20 Feb 2019 21:41

New Russian weapons' characteristics allow their carriers to be deployed in neutral waters - Putin

(para 5 adjusted in news item issued at 9:31 p.m.)

MOSCOW. Feb 20 (Interfax) - The speed of the prospective Russian weapons is such as to allow their carriers to be placed in neutral waters, there is no need for them to be based close to this state or other, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

The President's Address to the Federal Assembly offers U.S. partners to work out such systems' speed and range of potential use, Putin told Russian news agencies and print media on Wednesday.

"There is also another parameter, specialists need to understand this. I did not say it but I can say it to you here now for the first time. They should look at where carriers will be placed, I said that these are sea-based carriers: submarines or surface ships. And these can be set at such speeds and at such a range - there is no need for them to be in territorial waters or even in a special economic zone of a certain state. In neutral waters, simply in the ocean," Putin said.

"No one has prohibited this, military ships and submarines from moving there," Putin said.

The speed of the hypersonic missile Tsirkon, whose development he talked about on Wednesday, will be about nine Machs and its range about "1,000-odd kilometers," Putin said.

Under maritime law, an exclusive economic zone is four hundred kilometers, he said. "Now calculate: how quickly, how many minutes this product will take to reach a target set for it. That is all. And compare: 10-12 minutes to fly up to Moscow and how much [time to reach] decision-making centers which are creating a certain threat to us," Putin said.

He stressed that "it won't be in their favor." "Today, at any rate. That is exactly what I meant. Let them calculate," he said.

On being told that it would take even quicker to reach Georgia and Ukraine, Putin said: "Now calculate - you know how to calculate, don't you - nine Machs equals so-and-so kilometers. How many minutes will that be? All this is as simple as an orange," Putin said.

He added: "It won't give them a major gain, neither to Georgia nor Ukraine. All this will match the level of a threat being created for us."