Obama’s recent statement that he’s worried “more about a nuclear bomb in Manhattan then Russia” during the nuclear war games conducted at the Hague conference together with other world leaders, comes simultaneously with public statements from the NATO sponsored Ukrainian regime about their desire to quit the NPT and go nuclear. Are these statements interconnected? We don’t know at this point, but what are the prospects of Ukraine regaining its nuclear status? The Russian military journal ‘topwar’ has published a detailed report about Ukraine’s capabilities in that field.
(Translated from Russian by Google translate)
A few days ago Ukrainian deputies have made a number of statements, which are of great interest.Deputies A. Chornovolenko, Koroljuk (party “Fatherland”) and S. Kaplin (Party “IMPACT”) offer to withdraw from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and to withdraw signature from the Budapest Memorandum, signed on its basis. In addition, there were already proposals to make Ukraine a new nuclear power. These steps are claimed to be able to increase its national defense and ensure his safety. Statements Rada deputies look very bold and promising. But will the Ukraine in the near future to create their own strategic nuclear forces?
The reason for the emergence of such a serious proposals have become the latest events around the Crimea, which the authors of the bill referred to as “military aggression of the Russian Federation.” Also, refer to the Rada deputies called Budapest Memorandum, signed in December 1994. In accordance with this document, official Kiev renounced nuclear weapons, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States took a number of obligations related to the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine. Now, according to the authors of the bill, Russia has violated the terms of the Budapest Memorandum and sent troops on Ukrainian territory. Since Russia has large reserves of nuclear weapons, a group of deputies of the Verkhovna Rada offers its Article X of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to withdraw from the agreement, since participation in it can have negative consequences for the country’s interests.
In addition to participating in drafting MP S. Kaplin, incumbent Secretary-profile committee on national security and defense, made an important statement about some of the consequences of leaving the international agreements. According to him, Ukraine can and should create its own nuclear weapons, which will be designed to deter potential enemies from attacking.The channel “112 Ukraine” deputy Kaplin told about his consultations with experts and draw appropriate conclusions. He believes that Ukraine has almost all the necessary equipment and technology to produce its own nuclear weapons :: for a full resumption of production will take two years and cost of the program will be approximately equal to 3.4 billion U.S. dollars.Thus, withdrawal from the NPT will allow Ukraine to develop appropriate research and development work, the result of which should be the start of production of the respective arms. Becoming a nuclear power, Ukraine will be able to ensure its security, using established mechanisms called nuclear deterrence. In this way, the government proposed to protect against possible attacks of third countries.
Technology and Manufacturing
C. Kaplin argues that Ukraine has all the capabilities to make nuclear weapons except centrifuges. Everything else needed for the creation and development of nuclear weapons, and there can be used. Moreover, the state of this “material part” is that you can start the production of nuclear weapons in the next few years. should be noted, Ukraine really has some technology in the nuclear field. The first is the development of nuclear energy. Used four nuclear power plants have a total of 15 units.They generate power for more than 13 thousand megawatts produces almost half of the total needs of the country. In the middle of the last decade, developed plans for the modernization of nuclear power, according to which the territory of Ukraine was supposed to build at least 10 new reactors. This would allow the country to decommission some older units, as well as improve the overall performance of the industry.
Carry out the construction of new power plants and nuclear power plants with the assistance of Russian supposed experts. Moreover, Ukraine has its own uranium reserves – more than 60 thousand tons.Nuclear power countries consume about 2800 tons of fuel per year, and annual production does not exceed 950-960 tons.There are plans to increase production, but in the future, apparently, Ukraine will continue to purchase fuel for nuclear power plants abroad. In 2010, the Ukrainian national company “Energoatom” signed a contract with the Russian “TVEL” agreement under which the latter until 2030 will deliver the finished fuel assemblies. Due to these and previous deliveries covered the difference between the required amount of nuclear fuel and mining. Available at Ukrainian enterprises allow only serve operated nuclear power plants. Other areas of the nuclear industry is not yet available for the Ukrainian industry. For obvious reasons, the lack of appropriate technologies and companies will not allow Ukrainian experts immediately begin production of ready to use nuclear weapons.
First they have to spend a lot of research that will begin construction of the experimental equipment. Refinement of the latter, in turn, will also be associated with serious difficulties, directly affecting the timing and cost of the entire nuclear program. Thus, the actual duration and cost of the work may be at times more S. Kaplin stated values. military nuclear program in Ukraine will start virtually from scratch, which is why at work can take years or even decades, and the total cost of all projects is easy to come level of several tens of billions of dollars. As a confirmation of this assumption can be considered relevant programs of nuclear powers, this status in recent decades, or countries that are trying to develop nuclear weapons. For example, the first Iranian nuclear reactor appeared in 1967, but the country still has not built a single nuclear bomb, though, according to some sources, already has the necessary amount of enriched uranium. Total costs for the rest of Iran’s nuclear program are estimated at 40-50 billion dollars, not counting the loss of economic sanctions.Development of Iran’s nuclear industry is constantly claims from third countries, which is why Iran is regularly exposed to various sanctions. North Korea, which has built a number of nuclear warheads and announced it, complicate their already difficult situation in the international arena.
Means of delivery
itself a nuclear weapon is useless and needs to be a means of delivery to the target. Different types of nuclear warheads can be delivered to the target by means of rockets, aircraft, submarines or artillery. The events of recent decades is extremely negative impact on the armed forces of Ukraine, which is why the search for suitable means of delivery is a very complicated task. For example, the naval forces of Ukraine do not have ships or submarines, which at least in theory can carry Missiles with nuclear warheads. abandon nuclear weapons in the early nineties, Ukraine was forced to cancel and strategic bombers. A considerable number of Tu-95 and Tu-160 departed for recycling, part was ceded to Russia on account of debts. Currently, the only Ukrainian Air Force bomber, which may capable of carrying a nuclear bomb, is the Su-24M. Total number of this type of aircraft in the air force does not exceed 80 units, with two-thirds of the bombers were in storage. All available Su-24M were built before the collapse of the Soviet Union, because of what their life is coming to an end, and the state of most art is poor. Thus, at the time of its introduction hypothetical Ukrainian aviation atomic bomb could be left without support.
We should not exclude the possibility of appropriate tuning of aircraft of other types, but it can greatly complicate the program equip the Air Force nuclear weapons. In addition, the question remains relevant resource technology. Another way to solve the problem with the aircraft carrier prospective weapons could be buying equipment abroad. Least likely – if not impossible – solution should be considered the establishment of Ukraine’s own attack aircraft project with relevant features. Land Forces of Ukraine have several dozens of different tactical missile complexes.Most of them are new “Point” and “Tochka-U”, built in the Soviet era.
As of 2010 in the army and was in storage for more than 90 of these types of complexes. Until 2011 Ukrainian storage bases were several dozen missiles “Elbrus”, but so far they are all recycled. The same fate awaits the remaining stored launchers and missile complex «Luna-M.” Despite the small number of operational-tactical missile systems family “point” can be used as a delivery perspective Ukrainian nuclear weapons.However, such delivery systems are not without drawbacks. Built in the USSR machinery over the years outdated morally and financially. In addition, the characteristics of the missile of “Point” and “Tochka-U” may be insufficient to effectively carry out the tasks of nuclear deterrence. Thus, the maximum range missile complex “Tochka-U” is 120 kilometers. With such characteristics, these missiles can be effectively used only on the operational-tactical level, but not for strategic deterrence.Until the middle of last year Dnepropetrovsk CB “South” led the work on the project “Peregrine Falcon”.
During this project, which started at the end of two-thousand years, was supposed to create a missile with a range ballistic missile to 280 kilometers. In addition, the complex “Peregrine Falcon” was to get the opportunity to use anti-aircraft missiles with a range of up to 150 km and anti-ship ammunition with a range of up to 90 km. In early 2012, it became known that the first version of the complex “Peregrine Falcon” will apply only ballistic missiles. History of the project over the summer of 2013, when the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Lebedev announced the termination of work. According to him, in five years the military department has allocated more than 200 million hryvnia, but the creators of the project is not even able to prepare the necessary documentation.
The project was canceled due to the inefficient use of budget funds and the lack of prospects. noteworthy that CB “South” in his time developed a large number of projects of intercontinental ballistic missiles, standing on the Strategic Missile Forces of the Soviet Union. However, the collapse superpower led to a gap weight of links between different enterprises, and Ukraine’s rejection of nuclear weapons put an end to the construction of intercontinental missiles. Such weapons could be a promising means of delivering nuclear weapons and, as a consequence, a tool for deterring potential adversaries. However, the resumption of production of such systems is not possible. Theoretically Ukrainian Army can use tactical nuclear weapons. It is known that in Ukraine there are hundreds of self-propelled artillery “Acacia”, “Hyacinth”, “MSTA-S” and “Peony” caliber 152 and 203 mm. In addition, Ukraine has a large number of towed guns of 152 mm caliber. Such weapons may use artillery shells with a nuclear warhead. However, the creation of a nuclear weapon in the dimensions of an artillery shell is quite a technical challenge. In addition, the range of the artillery, despite the high power of nuclear weapons, does not exceed a few tens of kilometers. Thus, and artillery can not perform the tasks of nuclear deterrence.
July 16, 1990 the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine. In the ninth section of the document describes the general principles of the defense strategy of a future independent state. Ukrainian SSR in the future meant to be a neutral state and not to participate in military organizations, as well as adhere to the three non-nuclear principles: not to accept nuclear weapons, not to make it and do not buy from third countries. All of the following documents relating to nuclear weapons in Ukraine, created in accordance with relevant provisions of the Declaration on State Sovereignty. In 1994, independent Ukraine acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which was confirmed the relevant decision of the Verkhovna Rada on November 16. In this case the law of accession to the NPT have been prescribed some reservations.
Ukraine reserves the right to withdraw from the contract in the event that any nuclear power will threaten or use force against the territorial integrity or political independence. In addition, the reason for withdrawing from the treaty were called attempts economic pressure on the country. Nearly 20 years after the signing of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Verkhovna Rada deputies offer to withdraw from it. Such a move will undoubtedly have a lot of negative consequences of a legal nature. Withdrawal from the NPT, followed by the beginning of the development of nuclear weapons in direct contravention of the Declaration of State Sovereignty, adopted in 1990.However, these contradictions will be only an internal problem of the country, which in its scope can not be compared with the likely negative reaction to foreign countries. Since 1968, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was signed by almost all countries of the world. Still not acceded to the agreement, Israel, India and Pakistan. The latter two countries officially recognized the design and construction of nuclear weapons.
Israel has a secret nuclear program, but there is every reason to believe that Israel has a number of nuclear weapons. Position of Israel, India and Pakistan regularly called criticism of the NPT signatories. two states formally participating in the NPT, were convicted at least in trying to build nuclear weapons.Because of such suspicions Iran has been subjected to various sanctions. North Korea was going to withdraw from the NPT, but the UN still sees it as a party to the agreement. Developing nuclear weapons, North Korea remains isolated and seems unlikely to be able to establish good relations with foreign countries. As you can see, attempts to denounce the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons cause a corresponding reaction of the world community. It is worth noting that one of the most active advocates of the NPT and its provisions are the United States of America. More active in tracking the possible emergence of new nuclear powers show the states of Europe. Thus, Ukraine’s attempts to withdraw from the NPT and develop nuclear weapons could lead to sanctions from the European and American countries, as was the case with Iran.
Wishes and Opportunities
Bill Ukrainian deputies to withdraw from the NPT and the proposal to develop its own nuclear weapons for the first glance look product of turbulent emotions associated with the difficult situation in the country.Nevertheless, in these proposals is rational. Ukraine is the largest country in Europe, and therefore needs to be powerful and modern armed forces. Nuclear weapons can indeed cool “hotheads” and deter a potential enemy from attacking the country.Nevertheless, for all the years of independence, Ukraine has consistently experienced various economic difficulties. This has resulted in a weakening of the armed forces and the deterioration of the defense industry. For this reason, the development of nuclear weapons obtained extremely bold and ambitious, but it is unlikely the project.
Such a program would require huge investments of time and money. In the current situation the beginning of the nuclear program is undertaking a lower priority in comparison with some other urgent tasks. By the same arguments against the beginning of the nuclear program are the high cost of various projects and possible sanctions. Yet we can not exclude the possibility that Ukraine will be able to create their own nuclear weapons, and then build the strategic nuclear forces. However, the state of the economy, industry and the armed forces of the country explicitly says that the embodiment of such plans need not promised two years, and on the order big time. Similarly may change and the cost of the nuclear program, an increase from $ 3.4 billion announced to the actual 30-40 billion. At the same time we should not forget the general state of the armed forces, which in the future will use a hypothetical nuclear weapons. Finally, on the way Ukrainian nuclear program certainly stand legal problems. Any of these factors – the cost of the nuclear program, the price of related projects and possible sanctions from the international community – can put an end to the current plans. Will Ukraine to such risks – time will tell. Bill of denunciation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons will be considered in the near future. The decision to start a nuclear weapons program can also be taken in the coming months or even weeks.