MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. The reports that seaborne Kalibr cruise missiles were not launched from the first attempt during the Grom-2019 (Thunder-2019) strategic command and staff drills have nothing to do with reality, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday.
"The information published by RBC that Kalibr missiles allegedly were not launched from the first attempt from the ships Tatarstan and Grad Sviyazhsk is nonsense from the beginning to the end. The Kalibr seaborne cruise missiles were launched from the small missile ship Grad Sviyazhsk successfully and in the normal mode," the statement says.
"Finally, the missile ship Tatarstan mentioned by RBC has never been armed and is not armed with sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles. That is why, it could not, in principle, launch them," the Defense Ministry said.
The missile launches were registered by the recording equipment in real time and were subsequently demonstrated on central TV channels both to the Russian and foreign audiences, the ministry stressed.
In addition, weapons’ assemblies or separate systems are checked during special trials with the participation of defense industry representatives rather than during strategic drills, the ministry added.
"What causes regret is that RBC, which has failed to carry out simple fact-checking, has again fallen victim to a deceit from amateurs in its chase for citation ratings on the theme of discrediting the successfully held strategic command and staff drill Thunder-2019," Russia’s Defense Ministry noted.
RBC earlier reported that the strategic command and staff exercise Thunder-2019 attended by President Vladimir Putin tested new systems, which made it possible to reduce the time of preparing a Kalibr missile for its launch "from about three hours to 15 minutes." According to an RBC source, the Kalibr missiles allegedly did not take off after the first launch command.
The Thunder-2019 strategic command and staff exercise took place on October 15-17 and involved about 12,000 troops, 213 missile launchers of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force, 105 various aircraft, including five strategic missile-carrying bombers, 15 surface ships and five nuclear-powered submarines, and also 310 items of military and special hardware.
As Russia’s Defense Ministry reported, strategic missile-carrying submarines of the Northern and Pacific Fleets test-fired ballistic missiles from the Barents and Okhotsk Seas towards the Kura range in Kamchatka in the Russian Far East and the Chizha range in the Arkhangelsk Region in northern Russia.
In turn, surface ships of the Northern Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla fired Kalibr precision cruise missiles from the Barents and Caspian Seas against coastal targets.