Russia wants to quickly develop new weapons systems after the cancellation of the INF disarmament treaty: in only two years Moscow wants to have land-based long-range missiles and more modern satellites.
Immediately after the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty, Russia had announced that it would upgrade to more advanced weapons systems – and Moscow is now following a few days later. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that this year and next, the land-based version of the calibrated cruise missile will be developed, which is currently used by the Russian Navy.
The calibrated cruise missiles had proven themselves in Syria, it was said – there Russia since 2015 supported military attacks President Bashar Al-Assad in the fight against various militias and the terrorist group “Islamic State”.
Shoygu Justified the move with the US withdrawal from the INF Disarmament Treaty, which banned land-based missiles and cruise missiles from 500 to 5500 kilometers. Russia had later declared its exit from the 1987 agreement. “Now it’s important to increase the range of ground-based missile systems being developed today,” said Shoygu.
Russia also wants to rebuild its military satellites in space: “The experience in Syria shows that detailed maps are necessary for the efficient use of precision weapons,” the minister said. The data could only be obtained using more modern satellites such as higher resolution cameras.
According to US military experts, the land-based version of the calibrated cruise missile already exists. The US and Russia accuse each other of violating the INF treaty. There is still a six-month notice period during which the contract could be revised or reinstated.