Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP
MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. The United States is building up the number of carriers of cruise missiles – destroyers, cruisers and submarines – near Russia’s borders, the editor-in-chief of the military magazine Arsenal Otechestva (Arsenal of the Fatherland), Viktor Murakhovsky, said in the wake of a recent statement by the Russian Navy’s Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Korolyov.
“The US Navy’s systems are armed with the sole type of missile – sea-based non-nuclear cruise missile Tomahawk,” Murakhovsky said, adding that the United States possessed the world’s largest arsenal of cruise missiles deployed on naval ships.
“According to different estimates, the US Navy possesses 4,000 to 5,000 missiles. Their carriers are surface ships and submarines,” Murakhovsky said.
He recalled that the United States had re-equipped Ohio submarines to carry Tomahawks. Ballistic missiles were removed from these submarines to have been replaced with cruise missile launchers. Each of the re-equipped submarines is capable of carrying 154 Tomahawks.
Arleigh Burke class destroyers and Ticonderoga class cruisers are the main types of surface ships armed with cruise missiles (each can carry up to 122 Tomahawks).
“These ships are equipped with vertical launch systems Mk41 meant for air defense systems Aegis and Tomahawk cruise missiles. How many cruise missiles and air defense missiles each ship is armed with depends on the concrete task,” Murakhovsky added.
He explained that these weapon systems were called strategic (usually this term is applied to nuclear weapons – TASS), because they are considered as a non-nuclear strategic deterrent. He added that Tomahawk ships and submarines could be regarded as part and parcel of the US concept of a prompt global strike, although somewhat extended in time: Tomahawks have a sub-sonic speed and their time of approach to the target is 60 minutes. The original prompt global strike concept implied the use of hypersonic missiles and non-nuclear ballistic missiles.
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