RUSSIAN MISSILE LAUNCHES
Russian military forces carried out a double flight test of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), days after the Navy conducted two test launches of Trident II nuclear missiles.
On Tuesday, Moscow conducted a third missile flight test, this time an SS-25 road-mobile long-range missile.
Moscow provided advance notification for the test of the Bulava missiles, called the SS-N-32. The New START arms treaty requires advance notification of all SLBM and intercontinental ballistic missile tests in order to reduce the danger that the tests would be misread as a nuclear missile attack. “Russia exchanged notifications, as required by the New START Treaty, on two SLBM flight tests,” said Lauren Gillis, a State Department spokeswoman.
The Bulava salvo came a week after the Navy flight test of a Trident II SLBM off the coast of Southern California, followed two days later by a second Trident II test. The tests were part of secret U.S. Strategic Command war games.
Russian state-run news outlets, quoting a Defense Ministry statement, reported that the Borey-class submarine Vladimir Monomakh launched the two missiles from the White Sea to the Kura missile impact range in the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Far East.
“The parameters of the two Bulava ICBMs’ trajectory were worked through normally,” the statement said. “As confirmed by objective monitoring data, the missiles’ warheads successfully reached the Kura test site in Kamchatka.”
The Trident II missile launches were part of the annual U.S. Strategic Command military exercise known as Global Thunder.
The command refused to make public any details of the exercise and the missile launches off the California coast, which triggered widespread speculation of UFO sightings. at reducing its large ground trooporiented military and shifting to more high-tech forces.
According to the Chinese news outlet Bowen Press, an affiliate of the Boxun.com website, formal PLA military reforms will begin in December and in January the four general military departments will be reshuffled, followed by the reform of China’s seven military regions in February.
Facing opposition from middle- and high-ranking PLA officers, the reform plans were scaled back by keeping second-level military region departments, the Monday report stated.
PLA opposition to the plan prompted the Central Military Commission Leading Group on Deepening Reforms to postpone the implementation of the force cuts and restructuring until December. However, the plan to reduce the seven military regions to four military theaters will be kept, although the composition of the forces in the theaters will be altered from original plans, the report said.
The PLA’s four main departments — the General Staff Headquarters, the General Political Department, the General Logistics Department and the General Armaments Department — will be reshuffled.
The Army, Air Force and Navy headquarters will be combined into a tri-service headquarters, and the General Logistics Department and the General Armament Department will be merged to create a logistics support department.
Following the Pentagon’s model of a Joint Chiefs of Staff, the PLA will set up a similar body with the head of the three services and relevant leaders to advise the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission, the ultimate power organ in China.
According to the report, “decision-making will be conducted by the chairman and the general staff.” The role of the deputy chairman of the CMC will be greatly weakened, according to Bowen.
The report said the planned purge will happen at the end of November and the beginning of December.
Communist authorities will announce that a group of more than 400 “small tigers” — lower-ranking senior officials — will be demoted. The officers include field and companygrade officers who were implicated in corruption.
The demotions are the logical result of the ongoing scandal involving senior PLA officers. In July, China ousted Gen. Guo Boxiong, former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, who was accused of taking payoffs in exchange for promoting PLA officers.
Contact Bill Gertz on Twitter at @BillGertz.