Russia's Caliber missiles will be installed on 949A Antey submarine cruisers that are currently being modernised on Zvezda shipyard, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said Tuesday.
"Project 949A nuclear submarines undergo profound modernisation at Zvezda shipyard. The armament complex of the submarines will be replaced with Caliber missiles. Navigation, life support and other systems of the submarines will also be replaced as part of modernisation works," the official stated during his visit to the shipyard.
Antey submarines are designed for the destruction of enemy aircraft carriers. The underwater cruisers are armed with Granit missiles, six torpedo tubes, can submerge to a depth of 600 meters and develop an underwater speed of up to 32 knots.
After modernisation, Antey submarines will be included in the system of non-nuclear deterrence, which, judging by statements from the Ministry of Defence, may in the future become the main one.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu stressed earlier that the strike potential of Russia's high precision weapons would quadruple by 2021, Pravda.Ru reports. According to him, this will ensure the security of the Russian Federation along the entire perimeter of its borders, whereas such systems will become the primary deterrent factor.
Shoigu also said that the development of strategic nuclear forces would remain an unconditional priority for the Russian Defence Ministry. It will also give time for the creation of new arms systems.
Military expert Mikhail Khodarenok said in an interview with Pravda.Ru, that the development of high precision weapons is a justifiable trend. "Weapons of this class can indeed serve as a deterrent, since the accuracy of the attack enables the Russian Federation to strike an instant and disarming blow," he told Pravda.Ru.
"As for the re-equipment of 949A submarines with Caliber missiles, this is happening because Granit missiles are becoming outdated, and their lifespan is coming to an end. Granit missiles can be used to strike mainly radar-contrast surface targets - vessels that is. This peculiarity sharply narrows the use of 949A submarines, because they are unable to strike, for example, coastal targets of the enemy. Therefore, rearming submarines with more universal Caliber missiles is the right move to make," the expert told Pravda.Ru.
"When strategic nuclear forces and navy are equipped with high-precision weapons, the weapons will be able to serve as the deterrent factor. Russia will then be able to strike a disarming blow on the enemy armed with nuclear weapons," said Mikhail Khodarenok.
Andrei Frolov, editor-in-chief of Export of Arms magazine, believes that the development of high precision weapons will be Russia's response to the concept of non-nuclear deterrence of the United States. "We've used Caliber missiles in Syria successfully. Old missiles need to be replaced indeed because they are too big, more vulnerable and inferior to the performance of new Caliber missiles," the expert told Pravda.Ru.
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