Vsevolov Khmyrov, a retired rear admiral who was awarded the Hero of Russia honour and commanded a submarine squadron before leaving the service in 2002, told local media that the White House’s decision to exit the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty indicated the U.S. was seeking to deploy new missiles across Europe. Such weapons “from command centers on the territory of the American continent,” he said, according to the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.
Khmyrov then predicted that the new 3M22 Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile would not only be used to target U.S. systems in Europe “but will also ensure the capability to strike key control systems—command centers.” He projected a Russian vessel 500 kilometres from shore could hit a target a further 500 kilometres inland within five minutes.
“Such a hypersonic system like Tsirkon practically breaks through any missile defense system,” Khmyrov added, noting that “the number of military ships and submarines with Tsirkon missiles onboard on combat duty in the West Atlantic and East Pacific may stand at two-three ships on each direction with about 40 missiles onboard.”
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