- Before and during the war
- Korea and the 50s
- Start the atomic race
- Local wars
- Why the United States does not attack the Russian Federation?
- How does the American military industrial complex
- The main trend of the last decades
- US anti-missile systems
- "Trunks" for export
- "Javelin" - American anti-tank weapons
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the two main nuclear powers remaining in the world, namely the United States and the Russian Federation, the first years were in relative strategic nirvana. The leadership and the peoples of both countries had a deceptive impression about the peace that had come, guaranteed for many decades. The Americans considered their victory in the Cold War so convincing that they didn’t allow further confrontation. The Russians did not feel themselves losers, and expected an equal and benevolent attitude toward themselves as a people who voluntarily joined the Western democratic scale of values. Both those and others were mistaken. Very soon a civil war began in the Balkans, in the outcome of which American weapons played a decisive role.
The leadership of the United States considered its success in dismembering the SFRY a good omen. It went further, seeking to establish complete hegemony, allowing to dispose of material resources on a planetary scale, and suddenly came across at the beginning of the third millennium resistance from Russia, a country that has the will and the means to defend its geopolitical interests. The United States was not ready for this confrontation.
Before and during the war
On the eve of the Second World War, the USA was a peaceful country. The American army was not numerous, and its technical equipment remained quite modest. In 1940, a certain congressman boasted that he had seen all the armored vehicles of the armed forces of his country: “All 400 tanks!” He proudly declared. But even then, some types of weapons were given priority, the serious achievements of American designers were observed in the field of aircraft manufacturing. America entered the war with a powerful air force, including an armada of B-17 strategic bombers, long-range fighters Mustang and Thunderbolt, and other samples of beautiful aircraft. By 1944, in the Pacific, the United States began to use the latest B-29, inaccessible to Japanese air defense systems. Impressed with the US fleet, powerful, aircraft carrier and able to crush offshore facilities.
American weapons of the Second World War were supplied to the USSR under the Lend-Lease program, and this concept included dual-purpose equipment. Beautiful Studebaker trucks, Willis and Doji-Three-Quarter jeeps enjoyed the well-deserved respect of the Red Army drivers, and to this day are commemorated by a kind word. The American military weapon, that is, representing the means of direct defeat of the enemy, was not assessed so unequivocally. The Air Cobra fighter, on which the renowned ace I. Kozhedub fought, had a truly titanic fire power, excellent maneuverability and unprecedented ergonomics, which, combined with a strong engine, contributed to winning many air victories. A masterpiece of engineering thought and transport "Douglas".
Tanks made in the USA were rated rather low, they were obsolete both technologically and morally.
Korea and the 50s
The American weapons of the ground forces of the post-war decade practically did not differ from the one with which the US Army fought against fascist Germany and militaristic Japan. In practice, they were the same “Shermans”, “Willis”, “Studebakers”, that is, either outdated samples of armored vehicles, or excellent transport equipment created by the Detroit auto industry. Another thing - aviation. Having joined the race of aircrafts, Northrop, General Dynamics, and Boeing achieved a great deal, taking advantage of the technological superiority achieved in those years when a fire of war was raging in Europe (and not only). The US Air Force adopted the largest B-36 strategic bomber in history, not without irony called the "Peacemaker". The Saber interceptor was also good.
The lag in the fighter aviation of the USSR soon overcame, Soviet tanks for decades remained, undoubtedly, the best in the world, but in many other areas American weapons surpassed Soviet ones. This was particularly true of naval forces, which had large tonnage and crushing fire capabilities. And the main factor was the nuclear warheads.
Start the atomic race
In fact, the arms race began after the appearance in the US and USSR arsenals of a large number of atomic charges and their means of delivery to the target. After the vulnerability of reciprocating strategic bombers was convincingly proven in the Korean sky, the parties focused their efforts on other methods of delivering nuclear strikes, as well as on the technology of their countering. In a sense, this deadly ping-pong continues today. At the dawn of the arms race, even such joyful events in the history of mankind as the launch of a satellite and the flight of Gagarin, in the eyes of military analysts acquired an apocalyptic hue. It was clear to all that in the event of a major war, American weapons, even the most modern, could not play the role of a deterrent. At that time there was simply nothing to repel the attack of the Soviet missiles, only restraint remained, which was provided with a guarantee of retaliation. And the number of warheads was constantly growing, and tests were carried out constantly, then in Nevada, then on Spitsbergen, then near Semipalatinsk, then on the Bikini Atoll. It seemed that the world had gone mad, and with vigorous steps it was moving toward its inevitable death. Thermonuclear (or hydrogen) bombs appeared already in 1952, less than a year later the USSR had already presented its response.
Another illusion that arose at the dawn of the Cold War was that local wars would be impossible for fear of the atomic apocalypse. In a sense, this was true. American nuclear weapons aimed at large industrial and military regions of the USSR acted on the Soviet leadership just as soberingly as the missiles deployed in Cuba on John F. Kennedy. Open military conflict between the two superpowers did not happen. But the horror of the inevitable end did not prevent humanity from fighting almost continuously. The best American weapons were supplied to the pro-Western allies of the United States, and the USSR almost always responded to these actions by "rendering fraternal assistance" to one or another freedom-loving people fighting against imperialism. It should be noted that the practice of such (often gratuitous) supply of friendly regimes was discontinued before the collapse of the Union due to economic problems. However, while the allies of the USSR and the USA were at war with each other, analysts had no doubt about the relative parity of the superpower weapons systems. In some cases, the domestic defense industry showed superiority over the overseas. American small arms in reliability inferior to the Soviet.
Why the United States does not attack the Russian Federation?
In contrast to the enterprises of the Soviet and Russian defense industries, which have always been owned by a predominantly state, American firms producing weapons are privately owned. Military budgets (or rather, their ratio) suggest that the US military must be the most powerful in the world. The history of the past decades leads to the conclusion that they are inevitably used against a deliberately weak adversary in the event of dissatisfaction with the American administration with the policies of a particular state declared to be an outcast. The budget of the US Armed Forces in 2014 was an astronomical amount of 581 billion dollars. The Russian figure is many times more modest (about 70 billion). It seems that conflict is inevitable. But he is not, and he is not foreseen, despite the serious friction against the superpowers. The question arises as to how much better the weapon of the American army is to the Russian. And in general - is it better?
Judging by all signs, the United States currently has no superiority (at least, overwhelming), despite the huge sums of military appropriations. And there is an explanation for this. It consists in the main goals and objectives of the American military-industrial complex.
How does the American military industrial complex
It's all about private ownership. American arms manufacturers are interested in observing the basic law of a capitalist society, for which His Majesty Profit serves as the main shrine. Technical solutions that require low material costs, even if ingenious, are usually rejected at the root. A new American weapon must be expensive, technologically rich, complex, have an impressive appearance so that taxpayers, having admired it, can make sure that their hard-earned money is well spent.
While there is no big war, the effectiveness of these samples is difficult to estimate (if at all possible). And against an adversary that is technically weak (such as Iraq, Yugoslavia, Libya or Afghanistan), the use of technology wonders is generally a win-win. Apparently, the US Army is not going to fight a strong opponent. At least, it does not conduct technical preparations for an attack on China, India or Russia in the near future. But to spend budget funds for promising secret American weapons is a win-win business, but very profitable. They promise the general public hypersonic rockets, fantastic unmanned aircraft. The latter are already there, for example, the “Predator” in shock and reconnaissance versions. However, it is not known how effective they will be in countering powerful anti-aircraft defense. Over Afghanistan and Libya, they were relatively safe. The latest invisible interceptors "Raptor" are also not tested in battle, but they are so expensive that even the US budget does not stand up.
The main trend of the last decades
The already mentioned relaxation, which came after the victory in the Cold War, prompted to change the structure of spending the US military budget in favor of preparing for a series of local wars, planned to achieve a new geopolitical picture, advantageous for the United States and NATO. Since the beginning of the 1990s, the nuclear threat from Russia has been completely ignored. The weapons of the American army were created taking into account the use in precisely such conflicts, by their nature, close to police operations. The advantage was given to tactical means to the detriment of strategic ones. The USA is still holding the world championship in the number of nuclear warheads, but most of them have been manufactured for a long time.
Despite the fact that their lifespan has been extended (for example, “Minutemen” - until 2030), even the most vigorous optimists have no confidence in their perfect technical condition. New missiles in the United States are planning to begin to develop only in 2025. The Russian state, meanwhile, did not miss the opportunity to improve its nuclear shield. Against the background of the lag that has arisen, the American leadership is attempting to create systems capable of intercepting ICBMs and are trying to move them as close as possible to the borders of the Russian Federation.
US anti-missile systems
As conceived by overseas strategists, the most likely adversary in a supposed global conflict should be surrounded on all sides by means of detecting and intercepting ICBMs combined into a single complex. Ideally, Russia should also fall under a kind of “umbrella” woven from invisible satellite orbits and radar rays. New American weapons have already been deployed at many bases in Alaska, in Greenland, on the British Isles, they are continuously being upgraded. An extensive warning system on a possible nuclear missile strike is based on AN / TPY-2 radar stations located in Japan, Norway and Turkey, countries with common borders or closely adjacent to Russia. Early warning system "Aegis" is mounted in Romania. Under the SBIRS program, 34 satellites are being launched into orbit.
Space (both literally and figuratively) means are spent on all these preparations, but their real effectiveness raises certain doubts in connection with the fact that Russian missiles can overcome the most advanced missile defense systems, both existing and created, and even planned.
"Trunks" for export
Approximately 29% of global exports of defense products are American modern weapons. "On the heels of" the US comes Russia with its 27 percent. The reason for the success of domestic producers lies in the simplicity, efficiency, reliability and relative cheapness of their products. In order to promote their products, Americans have to act in different ways, including using political influence on the governments of importing countries.
At times, simplified and cheaper samples are developed for the foreign market. American small arms enjoy deserved success in many countries, representing in most cases modifications of time-tested and combat experience of the models that have been in service since the time of the Vietnam War (M-16 and M-18 high-speed rifles). The newest “barrels” are considered to be the P-226 pistol developed in the 1980s, the Mark 16 and 17 assault rifle and other successful constructions, but they are far from Kalashnikov’s popularity due to their expensiveness and complexity.
"Javelin" - American anti-tank weapons
The use of partisan methods of combat, the complex nature of the theater of modern warfare and the emergence of compact wearable means revolutionized tactical science. The fight against armored vehicles has become one of the most important tasks. In connection with the expansion of the geography of local conflicts in the world, an increase in the demand for American anti-tank weapons is possible. The reason for the shift in import channels is mainly not in the superiority of overseas samples over Russian ones, it lies in political motives. The RPTAF Javelin has received great fame recently in connection with negotiations on their possible deliveries from the United States to Ukraine. The new complex costs $ 2 million and includes an aiming-launch system and ten missiles. The Ukrainian side agrees to acquire second-hand units, but at a price of $ 500, 000. How the negotiations will end and whether the transaction will take place is still unknown.