Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, said the recent testing of Russia’s newest air-launched cruise missile is part of a pattern of nuclear saber rattling by Moscow.
The nuclear missile test firings followed a large-scale nuclear forces exercise in May that Haney said was a cause for concern in light of Ukraine.
“In light of increasing tensions, Russia has also been busy exercising and demonstrating its strategic capabilities, reaping the benefits of decades of modernization,” Haney said during a defense industry breakfast June 18.
“Additionally, we have seen significant Russian strategic aircraft deployments in the vicinity of places like Japan, Korea and even our West Coast,” Haney said. “Russia continues to modernize its strategic capabilities across all legs of its triad, and open source [reporting] has recently cited the sea trials of its latest [missile submarine], testing of its newest air launch cruise missile and modernization of its intercontinental ballistic force to include its mobile capability in that area.”
A former Pentagon official said the new missile was likely an air-launched cruise missile designated KH-101 or KH-102. The Kh-101 is armed with a conventional warhead and the Kh-102 is a strategic nuclear delivery vehicle.
If you aren’t worried about these developments then you aren’t paying attention.