Russia will upgrade a radar station near Sevastopol in Crimea to detect potential missile launches from the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, Sputnik News reported Tuesday, citing Izvestia newspaper. The development comes on the heels of a U.S. missile shield going operational in Romania — a move Moscow views as a threat to Russia’s security.
The early warning radar state, known Dnepr, will be used to track hypersonic, cruise and ballistic missiles launched from ships in the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea at ranges of up to 1,864 miles, a source told the Russian-language Izvestia, according to Sputnik. The system will reportedly operate in the super-high frequency band.
“For example, it takes a U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile about two hours to reach Moscow, and duly detecting such a missile will be precisely the task of the new Russian radar station near Sevastopol," Vadim Kozyulin, a military expert, told the newspaper. He added that the Dnepr radar station will provide Russia with total defense against missile attacks.
Last Thursday, the U.S. missile shield in Romania went operational. The West sees the $800 missile defense system as imperative to protecting Europe from potential ballistic missile threats. The shield is capable of averting missile threats from countries like Iran that Washington says could be a cause of concern for major European cities. Although U.S. officials said the missile shield was not aimed at Russia, Moscow expressed concerns over the move and said Russia had taken measures to ensure the country’s safety.
“This is a direct threat to us,” Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, chairman of the State Duma’s defense committee, reportedly told the Interfax news agency. “They are moving to the firing line. This is not just 100; it's 200, 300, 1,000 percent aimed against us. This is not about Iran, but about Russia with its nuclear capabilities.”