RVSN’s Fourth Generation ASBU Being Introduced

The press this morning says a fourth generation automated command and control system for Russia’s land-based strategic missiles is being fielded.  It describes a more net-centric, skip-echelon capability with a central commander able to communicate directly with launchers in the field.

It’s not clear, however, how much in the fourth generation system is different from its immediate predecessor.

RIA Novosti writes . . .

MOSCOW, 27 Apr — RIA Novosti.  The fourth generation automated combat command and control system (ASBU) has started introduction into Russia’s Missile Troops of Strategic Designation (RVSN), official RVSN representative Vadim Koval told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.”

“‘In the RVSN and jointly in cooperation with industry, work continues on improving the system of combat troop command and control.  In particular, presently, development is complete and introduction of the fourth generation ASBU into troop echelons has begun,’ Colonel Koval said.”

“The new system supports automated exchange of employment plans and operational retargeting of missiles, along with the resolution of traditional missions of transmitting orders, gathering reports and monitoring the combat readiness of launchers.”

“‘And the transmission of combat command and control orders directly to launchers, without intermediate echelons, is supported, including under nuclear effects and radioelectronic suppression,’ Koval noted.”

“He noted that each of the system’s stations, which are made using a new domestic component base, is provided with triple reserve communications and data transmission systems and malfunction scanning which precisely identifies the individual element needing replacement.”

“Further improvement of the ASBU is connected, first and foremost, with improving the RF Armed Forces command and control system as a whole, and also with the command and control requirements of new generation nuclear missile weaponry.”

“From 2010, rearmament with the new missile system ‘Yars’ has been conducted in the RVSN.  Rearming of the Tatishchevo division with the silo-based ‘Topol-M’ missile system is also occurring.”

To RIA Novosti’s account, ITAR-TASS adds only that:

“The system’s paths for transmitting orders and gathering reports are established by land-line, radio, and satellite communications channels and possess the required survivability and jam-resistance.”

“Earlier orders issued by one of the central command posts came to launchers through army, division, regiment (battalion for mobile launchers) command posts.”

The new ASBU’s capabilities aren’t described much beyond what former RVSN Commander Solovtsov outlined in 2009.  See also RIA Novosti.

However, in late 2007, Solovtsov told Rossiyskoye voyennoye obozreniye (p. 21) that the RVSN was completing introduction of the third generation ASBU, and he described capabilities that sound much like what’s being advertised as fourth generation today.

So the issue may be, is this really something new, or the continuation of an earlier upgrade presented like major progress on an important modernization front?

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