A ground-launched, longer range version of the Kalibr cruise missile will be developed by Russia to reach surface targets as Moscow is free from its obligations under the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
Launched from long range strategic aircraft, the Kalibr missile was one of its most used weapons in the Syrian conflict. A longer range version could be in excess of 310 KM range- the limit imposed under the INF treaty.
"In 2019-2020, we should develop a ground-based version of sea-based Kalibr complexes with a long-range cruise missile, which has proved to be effective in Syria. During the same period, we should create a ground-based missile complex with a long-range hypersonic missile," Sputnik quoted Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying Tuesday, adding that the measures would be taken in light of Washington's decision on the INF Treaty.
“The combat operations conducted in Syria utilising high precision weapons highlighted Russia's need to requip their Oribital military spacecrafts,” he added.
"Syrian experience shows that effective use of high-precision weapons requires detailed reconnaissance and cartographic data. Such data can be obtained only via modern satellites capable of surveying the Earth's surface in high definition," Shoigu said.
The INF Treaty was signed in 1987, at the end of the Cold War, obligating the United States (US) and Russia not to develop, produce or field intermediate-range nuclear-capable land-based ballistic and cruise missiles. The treaty was aimed primarily at reducing the threat of a nuclear war in Europe.
The US announced the suspension of its participation in the treaty that banned ground-launched medium-range missiles with a range of 310-3,400 miles. Next day, Russia also suspended its obligations under the treaty.