The need to develop the capacity of neutralizing the threat posed by the American Prompt Global Strike (PGS) concept has been re-actualized by the Russian Federation in the context of its worsening relations with the Western states.
Washington has been developing this program since early 2000’s and argues that it will give the US military the ability to acquire “high-precision conventional weapons” capable of striking “fleeting targets” anywhere in the world in an hour or less at the start of or during a conflict. The potential components of the Prompt Global Strike program are conventional intercontinental ballistic missiles equipped with high-precision, non-nuclear warheads, strategic cruise missiles with hypersonic speeds or an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile.
Of course, the U.S. Department of Defense reported that the aim of this concept was to strike terrorist targets. But history shows, that this “good” purpose very often hides the real goal of overthrowing undesirable regimes in support of the US geopolitical interests.
It should be noted, that the only treaty, that allows supporting the existing strategic balance (the US-Russia Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is expected to last until 2020 and can be extended only by another five years. And by that time the US DoD hopes to complete most of its works on the concept. So we can assume that the probability of testing the elements of the US PGS concept in the near future is very high. It causes concerns all over the world.
Nevertheless, concerns over the feasibility of Prompt Global Strike remain not only outside the United States, but among American military experts and even in the Congress. Most troubling is the possibility that its use could increase the probability of an accident involving strategic nuclear forces. The inability of radars and early warning systems to distinguish between a CPGS weapon and nuclear warhead can lead to serious misunderstandings with potentially disastrous consequences.
Russia, on its term, is not going to ignore the concept developing. Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin warned in 2013 that Russia would use nuclear weapons if it came under an attack.
Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov stated in June 2014 “Works aimed at neutralization of the American Prompt Global Strike strategy are under way in Russia…A number of scientific research works as well as experimental and design works is under way in the context of possible threats related to launching works on global attack with the use of hypersonic technologies on the part of the United States. The supply of the “Yars” and “Bulava” missiles is in high gear, the works on a heavy missile are in full swing.” According to the Deputy Minister, the creation of a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile is in strict accordance with the schedule.
Does Russia really need to take such active steps to address the potential challenges and threats posed by Washington’s concept Prompt Global Strike? While we could endlessly debate over this issue, Russia has already taken and will take in future decisions concerning response to the American initiative. To prove this fact Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed, that Russia would not allow military superiority over it. According to Putin, Russia possesses the potential necessary to respond to existing global challenges.