force. Russia have disguised the Tests as faithful to the Treaty, said Coats, and described how Russia and the employed.

“Should Coats votes description, it is the desire of Russia, obviously, is to disguise the fact that a land-based missile was tested for by the INF Treaty-prohibited range,” said the Russian Journalist and military observer Alexander Golts of the DW. He calls the US arguments conclusive: “at Least you can understand the logic.”

9M729 – a direct threat to Europe?

Officially, the United States, call no range of the new Russian rocket, but it is sure to make you breaks the contract. The also Steven Pifer, a disarmament expert at the US Think Tank “The Brookings Institution” in Washington, thinks: “I doubt that the Russians would break the contract to develop a rocket, the something of more than 500 kilometres wide-is flying,” said Pifer of the DW. “I once estimated that you will fly approximately 2000 miles, but that’s just a guess.”

September 2017: A Russian frigate fires from the Mediterranean sea to a “Calibration” positions of the “Islamic state”

Washington believes that the new 9M729 rocket is now ready for use. The NYT wrote in February 2017 with two new missile-equipped units, the one on the test site Kapustin Yar, near Volgograd, and the other at an undisclosed location. US secret service chief Coats confirmed that it was multiple units and that they would pose a “direct threat” to most parts of Europe and parts of Asia. U.S. observers point out that it is missiles that are as already existing systems – small and mobile. Therefore, it would be very hard to track them down.

What Russia says to the allegations

Russia is the existence of the missile from the type 9M729, denies, however, that you are in breach of the INF Treaty. The Ministry of defence does not comment. As the first spokeswoman of the foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova in December of 2017, said that there is such a missile. You said that missiles with the forbidden Kingdom tested wide, nor have been developed. As Zakharova on Tuesday, the new NATO accusations, and the U.S. Ultimatum commented, she said, Moscow will fulfill in its entirety the provisions of the contract.