21 Feb 2019 10:23

Russian Navy's Tsirkon missiles capable of hitting command posts in U.S. territory - expert

MOSCOW. Feb 21 (Interfax) - Russian naval ships stationed in western parts of the Atlantic Ocean and eastern parts of the Pacific Ocean are capable of hitting command posts in the U.S. territory using new Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missiles, according to RADM Vsevolod Khmyrov (Retired), a Hero of Russia and Ph.D. in Technical Sciences.

"Considering that two or three surface ships and submarines carrying about 40 Tsirkon missiles are stationed in each of Western Atlantic and Eastern Pacific, there is no doubt that the destruction of these command centers is guaranteed," Khmyrov told the press.

"Tsirkon missiles launched from a carrier stationed 1,500 kilometers from the coastline can hit ground targets on a distance of at least 500 kilometers from the sea with five minutes. What can be done within this period? Missiles flying towards their target will be detected at best, but they will not be intercepted. The Tsirkon hypersonic missile penetrates any types of air and missile defense. There is no protection from it," he said.

A command center is a key element of control over attack forces, including missile systems which the United States might deploy in Europe after its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

"The United States has already deployed universal MK41 vertical launching systems in Romania and is deploying similar systems in Poland. The systems are armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles," Khmyrov said.

The missile systems that are being deployed in Europe belong to the United States and will be controlled from command centers in the U.S. territory, he said.

The United States hopes to stay safe by deploying weapons and information systems in the territory of its NATO allies, which is close to Russian borders and far from the U.S. territory, Khmyrov said.

"The Americans believe that the long distance from the Russian territory will keep their command centers unreachable for Russian long-range precision-guided missiles in case of a counterstrike of the Russian Armed Forces," he said.

"However, Russia's Tsirkon precision-guided cruise missile, which operates on a range of over 1,000 kilometers and travels at a hypersonic speed of Mach 9, will create a threat of destruction of not just intermediate-range missiles in Europe but also of key elements of the control system - the command posts outside Europe," he said.

President Vladimir Putin said in his address to the Federal Assembly on Wednesday that Russia's new Tsirkon sea-launched hypersonic cruise missile could hit surface and seaborne targets on a range exceeding 1,000 kilometers at a speed of Mach 9.

According to Putin, Tsirkon missiles will be deployed "on naval carriers - serial surface ships and submarines, including ones that have been or are being built to carry Kalibr precision-guided missiles."