Is this a warning shot? This chilling footage shows a Russian nuclear submarine launching a cruise missile from underwater to destroy a coastal training target. The 120-metre Severodvinsk submarine can be seen sinking slowly below the surface of the Barents Sea as part of Russian navy Arctic combat drills.
Then the Kalibr missile erupts from the waves in a plume of smoke and streaks away into the distance. A loud rumbling can be heard before the camera zooms in to show the launch site. It is the latest show of strength from the country’s military after a number of close passes by fighter jets near US planes and ships.
This year Russia has increased its military presence in the Arctic region where it and other world powers are locked in a battle to claim valuable territory and underwater mining rights.
The Russian military said the cruise missile struck its target, in the Arkhangelsk region, “with high accuracy”.
A statement added: “A strike group of the flotilla has conducted firing drills using naval practice targets and hit them successfully.”
The Kalibr missile, which can carry nuclear or conventional payloads, travels at speeds up to Mach 2.9 – the same as a space shuttle during launch. The land-attack, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapon has a range of up to 1,500 miles.
Kalibrs have been used to strike ISIS infrastructure targets in Raqqa, Syria. Video footage showed a salvo of the missiles being launched from ships in the Mediterranean.