During a recent defense industry meeting, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin said the Russian Army and Navy need to be “sufficiently provided” with advanced long-range precision weapons. The comment was no shocker, as Putin completed a three-day cycle of working meetings with the Russian military‘s top brass as well as defense enterprise leaders to discuss the efforts to strengthen the Army, Navy, and overall defense sector.
Tass reported that the Russian head of state suggested for a dialog to begin on “the prospects of developing and serially producing long-range precision weapons and other advanced strike capabilities.
“The analysis of military conflicts of the past few decades and the experience of the development of the world’s leading armies underscore the growing role of the efficient employment of, say, cruise missiles of various basing and also guided munitions,” Putin added, and stressed, “It is important to ensure that our Army and Navy are sufficiently outfitted with such advanced precision weapons.”
Sooner the Better
Putin didn’t lay out a timeline for the delivery or even the development schedule of the weapons.
However, in the coming years “it is important to keep the required pace of producing advanced strike systems for the purposes of their employment and testing in the course of intensive combat training,” Putin noted.
“I would like to hear organizational and economic solutions from you today that will allow solving this task in the most efficient way and how much defense enterprises are prepared for the serial output of the most advanced weapon systems.”
A few current weapon systems were addressed directly by the Russian leader.
“The troops are now operating and receiving the latest Kh-101 and Kalibr long-range cruise missiles, ballistic and cruise missiles of the Iskander tactical missile system, multiple rocket launchers and smart air bombs of various caliber,” said Putin. “By their characteristics, they are no inferior to and frequently outperform foreign rivals and are unique by some parameters.”
He also added that the unique properties of those platforms had been proven in a real combat environment during a counter-terror operation in Syria.
The Kh-101 is an extremely long-range stealth cruise missile. It has been produced in two variants including a conventional version that had been launched from Tu-160s against Syrian targets in 2015, and the Kh-102, which is the nuclear-tipped variant. The missiles are reported to have a range as great as 3,100 miles.
In recent years, the Russian Navy has regularly conducted tests of its upgraded Kalibr-M cruise missile, which has greatly extended the range of the original ship-launched Kalibr missile from 2,500 km to more than 4,500
The recent calls to increase the availability of advanced long-range precision weapons to the Russian military follows a February push by Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu who said that hypersonic weapons of various types would comprise the backbone of Russia’s non-nuclear deterrence forces.
“The potential of non-nuclear deterrence forces, primarily, precision weapons, is being strengthened. Hypersonic systems of various basing will comprise their backbone,” Shoigu said during the annual operational and mobilization gathering of commanders, according to a report from Tass.
“The Army and the Navy are constantly fulfilling tasks that require commanders to have a profound command of the situation, knowledge of the capabilities of their forces and resources, a creative approach and a reasonable initiative,” the defense chief added.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.