Nuclear weapons arms control was easier in the old days when a strategic missile was the one that could hit a target far away and a tactical weapon had a near-battle field range. Not so any more after Russia’s successful launch of the submarine based Caliber cruise missile in the White Sea yesterday.
The new supersonic missile hit its target, reports Rossiskaya Gazeta. The Calibr missile has a flight range that exceeds 2,500 kilometer, according to the portal NavalToday. With such range, the cruise missile can be defined as a strategic weapon if tipped with a nuclear warhead. The new START agreement between Russia and USA does, however, not include long-range cruise missiles into account, a fact said to weaken the deal.
Another cruise missile the submarine is believed to carry has an even longer range, 5,000 kilometer according to an infographic posted by RIA Novosti.
A total of three cruise missile tests will take place during this voyage as reported by BarentsObserver last week, two from submerged position and one from surface.
Cruise missiles tipped with nuclear warheads were officially removed from all the Northern fleet’s multi-purpose and attach submarines in 1992. An agreement between President Mikhail Gorbachev and George Bush (the older) from October 1991 stipulated such removal. This was two months before the breakup of the USSR. In January 1992 Russian President Boris Yeltsin confirmed the deal to remove all non-strategic nuclear weapons from naval vessels and scrap 1/3 of them. The rest were put into onshore storage facilities.
Since then, multi-purpose and attack submarines sailing in the Barents Sea and other world oceans have not been armed with nuclear weapons. At least not officially. Speculations that “Kursk” - the submarine that sank in the Barents Sea in 2000, carried nuclear weapons were denied with the reference to the 1992 agreement.
Then, in 2009, BarentsObserver reported with reference to the navy’s deputy chief of staff that tactical nuclear weapons again would play a key role for the submarine fleet in the future. 2009 was the same year as Moscow gave order to go ahead with full priority to finish “Severodvinsk.”
The submarine had at that time been under slow-motion construction since 1993.
This week’s missile launch is part of the final tests for “Severodvinsk.” Last week, she set sails from the naval yard Sevmash in the town which from the sub got her name. “Severodvinsk” is scheduled to be at sea until November 25, as reported by BarentsObserver.
If approved, the sub will thereafter be transferred for active duty for the navy.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.