Well, it looks like the Cold War might be coming back. Russians are planning on using old trains to transport nuclear weapons. This new railway based missile platform is said to be named ‘Barguzin’ after the strong eastern wind that blows off Lake Baikal.
The Combat Railway Missile Complex (as the Russians call it) is somewhat like a ground-based nuclear ballistic missile submarine, although it is much less expensive to operate. The idea is that a portion of the CRMC fleet will roam around the countryside at any given time, operating among similar looking passenger and cargo trains. This will make continuous satellite tracking by Western powers extremely difficult. Trains used will be those that were removed from service in 1993. The cars will be disguised as standard commercial refrigeration cars, although they will not need heavy steel reinforced wheels.
Commander of Russia’s strategic missile force, Colonel General Sergey Karakayev said, “Creation of the newest railway-based missile is underway in accordance with the presidential instructions. It is being developed exclusively at enterprises of the national defence-industrial complex. It will embody the latest achievements in combat missile building. At the moment, the industry is designing the complex and manufacturing the hardware for testing. It should be noted that the schematic design is over and design documentation is being developed.” The Barguzin would considerably surpass its predecessor in terms of accuracy, flight range and other parameters, which enable it to be operational till at least 2040.
Each of these trains could hold 24 thermonuclear warheads, each able to take out a whole town. These ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) are supposedly going to be loaded onto trains by 2018. The strategy behind these missiles on trains is so that there is no retaliation; the ability to respond isn’t deterred. Even if the Russian plan seems impractical, the fact that they are planning, and thinking of modern techniques on how to position their nuclear missile is quite alarming. This ‘nukes on a train’ idea seems to be aimed directly at the United States. The U.S. railway system is badly out of shape and would not be able to work in the current condition. Also, making a mobile launch system would cost $30 billion.
What do you think about the Barguzin idea?