Russia Test Fires Anti-Ship Missiles 03/28 06:09
MOSCOW (AP) -- Moscow test-fired anti-ship missiles in the Sea of Japan,
Russia's Defense Ministry said Tuesday, with two boats launching a simulated
missile attack on a mock enemy warship about 100 kilometers (60 miles) away.
The ministry said the target was successfully hit by two Moskit cruise
The Moskit, whose NATO reporting name is the SS-N-22 Sunburn, is a
supersonic anti-ship cruise missile that has conventional and nuclear warhead
capacity. The Soviet-built cruise missile is capable of flying at a speed three
times the speed of sound and has a range of up to 250 kilometers (155 miles).
The ministry said the exercise, which included other warships and naval
aircraft, took place in the Peter the Great Gulf in the Sea of Japan but did
not give more precise coordinates. The gulf borders the Russian Pacific Fleet
headquarters at Fokino and is about 700 kilometers (430 miles) from Japan's
northern Hokkaido island.
The Russian military has conducted regular drills across the country and
Russian warships have continued maneuvers as the fighting in Ukraine has
entered a second year -- exercises that were intended to train the troops and
showcase the country's military capability.
The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet did not immediately respond to requests for
Japan reacted calmly to the missile exercise, which was conducted near
Vladivostok, rather than directly into the waters between the two countries.
Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki told a news
conference later Tuesday that Tokyo will continue to monitor Russia's military
operations, as it has been stepping up activity in the region.
Tokyo does not plan to lodge a protest to Russia over the missile exercise,
said Tasuku Matsuki, Japanese Foreign Ministry official in charge of Russia,
noting that its location -- Peter the Great Bay -- is considered Russian coast,
though it is facing the water between the two countries.
"On the whole, Japan is concerned about Russia's increasing military
activities around the Japanese coasts and watching them with great interest,"
He added that Russia has conducted missile drills in that area in the past
and issued maritime advisories ahead of time.
Russian nuclear-capable Tu-95 bombers flew over the Sea of Japan for several
hours last week.
In September, Japan protested multinational military exercises on the
Russian-held Kuril Islands -- some of which are claimed by Japan -- and
expressed concern about Russian and Chinese warships conducting shooting drills
in the Sea of Japan.
Russia also tested submarine-launched missiles in the Sea of Japan last year.