- [Narrator] As political tensions heighten
around the world, the threat of war
is becoming all the more likely,
with the Doomsday Clock, which represents worldwide dangers,
being recently turned closer to midnight.
along with increasingly conflicting interests,
means that militaries around the world
are now developing their own munitions.
So that begs the question,
what types of weapons would the west be subject to
should war break out?
It's time to baton down the hatches
as we look at 10 of the most destructive super weapons
being designed by America's enemies.
(soft playful music)
- Amazing! (digital chiming)
- [Narrator] Number 10:
Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power.
The affectionately titled MOAB,
which stands for mother of all bombs,
was dropped by US forces on an ISIS stronghold in 2017.
It is the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat,
and obliterated its target.
Well, Russia has one that's more powerful,
known as the Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power.
Working in a similar way to the American designed weapon,
this one is dropped from a bomber
and glides down with a parachute.
It detonates before hitting the ground
by the ignition of a fuel-air mixture,
and the force it produces is the equivalent to a small nuke.
That's four times as powerful as the one
that was dropped on an ISIS bunker.
It works in two stages,
with the initial blast releasing explosive materials
in a cloud, which is then detonated.
The pressure wave that this creates
evaporates everything that lies in its path,
and is followed by a vacuum effect
that compounds the damage.
This insane weapon has only ever been used once,
during a test in 2007, and the temperatures recorded
were twice that of the MOAB.
Enemies of Russia better watch out,
because this really is the daddy!
Number nine: Chinese Naval Fleet.
The Chinese ship, the Liaoning,
is a Soviet built aircraft carrier
that the Chinese bought in 2012.
It went through an extensive refit
before going into service,
and was the first Chinese aircraft carrier to enter service.
With over 2,000 personnel on board,
and even its own TV channel,
it's a sign of the country's ambitions,
and only the beginning.
However, the US shouldn't really be that worried.
The US has 11 aircraft carriers,
while this is China's only aircraft carrier,
and far less advanced than those in service by the US Navy.
For example, the Liaoning launches planes
off a sky jump style deck
because it lacks the catapults that US carriers have.
Not only that, American made aircraft carriers
are two steps ahead, already developing
electromagnetic aircraft launch systems
instead of steam catapulted launch systems,
which take time to recover.
But China also has a number of nuclear powered submarines,
with the most recent being the type 094 class.
There are currently thought
to be four of them patrolling the waters,
each of which are armed with 12 ballistic missiles
with a range of 5,000 miles,
which allows them to be in range of US territory
while remaining in Chinese waters.
While this may be worrying,
their fleet is still less than a 10th the size
of the US Navy submarine fleet.
But the Chinese fleet is advancing.
They also now operates drones, with the CH-5 variant
having a range of up to 12,500 miles.
They're equipped with smart bombs,
missiles, and radar jammers.
Previous models have already been used to eliminate Isis
and Boko Haram threats.
They're fairly similar to America's Global Hawk drones,
but are not yet anywhere near as effective.
Number eight: Russian Defenses.
As well as offensive weaponry,
Russia is significantly expanding
its defensive capabilities.
The Naval Proton Gun, for example,
is a shore based protection outpost
that's designed to prevent craft of any size from landing.
It's a souped-up version of the Russian AK-130 canon,
which is mounted on ships, and is able to fire
up to 40 rounds a minute to a distance of 15 miles.
With a laser designator and liquid cooled barrels,
it can track even the smallest of vessels
by their motion in the water.
The shells cannot be shot down
by vessel defense systems, however,
railguns on the upcoming US Navy Zumwalt class destroyers
could take these weapons out
due to their high speed of mach five to six.
Then In 2017, the Almaz-Antey defense contractor
completed trials of a new high-altitude
missile defense system, called the S-500,
which is due to enter service by 2020.
The missiles have homing heads,
so can be launched as soon as a threat is detected,
follow, and ultimately neutralize
any incoming missile attack.
The deployment of these, along with smaller versions
for use on the battlefield, will protect them
from all but the most advanced threats.
Number seven: North Korean EMP.
North Korea is somewhat of an unknown
when it comes to weapons development.
The reclusive country has long been associated
with nuclear research, and in the past couple of years
it launched a number of missile tests
and conducted underground detonations.
They're also thought to be heavily involved
in chemical weapons research,
but despite all of these threats,
the most damage they could cause
would be through the use of a nuclear weapon,
not because of its direct impact,
but the electromagnetic pulse that it would generate.
If they do manage to develop a missile,
capable of delivering a nuclear payload
to the continental United States,
it's more likely that they will detonate it
at high altitude.
The resulting blast would rain contaminated material
down to the ground, but the resulting EMP
would have the potential to knock out large parts
of the energy grid.
This, in itself, would have a far more destructive damage
to the country's economy
than if they directly targeted a city.
Number six: Yu-74 Hypersonic Missile.
NATO provides a wall of defense
for the countries that are signed up to it,
but future technologies mean
that the traditional defensive techniques may not be enough.
In 2016, reports surfaced
of the Russian built Yu-71 Hypersonic missile,
essentially a nuclear glider that could fly,
without detection, to virtually anywhere
in the world before delivering its payload.
Once launched it enters a low orbit around the earth
and can reach up to 7,680 miles per hour.
This would allow it to reach London in only 13 minutes
and the Eastern coast of the US in little more than an hour.
What's more, the missile will be able
to hold 24 separate warheads,
each of which can be precisely targeted.
Another powerful missile is the BrahMos missile,
which has been a collaborative effort
between the Russians and the Indian Defense Research
and Development Organization.
The first successful test fire of this new design
was conducted in 2013,
and it's currently the fastest cruise missile in use.
It's able to be fired from a submarine, ship, or from land,
and to make it even more effective,
they are currently working
on making a version that's supersonic.
While there are rumors
that NATO missile defense systems won't be able
to shoot these mach two to three missiles down,
it is thought that SM-6 long-range naval missiles
should do the trick.
Number five: Russian Submarines.
As much as the race for dominance above the waves
has led to the construction of massive warships,
it's possible that the vessels that sail underwater
provide the biggest threat.
Russia has a large fleet of submarines,
and in recent years they've been more active than ever.
For example, at the end of 2017,
NATO released a report detailing a noticeable increase
in Russian undersea activity in the Atlantic.
Recent developments in the Russian navy
have seen them move towards quieter and more lethal designs.
They now have 60 full-sized subs
to the 66 that the US operates.
But one frightening innovation is the new drone sub.
Completely unmanned, it can carry nuclear weapons
to within range of anywhere on earth,
and are much smaller than the manned vessels.
They also have a range of automated spy submarines
that can remain undetected or, if they wish,
imitate any other class of sub.
Their weapon systems are advancing too.
Embarrassingly, Russia recently revealed secret plans
for a long-range nuclear torpedo, called Status-6,
which appeared on a Russian TV news network.
Launched by a submarine, it would create wide areas
of radioactive contamination, the document says.
Worse yet, Russian military experts note
that a warhead of up to 100 megatons
could produce a tsunami up to 500 meters,
or 1,650 feet high,
wiping out all living things 1,500 kilometers
or 930 miles deep inside US territory.
Now that's worrying.
Even though it can't always be seen,
the war for underwater superiority
is only just getting started.
Number four: Strategic Bombers.
No arsenal would be complete without some serious air power,
and recently both Russia and China
have revealed their new look bombers.
The Tupolev PAK-DA is the new Russian stealth bomber
that in early 2018, the US Nuclear Posture Review mentioned
as being something they should be prepared
to come up against in the future.
It's a very long-term project though,
so isn't in operation yet, and that's a good thing.
It's expected to be optimized
as a strategic missile carrier
with the ability to launch long-range cruise missiles,
as well as dropping nuclear gravity bombs.
Like its US counterpart, the B-52,
it's designed to evade detection
and be able to covertly fly into enemy territories.
It's not expected to come into service
until the 2030s, though,
so it's not something to worry about quite yet.
China's new Xian H-20 bomber, on the other hand,
is expected to be in service soon,
and it's at the cutting edge of stealth technology.
Little is known about this vehicle at the moment,
but it's said to resemble the B-2 Spirit bomber
that's used by the US Air Force,
and will have a payload capacity of 45 tons.
As well as being able to deliver traditional payloads,
this bomber is also being designed to engage
in electronic warfare with the ability
to disable other aircraft mid-flight.
But again, western nations seem to have this covered,
since the US alone
has 21 operational B-2 Spirit Stealth bombers.
Number three: Chinese Missiles.
With vast resources devoted to developing new technologies,
China is fast becoming one of the world leaders
in missile design.
In 2014, they carried out a test
of an intercontinental ballistic missile,
which had multiple warheads.
The basis of the design came from plans
that were illegally obtained from the US in the 1990s,
and while it's not a new idea,
it's the first time it's been applied to Chinese weaponry.
Known as the DF-41 missile,
each warhead is independently targetable once released,
which means that it only takes one of these
to get through defenses
before they can cause serious damage.
A test in 2007 showed evidence of another area
in which Chinese missiles are developing,
ones that can take out satellites.
The SC-19 anti-satellite missile
was the first successful test of this type of weapon
since the US military did something similar in 1985.
Launched as a multistage solid-fuel missile,
it was able to track a weather satellite,
and destroy it by simply smashing into it.
This is no easy thing to do,
because it requires precise tracking
and guidance to accomplish.
It means that now, if the Chinese are suspicious
of any satellites, they have the capabilities
to knock them out.
Number two: Russian Super Tank.
Despite the fact that the Cold War
ended more than two decades ago,
Russia continues to be a powerful force
on the world stage and still develops cutting-edge weaponry.
You may have seen some images
of their supposed new super tank circulating last year,
which turned out to be no more than concept art
created by a video game designer,
but this doesn't mean the super tank is a myth.
In 2016, British military intelligence
issued a warning about a new design,
called the Armata tank.
While its battleground abilities have yet to be seen,
it's thought to be much lighter and faster
than those owned by Western forces,
and has a novel turret design
that is more efficient at protecting crews under fire.
Surrounded by newly designed composite armor,
equipped with a cutting-edge radar system,
and reportedly having a higher muzzle velocity gun
and upgraded missile system,
this tank will be well placed
on the battlefields of the future,
and one to be wary of.
However, it will be difficult for this tank
to out-do the performance of NATO tanks like the M1 Abrams,
let alone outnumber them.
NATO has around four times the amount
of battle tanks as Russia at their disposal.
Number one: Cyber Military Espionage.
So we've seen that militarily,
the US and NATO has this whole conventional war thing
figured out pretty well.
That's why the biggest threat to the West
isn't necessarily the physical weaponry they're up against.
China's equivalent to the US Cyber Command
is called the Strategic Support Force, or SSF.
They're responsible for top level decisions
about cyber policy and, after years in development,
are thought to have superior capabilities
to the US in this regard.
They conduct cyber-espionage,
directly hacking into the files of foreign governments
to collect information, and propaganda campaigns,
which are less direct ways of achieving certain aims.
Their skills in the cyber arena
could spell danger for the West.
Militaries are so reliant on technology,
that a skilled attack or computer virus
penetrating US cyber security could disable the whole force.
Of course, it's not just China that does this,
they're just the world leaders.
Russia also has an effective cyber division
that is suspected of having influenced elections
across the world in recent years,
including those for the recent American
and French presidents elections, as well as the Brexit vote.
North Korea is also actively involved in this,
as unlike traditional warfare,
it can be conducted from virtually anywhere,
without needing visible military hardware.
A number of recent breaches of nationally important systems
in America, Europe, and Asia have been blamed on them,
and they show no sign of holding back.
So they there are, the weapons
that will have a large role to play
in the wars of the future.
Which of these are you most concerned about,
and are there any others you think
should have made the list?
Leave your comments below to let me know.
Thanks for watching.
(light upbeat music)