What makes Tomahawk Rocket so special

US missile test confirms Russian allegations

The MK-41 launch device for the Tomahawk offensive cruise missile is ready for use in Romania and will go into operation in Poland next year

The termination of the INF treaty was "blamed on Russia as a matter of course". On the basis of this "certainty", comprehensive armament measures were called for. This consensus, which is shared by many of the major media in this country, gave the new Cold Warriors the opportunity to highlight Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and to press for NATO to be strengthened.

"The development of land-based nuclear medium-range weapons should not be ruled out from the outset," say Heinrich Brauss and Joachim Krause, for example - this could be read at the beginning of August in an article by J├╝rgen Wagner about the end of the INF Treaty and the new arms race.

Last Sunday afternoon, local time, the US carried out a missile test in San Nicolas Island, California, which the US Department of Defense reported was successful, as it became known later. "The tested missile left the mobile missile launcher and hit its target exactly after more than 500 kilometers of flight." (Video of the rocket launch here).

Nothing is said in the Pentagon report about the type of "conventional cruise missile". At the request of the US trade magazine Defense Newssaid the Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Robert Carver that it is a variant of a Tomahawk cruise missile manufactured by the defense company Raytheon.

"The MK-41 launcher is interesting"

Experts, however, had a particular eye on the launcher: "The MK-41 launcher is interesting. Russia has said for years that the MK-41, which are stationed in Europe, can fire tomahawks and therefore violate the INF Treaty. The US disputed this Now, 16 days after the INF treaty ended, what is the US doing? They are sending a Tomahawk missile off an MK-41 ground launch system. " (Matt Korda, scientist, specializing in nuclear deterrence and disarmament).

The aforementioned Pentagon spokesman Carver confirms that the launcher when tested on Sunday was actually MK 41, but the test device is not the same as the missile defense system Aegis Ashore, which is ready for use in Romania and is still "under construction" in Poland (the location in Poland should go into operation in 2020). The Aegis Ashore system is "purely defense-oriented," claims Carver: "It cannot fire Tomahawk cruise missiles. Aegis Ashore is not designed to fire offensive weapons of any type."

However, an American arms control specialist who is accusing Russia of disinformation campaigns when it comes to allegations of the stationing of US nuclear weapons in Romania explains that Russia's fears that the missile defense systems in Romania and Poland can also be used offensively, are to be taken seriously.

The fact that the "open architecture" of the Aegis system can fire many different missiles - ultimately also Tomahawk equipped with nuclear warheads - is no longer a secret, but is emphasized by the manufacturer as a quality.

The manufacturer Lockheed Martin raves about its "open architecture", which can be used for many defensive and offensive missiles: "The system is designed so that every missile fits into every cell, an ability of unprecedented flexibility."

Official start of the new nuclear arms race

Moscow: US signal confirms long-cherished intention to derail the INF treaty

In Moscow, the US missile test confirms that the end of the INF treaty, which was formally sealed on August 2nd, follows a long-planned strategy. According to President Dmitry Peskov, this is a test "for which several weeks and even months are not enough to prepare".

He reiterated that the US, not Russia, was responsible for the end of the INF treaty. According to the Tass report, Putin's comment from France, where he was visiting Macron, was in the same direction: "Such tests only confirm that the Americans wanted to derail the INF treaty from the start."

The time of the Putin quote - English "from the very start" (German: from the beginning) - is, strictly speaking, difficult, if you want to be precise. It is a rhetorical response to the allegations from the USA, which have long accused Russia of violating the INF treaty (INF dispute between Russia and NATO).

The Tass report also chronologically states that Trump announced at the beginning of February this year that the USA would no longer adhere to the obligations of the treaty.

In this respect, the test is not really a surprise. He makes it clear again how little the US administration cares about commitments or earlier promises. That is not important; More important are military supremacy and cooperation with the armaments companies. (Thomas Pany)

Read comments (200 posts) https://heise.de/-4501459Report an errorPrint