Russia has conducted a dramatic and what appears to be successful test of new anti-ship missiles by blowing up a fleet of warships in a training exercise.
Footage released by Russia’s defense ministry demonstrated the capabilities of the Kh-35U anti-ship missiles, which the military vaunts as a ship killer immune from enemy defense mechanisms.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced this week: “Su-34 multifunctional fighter-bombers carried out practical launches of the newest guided anti-ship missiles Kh-35U."
“All in all eight launches were carried out, all missiles successfully hit targets,” the statement added.
According to the popular military analysis site Defence Blog, the Kh-35U missiles have a range of about 155 miles, and are capable of destroying surface targets and surface ships displacing 5,000 tons. Russian officials also claim that the ship killers can evade any countermeasures.
В рамках выполнения плановых учебно-боевых задач на морском полигоне ТОФ истребителями-бомбардировщиками Су-34 выполнены практические пуски новейших авиационных управляемых противокорабельных ракет Х-35У #Минобороны #ТОФ #РоссийскоеОружие #СистемаПеревооружения pic.twitter.com/CdotAa1RZk— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) September 25, 2018
And on Wednesday the MoD released more weapons testing footage, showing its "Bastion coastal missile system" in action during an Arctic exercise for the first time.
The missile was tested on Kotelny island above the Arctic circle, and was launched at a range of over 60km "to prove its readiness to effectively fulfill combat duty in the Arctic and protect the island area and the sea coast of Russia," according to a Russian MoD statement.
#VIDEO #Exclusive Northern Fleet to use #Bastion coastal missile system at the #Arctic exercise on #Kotelny Island for the first time https://t.co/QIaDlBnIuX #RusMoD #NorthernFleet #MissileForces pic.twitter.com/54qxAmcCUy— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) September 26, 2018
The training and weapons testing footage is being released amidst soaring tensions with both NATO and the US, as well as Israel.
Last week a Russian reconnaissance plane was shot down with 15 crew members on board over the Mediterranean in a case of friendly Syrian fire amidst the confusion that ensued during a massive Israeli attack.
And lately multiple dangerous US intercepts of long-range Russian bombers have occurred near the Arctic Circle off the Alaskan coast. NORAD has scrambled jets to warn off the Russian bombers twice in the last month.
Russia appears especially keen on showing off its anti-ship defenses as it is currently maintaining its largest ever naval build-up in the Mediterranean after weeks of US threats against Syria.