Russia’s ‘practically unlimited’ -range missile looks like an embarrassment after it reportedly lasted for just 2 minutes and 22 miles !

Mark Schiefelbein – Pool/Getty ImagesRussian President Vladimir Putin.

• A Russian cruise missile that the country touted as having “practically unlimited” range appears to be falling short.

• The cruise missile’s longest test flight only lasted two minutes and 22 miles before losing control, according to a CNBC report.

• Russia’s cruise missile capabilities may have missed the mark, but sources said it succeeded in other ways that the US may be incapable of defending.

A Russian cruise missile that the country touted as having “practically unlimited” range appears to be falling short, sources with knowledge of a US intelligence report told CNBC.

The cruise missile, which Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled at a Russian Federal Assembly in March, only flew for around two minutes and traveled 22 miles before it lost control and crashed, CNBC reported Monday. Another missile test reportedly lasted just four seconds with a distance of five miles.

Russia tested the missile four times between November and February at the behest of senior officials, even though engineers voiced doubt over the program, according to CNBC’s sources.

Putin previously touted a new generation of weapons in a presentation that displayed missile trajectories going from Russia to the US. In addition to the cruise missile, Putin teased unmanned underwater drones purportedly capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, and a hypersonic glide vehicle.

“I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development: All what you wanted to impede with your policies have already happened,” Putin said in a speech. “You have failed to contain Russia.”

Russia’s cruise missile capabilities may have missed the mark, but sources said it succeeded in other aspects. The hypersonic glide vehicle, which is believed to be able to travel five times the speed of sound, would render US countermeasures useless and could become operational by 2020, according to CNBC.

“We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us,” US Air Force General John Hyten, the commander of US Strategic Command, said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in March.

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Russia says it snuck nuclear attack submarines near US bases undetected!

5aac108589188d3c128b471b-1334-667Russian President Vladimir Putin leaves the submarine Archangelsk as the crew salutes, in port at Severmorsk, February 17, 2004.

 

  • Russian media reported on Friday that its military snuck nuclear attack submarines near US military bases and left undetected.
  • Russia has been increasingly touting its nuclear capabilities.
  • Even though the alleged submarine patrols near the US are militarily meaningless, Russian media reports they will air a TV series on the event.

Russian media reported on Friday that its military snuck nuclear attack submarines near US military bases and left undetected just weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin hyped up his country’s nuclear capabilities.

“This mission has been accomplished, the submarines showed up in the set location in the ocean and returned to base,” Sergey Starshinov, a Russian navy submarine officer, told Russian state-owned media. Starshinov said the vessels came and went “undetected” and that without violating the US’s maritime borders, they got “close enough” to US military bases.

The Russian media, known for trafficking in propaganda to glorify Putin and the state’s military, will reportedly release a TV series on the exercises.

The Pentagon did not respond to request for comment on this story.

The incident remains unverifiable with deniability baked in. If Russian submarines truly came and went undetected, no credible third party could likely verify the exercises. The fact that the military drill will become a TV series suggests that it was carried out at least in part for propaganda purposes, rather than practical military needs.

The submarines, which carry long-range cruise missiles that can fire from underwater, have no business coming close to the US, as they have an effective range of more than 1,500 miles. The submarines named by Russian media are powered by nuclear reactors, but have no nuclear weapons.

The incident comes as Putin prepares for an election on March 18, though he is expected to win handily. Putin has limited which opposition figures can run and controlled the state’s access to information throughout.

Russia frequently engages in propaganda to glorify its military, as it did when it recently deployed early-stage supposedly stealth fighter jets to Syria. After a few days of dropping bombs on undefended villages in Syria, Russia declared the planes, which are designed for high-end warfighting against US stealth jets, “combat proven.”

In February, Russian military contractors suffered a humiliating defeat to the US military in Syria, with airstrikes and artillery wiping out up to 300 Russian nationals while US forces suffered no combat losses, a US General has confirmed.

Does it matter if Russia can sneak its submarines around like this?

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Both the US and Russia have heavily entrenched mutually assured destruction nuclear postures, meaning that any nuclear strike on the US by Russia would be immediately returned by US missiles fired from silos, submarines, and airplanes pummeling Russia.

Russia is currently facing increasing scrutiny and sanctions over its meddling in the US’s 2016 presidential election and its alleged role in the poisoning of former spies in Britain. Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on energy exports, and the weak price of oil and competitiveness from the US and other players have crippled its economy, though it continues to spend heavily on the military.

Despite having four times the population, Russia’s GDP is roughly equivalent to Canada’s and military sales and power remain one of its few lifelines to nationa prestige.

Though the US and Russia are Cold War foes increasingly at odds over foreign policy, the only recent significant clash between the two countries came in February, during the battle in Syria which Russia overwhelmingly lost.

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