Russia is reportedly working on a longer-range version of the deadly Kalibr cruise missile its adversaries already fear

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty ImagesRussian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Russian state media, citing unnamed sources, reports that Russia is developing a new long-range nuclear cruise missile – the Kalibr-M.
  • While the Kalibr missiles in service only have a range of 2,000 km, the new missiles will reportedly have a range of 4,500 km – about 2,800 miles.
  • Senior US defence officials have described the Kalibr missile as “very capable,” noting that it has quite a range.

The Russian Navy is apparently developing a new long-range cruise missile, Russia’s state-run Tass News Agency reported Tuesday, citing a source in the military-industrial complex.

The weapon in the works is reportedly the new Kalibr-M cruise missile, a ship-launched weapon able to deliver a precision strike with a conventional or nuclear warhead as far as 2,800 miles away. That’s roughly three times the range of the US’s Block III TLAM-C Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The new missile will be carried by large surface ships and nuclear submarines once it is delivered to the fleet, which is expected to occur before the conclusion of the state armament program in 2027.

The Kalibr-M, with a warhead weighing one metric ton, is said to be larger than the Kalibr missiles currently in service, which are suspected to have a range of roughly 2,000 km (roughly 1,200 miles).

Although state media, citing its unnamed source, reported that the Russian defence ministry is financing the weapon’s development, Russia has not officially confirmed that the navy is working on the new Kalibr-M cruise missile.

Senior US defence officials have previously expressed concern over the existing Kalibr missiles, noting, in particular, the weapon’s range.

“You know, Russia is not 10 feet tall, but they do have capabilities that keep me vigilant, concerned,” Adm. James Foggo III, commander of US Naval Forces Europe, told reporters at the Pentagon last October.

“They’re firing the Kalibr missile, very capable missile,” he explained. “It has a range which, if launched from any of the seas around Europe, … could range any one of the capitals of Europe. That is a concern to me, and it’s a concern to my NATO partners and friends.”

The Kalibr missile, around since the 1990s, made its combat debut in attacks on Syria in 2015.

Russia is, according to a recent report from the Washington Free Beacon, planning to deploy these long-range precision-strike cruise missiles on warships and submarines for Atlantic Ocean patrols.

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