MOSCOW, Russia – Russia’s Kalibr cruise missiles have two major qualities that worry the Western Navy, according to the US magazine The National Interest.
According to the issue, the missiles first fly low on the surface of the water, thus preventing them from being detected by enemy radars and depriving the target of time to react to the threat, author Michael Peck explained.
Secondly, Kalibr missiles are universal, and can be used to equip small military ships such as corvettes, for example, he added.
“Kalibr provides even modest platforms, such as corvettes, with significant offensive capability and, with the use of the land attack missile, all platforms have a significant ability to hold distant fixed ground targets at risk using conventional warheads,” said a Russian defense official in 2011. “The proliferation of this capability within the new Russian Navy is profoundly changing its ability to deter, threaten or destroy adversary targets. It can be logically assumed that Kalibr capability will be retrofitted on those larger Soviet legacy ships and submarines that undergo major overhauls and/or modernization.”
According to The National Interest, US intelligence is aware of the technical features of Kalibr’s existing modifications. In 2015, the US Navy Naval Intelligence Command examined missile capabilities, finding that Russian ships equipped with existing Kalibr missiles, positioned in the Norwegian, Black, Caspian and Barents seas, can “cover” areas from France to Iran and Kazakhstan.
“Effectiveness requires capabilities such as sensors and command and control networks. Still, if Kalibr can turn even a small Russian warship into a ship-killer or land attack platform, that’s a powerful capability,” reads the story.
Initially, the Kalibr cruise missiles were designed to equip the multi-purpose nuclear submarines of the 885 Yasen project. Then the missiles were used to arm both the nuclear submarines of the 636 project and surface ships.
The Kalibr missile range is approximately 2,500km. For the first time, the missiles were used against the terrorists of Syria on September 7, 2015. Then Russian military ships launched 26 cruise missiles from the waters of the Caspian Sea.