Russia has developed tactical nuclear munitions for its anti-aircraft defense systems such as S-400, Buk-M3 and A-135 Amur, reported Ukrainian website mil.in.ua citing Russian magazine Atom published by the Russian Federal Nuclear Center in Sarov.
According to the article, Russia has developed tactical nuclear weapons for three weapon systems; it did not specifically mention the weapon systems by name. Ukraine has assumed that the three of them are the S-400 air defense missile system, the Buk-M3 mobile air defense system and the A-135 Amur.
The issue of nuclear air defense munitions is raised in an article discussing the largest research and development unit of Russia’s federal nuclear weapons center – KB-2.
The likelihood of the Buk-M3 being a candidate for the nuclear air defense ammunition is high since it was put into service in the same year the article was published, i.e. 2016. It is also possible that some of the tests coincided with the testing of tactical nuclear munitions.
The Buk-M3 can fire at air, sea and ground targets, making it very multifunctional and flexible. Given these attributes there is reason to believe that the Buk-M3 is a candidate for Russia’s nuclear warheads.
Unlike the Buk-M3 and S-400, the A-135 Amur features a long-range interceptor missile called the 51T6 Azov, which can also be equipped with nuclear warheads.
The 51T6Azov was developed in the late 1980s and in 1995 it entered service with the Russian Missile Forces.
Very little is known of its anti-ballistic missile system capabilities. It is known that at least 6 of them have been deployed in the Moscow region.
It has a maximum range of 900 kilometers. The rocket can fly at a speed of Mach 7 (8600 km/h; 5300 miles per hour; 2.4km/s). The rocket can be fired from a silo or launcher.
Incidentally, on August 8, Russia had passed US inspections on its informed nuclear weapons under the bilateral Strategic Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty.