Russians plan to strike Ukraine with a space launch vehicle
Dmitry Rogozin suggested that Putin strike Ukraine with a space launch vehicle.
BILD reported on this.
The publication has obtained recordings of conversations between Dmitry Rogozin and Dmitry Baranov, CEO of the Progress Rocket and Space Center.
Since the beginning of January 2023, they have been discussing the technical details of organizing a strike on a large Ukrainian city using a space launch vehicle.
Officials decided that it was most optimal to launch it from a spaceport in Plesetsk with explosives on board.
According to Baranov, the main problem is that due to supersonic reentry, existing heavy high explosive bombs or guided munitions will overheat at a speed of 6 km/sec.
Rogozin promises to consult designer Yuri Solomonov about this. A few days later, he found a solution.
Another risk discussed by Rogozin and Baranov was that parts of the missile could fall on Russian territory. They were also concerned that the error during the strike could be between 50 and 100 kilometers.
Rogozin asked Baranov how long he would need to prepare the operation. He replied that it would take about six months.
The ex-head of Roscosmos called Vladimir Putin “our great and terrible” and said he would pass the plan to him through Anton Vaino. According to BILD, the plan was brought to the President of the Russian Federation on January 16. His reaction to it is unknown.
What can the Russians use?
The most common Russian rockets are the family of R-7 and its subfamily, Soyuz rockets. For strikes on Ukraine, most likely, the missile will be launched on a ballistic trajectory.
The launch weight of Soyuz averages 313 tons. It can take up to 7.1 tons of payload on board.
This is enough, for example, to load on board a large number of combat units from the Iskander, Tochka, or most likely combined explosive devices.
It is worth noting that the weight of the payload for launching a missile along a ballistic trajectory may change upward.
To the effects after the missile hits the ground, it is necessary to add the blast effect from the body debris and the detonation of unused toxic rocket fuel.
Open questions remain about the calculation of the rocket’s flight path, control capabilities, the stability of the hull during atmospheric entry, and the accuracy of damage.
The Outer Space Treaty
Such plans of the Russians are not a violation of the “Space Treaty” of January 27, 1967, which was ratified by most countries of the world.
It prohibits placing nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction in the orbit of the Earth or in outer space.
This treaty does not prohibit the deployment of conventional weapons in orbit. Launch vehicles converted for warhead installation are unlikely to be defined as weapons of mass destruction.
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