Russian missile targets during a nuclear war with the US were listed on State TV in a program hosted by Dmitry Kiselyov. As Reuters put it, the claim was “unusual even by the sometimes bellicose standards of Russian state TV.” But it came after Putin issued a warning to the US about deploying any intermediate range missiles in Europe. The Pentagon insists that it has no plans to deploy intermediate range missiles in Europe.
#Russia's state TV:
Host Dmitry Kiselyov boasts that Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile "won't allow Americans to sit it out across the ocean," names potential targets:
▪️Fort Ritchie (Maryland)
▪️Jim Creek (Washington State)
©️ pic.twitter.com/oxHd6aToGm— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) February 24, 2019
Putin insists Russia will not initiate any nuclear attack. But in recent years, after their “annexation” of Crimea, some wonder. They have been steadily failing to comply with the INF (Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces) treaty since it went into effect, which is why President Trump pulled out of it. No sense being held to a treaty when we complied and they did not.
McClellan Air Force Base near Sacramento, California, has been closed for several years. So has Fort Ritchie in Maryland.
Jim Creek, in Snohomish County, Washington is an “obscure” Naval Radio Station once thought to be the most powerful radio in the world (when it began in 1953). It is currently a major hub for Naval communications for the US submarine fleet in the Pacific Northwest, according to the Seattle Times.
The Russian list also included the Pentagon and Camp David.
For his part, Vladimir Putin denied having anything to do with the list, claiming that he “never interferes with the news,” according to Fox. But isn’t that why they call it “state news?” Just asking.
The Tsirkon hypersonic missile
The 3M22 Tsirkon hypersonic nuclear capable missile (also called “Zircon”) was revealed as being in development in 2011. It began active testing in 2015, and by December 2018 was said to have 10 test launches. Russian media claim it will reach speeds of Mach 9 for 1000 km or around 621 miles. A more conservative estimate places its range at 500 km, or slightly over 300+ miles with speeds of mach 6 to mach 8. Russia claims that it is compatible with surface vessels, submarines, and certain bomber aircraft, though their main plan is for a seaborne vessel.
National Interest reported,
Trials from military vessels are scheduled for 2019: “We plan to start state trials of Zircon missiles from ships and submarines…trials will be held at marine training ranges of the Pacific Fleet,” a source stated to Russian news.
The Kirov-class battlecruisers Petr Velikiy and Admiral Nakhimov are among the first in line to be outfitted with the new hypersonic missile. Other mounting options for the Tsirkon include Steregushchiy-class corvettes and Yasen-class submarines. Tsirkon is anticipated to be compatible with Russia’s upcoming Lider-class submarine line, slated for the mid 2020’s.
Russia is not alone in their development of hypersonic missiles- China has been working on one as well.
In December, the Government Accounting Office issued a report that said there are “no existing countermeasures” against the hypersonic weaponry of both China and Russia. A contract to develop US hypersonic missiles was given to Lockheed-Martin, according to Defense One.
The list reported by the Russian media is likely an attempt to deter foreign powers from interfering with Russia’s military buildup in Europe. They forget: The US military does not frighten.