The most heavily defended city in the world is not Washington, DC. It’s Moscow.
Thanks to an anti-ballistic missile shield erected under an old US-Soviet treaty, Moscow is the city in the world best equipped to withstand nuclear attack by another power.
Moscow might survive nuclear attack, but Washington will not. New York has no such protection, while Washington is swarming with Secret Service agents.
While the District of Columbia has legions of Secret Service and Homeland Security police defending it, the Russian capital is the only one in the world – that we know of – defended with nuclear-tipped missiles.
It’s all the result of an exception built into a 44 year-old arms control treaty. The 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was an arms control agreement between the United States and Soviet Union.
Unlike other treaties that focused on offensive weapons, the ABM Treaty focused on limiting defensive weapons, missiles designed to knock down incoming nuclear warheads.
The theory behind the treaty was that unrestricted ABM missile deployments on both sides would lead to ever-escalating offensive missile arsenals, as each side tried to overcome the other’s ever-growing defenses.
The ABM Treaty didn’t outlaw all ABMs, however: each side was allowed a single ABM site with up to one hundred missiles. It could place them where it wished.
The United States decided to place the Safeguard system around Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, hoping in doing so to shield its most lethal and accurate missiles from surprise attack.
The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was a highly centralized government with the capital city of Moscow at the center. The destruction of Moscow in a surprise nuclear first strike could cripple the USSR’s ability to respond in kind.
The result was the A-35 system, a complete air defense network designed to ensure Moscow’s survival in a nuclear war.
First proposed in the 1950’s, the A-35 system was set up to counter American intercontinental ballistic missiles replacing bombers, a major threat to Moscow.
Four sites with 8 launchers each – sixty-four missiles total – armed with nuclear warheads, the Soviet ABM system was designed to protect people and not a lethal stockpile of weapons as in the USA.
The A-35 system was designed to protect Moscow and the Kremlin against six to eight nuclear ICBM’s. The main U.S. ICBM at the time, Minuteman III could carry three warheads each, making that eighteen to twenty-four warheads.
Despite these preparations, rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals on both sides made A-35 obsolete.
By the time of completion, A-35 was up against one thousand Minuteman III missiles, plus another 600 Polaris missiles at sea, a number the system could not possibly stop.
By 1968 the U.S. blueprint for nuclear war, the Single Integrated Operating Procedure (SIOP), dedicated 66 Minuteman missiles and two Polaris missiles to stripping away A-350’s missile and radar network in two devastating waves, an attack amounting to eight warheads per target.
The ABM system was upgraded in the mid-1970’s. The new A-135 system was a substantial upgrade.
It added 68 new missiles launchers to the original thirty-two, giving Moscow the full one hundred ABM launchers allowed under treaty.
It used two missiles, the Novator 53T6 (NATO code name: Gazelle) endo-atmospheric interceptor and the OKB Fakel 51T6 (code name: Gorgon) exo-atmospheric interceptor.
Both interceptors used ten-kiloton warheads, much smaller than the A-350’s warhead and a testament to Moscow’s faith in the accuracy of the missiles.
The thirty-two Gorgon missiles reached the end of their serviceable lives in 2002-03, and had been removed from active duty service by 2006.
Meanwhile, the 53T6 missiles have allegedly been replaced with new missiles, also named 53T6, with a range of 80 km and an altitude of 30 km.
Free West Media. com / ABC Flash point News.