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Russia confirms test-fire of supersonic cruise missile near US Alaska

CHUKOTKA, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 27, 2019: A Bastion-P mobile coastal defence system launches the first supersonic anti-ship cruise missile Oniks. Video screen grab/Russian Defence Ministry/TASS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

MOSCOW, Sep 29, 2019, TASS. Russia’s Defense Ministry has confirmed the information circulated by TASS that an Oniks supersonic cruise missile was fired from a Bastion coastal defense system on the easternmost Chukotka Peninsula for the first time, reported the TASS.

As TASS reported citing a source in the region’s defense circles, a Bastion coastal defense missile system for the first time ever hit a target simulating a surface ship from the Chukotka Peninsula during a firing exercise on Wednesday. As the source specified at the time, “the target struck by the missile was located along the Northern Sea Route.”

The missile was fired from the depth of the Chukotka Peninsula, the source added. The Oniks flew about 350 km, including 200 km over the land, which is a record figure for this type of missiles, the source noted.

In its statement circulated on Friday, the Defense Ministry noted that “for the first time in history, the crew of a Bastion coastal defense system of the Pacific Fleet launched an Oniks cruise missile from the territory of the Chukotka Autonomous Region.”

According to the ministry’s data, the missile struck a target vessel at a distance of over 200 km in the Chukchi Sea.

The Oniks missile was fired in accordance with the combat training plan. About 10 warships and support vessels of the Pacific Fleet and naval aviation provided for the safe missile fire.

The P-800 Oniks supersonic missile developed by Russia’s Research and Industrial Association of Machine-Building (part of Tactical Missiles Corporation) has a maximum range of about 500 km. Therefore, Bastion coastal defense systems deployed on the Chukotka Peninsula are capable of striking targets along the entire eastern part of the Northern Sea Route, from the De Long to the Bering Straits.

In March 2019, the Russian government introduced new rules of foreign military ships’ transit of the Northern Sea Route, under which warships are obliged to inform Russia of their plans 45 days in advance, and also to admit Russian naval navigators aboard the vessel. In case of their refusal to comply with these requirements, warships may be denied transit and in case of their unauthorized passage along the route, Russia reserves the right to use “emergency measures.”

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