05:17 GMT24 July 2021
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    Moscow has perfect counter-measures in response to US plans to install THAAD air defense systems closer to the Russian territory in South Korea on the pretext of Pyongyang's threat, a military expert told Sputnik, naming the Iskander and Kalibr missiles.

    Earlier this week, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov warned that the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system being deployed in South Korea may prompt a military response from Moscow.

    Alexey Podberezkin, head of the Center for Military and Political Studies with the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, said that the short-range missiles could be the best retaliation option.

    "In this case, it is the Iskander mobile short-range ballistic missile system. In addition, we have sea-based missiles, such as the Kalibr, which can destroy these [THAAD] systems, as well as electronic warfare systems," he said.

    Podberezkin recalled that Americans "have already begun to deploy the THAAD in Japan and South Korea," and that all this already "does not depend on the situation in North Korea."

    "So why don't we repeat what we did in Kaliningrad [earlier]? The fact is that if there is no [military] response, it will be impossible to tackle an obvious threat by using other means. We should respond in kind to military technology threats, using military technology means, he said.

    Local media reported on Wednesday that Seoul had announced the deployment of four additional THAAD systems in North Gyeongsang Province following a recent nuclear test by Pyongyang.

    The THAAD systems will be deployed on at a new base in Seongju, 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Seoul, the Yonhap agency reported, citing the Ministry of National Defense.

    In July 2016, Seoul and Washington agreed to deploy the THAAD system in South Korea's Seongju County amid growing tensions spurred by North Korea's ballistic and nuclear tests.

    The Iskander-M missile system during a military machine demonstration at the Alabino training ground. File photo
    © Sputnik / Grigoriy Sisoev
    The Iskander-M missile system during a military machine demonstration at the Alabino training ground. File photo

    Moscow and Beijing oppose the THAAD deployment, saying it could further deteriorate the nuclear crisis and provoke North Korean aggression
    The Iskander-M is a rapid-deployment tactical system designed for eliminating targets at a range of up to 500 kilometers. It is intended for small-scale targets such as missile systems, multiple rocket launchers, long-range artillery, airfields and command posts.

    Russia deployed the Iskander-M mobile short-range ballistic missile system to Kaliningrad, its exclave on the Baltic Sea, in October 2016.

    The move came in response to NATO's decision to send four multinational battle groups and additional military hardware to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

    High-ranking Russian officials also cited a US-built missile defense system in Europe as a major concern.

    As for the Kalibr missiles, they are able to hit objects at a distance of 2,600 kilometers and can overcome any anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system. When flying, they constantly change altitude and direction making their detection a very difficult task.

    On September 5, the Admiral Essen frigate of the Russian Black Sea Fleet struck an area near Syria's Ash Sholah held by Daesh terrorists with Kalibr cruise missiles.

    As a result, dozens of terrorists were eliminated. Daesh command posts, a communications center, a facility repairing terrorist armored vehicles, arms and ammunition depots were also destroyed in the vicinity of Deir ez-Zor, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.


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    deployment, threats, missile, technology, response, Kalibr, THAAD, Iskander-M, US, Russia
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