5 Russian Weapons of War America Should Fear
5. Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E
The Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E is the by far the best operational fighter aircraft Russia has produced to date. An advanced derivative of the original Soviet-era Su-27, the new Flanker variant is high flying, fast and carries an enormous payload. That, combined with its advanced suite of avionics, makes the Su-35 an extremely dangerous foe to any U.S. fighter, with the exception of the stealthy Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor.
4. Amur-class submarine:
While Russia builds sophisticated nuclear-powered ballistic missile and attack submarines like the new Borei-class and the Severodvinsk-class boats, it is a near certainty that those vessels will never be exported. Russia has only ever allowed India to lease its nuclear-powered submarines. India currently leases the Akula II-class attack submarine INS Chakra—also known by its Russian name Nerpa (K-152). Most other client states will buy advanced Russian diesel-electric attack boats the latest of which is the Amur-class.
3. T-90 Tank:
The Russian T-90 main battle tank is the most advanced current Russian armored vehicle until the Armata series enters service. Though the designation is new, the tank is at its core a very heavily upgraded Soviet-era T-72.
The T-72 was originally intended to be produced in huge numbers as the Soviet Army’s lower tier tank while the more capable T-80 was reserved for elite units. However, after the T-80’s less than stellar performance during the first Chechen conflict, the Russian Army chose the T-90 over upgraded version of the T-80 for future orders.
While its origins lie in T-72, the T-90 is an excellent tank that is far less costly than its Western counterparts like the Leopard 2 or M1A2 Abrams. In effect, the T-90 combines the armament, sensor and fire-control systems of the latest version of the T-80 onto the T-72 chassis. It also adds a new composite armor matrix and Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor.
2. P-800 Oniks/BrahMos anti-ship missile:
Originally developed by the Soviet Union, the P-800 is a supersonic anti-ship missile that was later jointly developed into the Indian-Russian BrahMos. The weapon can launch from ships, submarines, aircraft and from land. While it is primarily designed to be used as an anti-ship weapons, the near Mach 3 capable missile can also be used against land targets. It has a range of about 300 km (or roughly 186 miles)—which means it far out-ranges the U.S. Navy Harpoon anti-ship missile.
According to U.S. Navy sources, the BrahMos is a particularly dangerous anti-ship weapons. While they would not disclose specific details, something about the BrahMos’ flight profile make it especially problematic to counter using existing American ship defenses.
Both the original Russian version and the Indian/Russian version of the weapon are available for export. Vietnam, Indonesia, and Russia operate the Bastion-P shore-based version of the P-800 weapon. India operates the BrahMos from its ships, aircraft and shore batteries, but Russia will likely install the weapon onboard its new Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates.
Meanwhile, a number of countries have express interest in purchasing the BrahMos including Vietnam and Egypt.
1. Type 53-65 wake-homing torpedo:
While anti-ship missiles get a lot of attention, submarine launched torpedoes are arguably a much more dangerous threat to U.S. Navy surface warships. Perhaps the most dangerous torpedoes that the Navy might encounter are high-performance Russian-made wake homing torpedoes.
Wake-homing torpedoes have sensors that track the churn in the water as a ship passes through and homes in on the turbulence following a snake-like pattern. Wake-homing torpedoes have long vexed the Navy because the weapons ignore counter-measures, like the Navy’s Nixie decoy, and attack the ship directly. Further, the weapons are believed to have a very high probability of kill, which means they pose a deadly threat. The only real counter to the wake-homing torpedo problem is to develop an anti-torpedo torpedo (ATT). The Navy has deployed a prototype onboard the carrier USS George HW Bush, but it not clear how effective the new ATTs are.
Russia has exported wake-homing torpedoes. China is known to have bought some, but it not clear how many other countries have purchased such weapons.
Video credit to Mind Boggler YouTube channel