Russia's defense minister says they must develop new missiles to counter U.S. before 2021
CGTN

Russia must develop a new land-based cruise missile and a new land-based hypersonic missile before 2021 to respond to Washington's planned exit from Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian defense minister said Tuesday, according to RIA news agency.

"During 2019 and 2020 we have to develop a land-based version of the seaborne Kalibr system equipped with a long-range cruise missile," Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told defense officials, "Over the same period we will also have to create a land-based missile system with a long-range hypersonic missile."

The defense minister said the plans had been approved by President Vladimir Putin.

Russian servicemen equip an Iskander tactical missile system at the Army-2015 international military-technical forum in Kubinka, outside Moscow, Russia, June 17, 2015. /VCG Photo

Russian servicemen equip an Iskander tactical missile system at the Army-2015 international military-technical forum in Kubinka, outside Moscow, Russia, June 17, 2015. /VCG Photo

"The use of seaborne and air-launched missiles will allow us to significantly reduce the time needed to produce the new missiles as well as financing for them," Shoigu said. He also tasked defense officials with extending the maximum range of ground-based missiles "that are being developed today." 

The INF agreement forbids ground-launched, short- and intermediate-range missiles, but not those launched from the air or sea.

RIA cited Shoigu as ordering the military to start work on developing the two new missile systems and to ensure that work is completed by 2021.

Putin said Saturday that Russia had suspended the Cold War-era INF after the U.S. announced it would withdraw from the pact, accusing Moscow of violations. He said at the same time that Russia should develop new missiles in response.

(Cover: Russian soldiers drive S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems during the parade to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Leningrad's siege at the Palace Square in St. Petersburg, Russia, January 27, 2019. /VCG Photo)

Source(s): AFP ,Reuters