The U.S. media prefers not to dwell on substantial news, but the recent advancement in Russian weaponry seems to have set the stage for the Ukraine Conflict.
Putin laid out Russia’s intentions in his Munich speech concerning plans to counter the US missile defense system being deployed in Europe.
Excerpt of the Putin speech:
“We are discussing this with you now. I would not want anyone to suspect any aggressive intentions on our part. But the system of international relations is just like mathematics. There are no personal dimensions. And of course we should react to this. How? Either the same as you and therefore by building a multi-billion dollar anti-missile system or, in view of our present economic and financial possibilities, by developing an asymmetrical answer. So that everybody can understand that the anti-missile defence system is useless against Russia because we have certain weapons that easily overcome it. And we are proceeding in this direction. It is cheaper for us. And this is in no way directed against the United States themselves.”
In Military.com, an article featured a strategic advantage gained by the Russian Military. This advantage:
Hypersonic weapons such as Russia’s 3M22 Zircon fly so fast and low — at speeds of up to Mach 6 and at a low atmospheric-ballistic trajectory — that they can penetrate traditional anti-missile defense systems.
The missile flies with an advanced fuel that the Russians say gives it a range of up to 1,000 kilometers. And it’s so fast that the air pressure in front of the weapon forms a plasma cloud as it moves, absorbing radio waves and making it practically invisible to active radar systems.
In eurasiantimes.com, US Strategic Command Chief explains the edge Russian seems to have gained:
The Kh-95 seems to be a long-range hypersonic cruise missile that could meet a critical mission requirement for a standoff hypersonic weapon capable of defeating NATO air defenses while being fired beyond the effective engagement ranges of Western interceptors. It is believed that the missile will be equipped with the upgraded Tu-160M and Tu-23M bombers.
In August 2021, US Strategic Command chief Charles Richard had acknowledged that Russian hypersonic technology will provide its Navy with a significant edge.
“Our current ground-based and space-based sensor system may not be able to cope with the detection and tracking of these missiles. I must admit that Russia is the world’s leading country in hypersonic technology. And if the enterprises of our defense industry in a short time do not figure out how to resist them, the ships of the fleets of the NATO countries will become vulnerable,” Richard said speaking at the annual symposium on space defense.
Forbes.com reveals that before the onset of the Ukraine Conflict, Putin deploys hypersonic missiles to the Baltic in range of NATO capitals. This amounts to a checkmate, is egregiously not oft reported by Western media, and logically explains the Russian posture.
Russia’s base in Kaliningrad ordinarily does not host MiG-31Ks. While sizeable ground forces defend it, and it hosts Russia’s Baltic Fleet and nuclear-capable short-range Iskander missiles, most of the 50 warplanes based there are older Su-27 and Su-24 jets, though some newer Su-30SM and Su-35S are being phased in.
Therefore, the deployment of a MiG-31K would likely be intended as a deliberate warning to NATO: a threat of retaliation should the alliance consider intervening against possible Russian military action in Ukraine.
As military analyst Rob Lee notes in a tweet, a Kinzhal launched over Kaliningrad’s airspace can reach most West European capitals and Ankara, while the Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad can at most reach the northern edge of Berlin. Furthermore, a Kinzhal may reach those targets within 7-10 minutes of being launched from over Kaliningrad’s airspace.