Russian Missile To “Neutralise” NATO Defences

Russian Missile To “Neutralise” NATO Defences

130516-D-ZZ999-005 PACIFIC OCEAN (May 16, 2013) A Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block 1B interceptor missile is launched from the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) during a Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy test in the mid-Pacific. The SM-3 Block 1B successfully intercepted a target missile that had been launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands in Kauai, Hawaii. Lake Erie detected and tracked the target with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The event was the third consecutive successful intercept test of the SM-3 Block IB missile. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

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Russian Strategic Missile Forces commander Colonel-General Sergey Karakayev has ruled out the use of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) against ISIS targets for the time being, but emphasised that the country is ready to utilise ICBMs at a moment’s notice. Karakayev also indicated that Russia is taking steps that would “guarantee neutralising” any future NATO missile defence deployments in Europe.

“I see no point in using intercontinental ballistic missiles to destroy Islamic State targets. There are other means for that capable of doing this. Rational planning boils down to the fact that each facility is assigned a means of destruction that is most effective,” Karakayev said in a news conference ahead of the Strategic Missile Forces Day. However, “[i]f the relevant political decision is taken, the Strategic Missile Forces are ready to perform any task,” he added, stressing that the use of ICBMs equipped with any warhead was authorised by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Karakayev went on to say that currently the US-backed deployment of NATO’s missile defence shield in Europe is not able to withstand a concerted attack by Russian missiles, but that the American missile shield will become more advanced in the future. Russian forces are taking steps to neutralise the system.

“Expert estimates show that, according to its ability to analyse data and firepower, the [US] anti-missile defense system being deployed today is not able to resist a massive salvo from a unit of [Russia’s] strategic missile forces,” Karakayev was quoted by Russian news agencies.

Russia considers the deployment of the NATO missile defence system in Europe to be a threat to its own military power, and rejects claims by Washington that its purpose is to rebuff a missile threat from Iran. Russian military planners, according to Karakayev, have taken note of of the system’s emerging potential and are working to overcome it.