• Text smaller
  • Text bigger

WorldNetDaily has learned that a multi-billion-dollar anti-missile system
proposed by the Clinton administration and intended to protect America
against a nuclear missile strike is vulnerable to attack from Russian-made
supersonic cruise missiles.

“The Aegis ABM interceptor is not designed to deal with the supersonic
cruise missile threat,” explains Baker Spring, a defense analyst for the
Heritage Foundation. “It is designed for exo-atmospheric (outside the
earth’s atmosphere) intercept only.”

“The supersonic cruise missile threat is a Navy problem,” stated Spring.
“The Navy will have to deal with the cruise missile threat no matter what
the mission — whether it’s ABM defense or sea control.”

The U.S. Navy Aegis warships are reported to be unable to defend
themselves against the latest Russian supersonic cruise missiles, the Raduga
Moskit and the Mashinostroyenya Yahont.

Aegis missile cruisers cannot defend against newly developed
Russian supersonic cruise missiles such as the Yahont and Moskit.

Both Russian cruise missiles are huge, weighing nearly five tons each,
and both can fly only a few feet over the surface at over twice the speed of
sound — faster than a rifle bullet. In July 1999, Richard Fisher, a senior
fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, wrote an evaluation of the Russian-built
Raduga Moskit missile that was recently sold to China. Fisher says the U.S.
Navy cannot stop the Moskit.

“The Raduga Moskit anti-ship missile is perhaps the most lethal anti-ship
missile in the world,” wrote Fisher in a review of the Chinese navy.

“The Moskit combines a Mach 2.5 speed with a very low-level flight
pattern that uses violent end maneuvers to throw off defenses. After
detecting the Moskit, the U.S. Navy Phalanx point defense system may have
only 2.5 seconds to calculate a fire solution — not enough time before the
devastating impact of a 750-lb. warhead.”

The Moskit missile has been sold to China for use on a Russian-built
Sovremenny destroyer serving in the People’s Liberation Navy. The Chinese
navy is expected to take delivery of a second Sovremenny destroyer in the
fall of 2000. The Chinese Moskit missiles are reported to carry a
200-kiloton nuclear warhead — packing a punch 10 times more powerful than
the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

There is evidence from the U.S. Navy itself that the Aegis warships are
vulnerable to the Moskit. The Navy’s Aegis system failed to defend itself
in live-fire tests against a similar U.S.-made supersonic target missile
called the Vandal. Vandal target drones, flying as low as 10 feet over the
ground at speeds of over 1,500 miles per hour, defeated the Aegis defenses
and scored direct hits on simulated Navy targets.

The only U.S.-made missile capable of simulating the Moskit, the Sea
Snake, was canceled by the Clinton administration in September 1999. The
U.S. Navy SSST or Super-Sonic Sea Skimming Target project ended eight years
of study without a selection, leaving the service without a means to test
the multi-billion dollar Aegis missile air defense system.

According to an internal memo from

Navy defense contractor Logicon,
Clinton’s move to cancel the Sea Snake “will have significant impact upon future SSST testing.”

Logicon is the U.S. Navy contractor responsible for testing the Aegis warship air defenses. The Logicon Corp. memo also noted that Russia will benefit from the move. The Clinton administration cancellation of Sea Snake allowed the Navy to close a deal with Russian missile maker Zvezda for a new target drone. Russia is now providing the U.S. Navy its only supersonic target missile — the Zvezda MA-31.


The U.S. Navy bought the Russian Zvezda MA-31 supersonic target missile and now depends on Russia for all its future Aegis targets.

According to the Logicon memo, the Navy “plans to procure 37 additional (Russian Zvezda) MA-31 targets in FY00, providing politics does not stop the procurement.”

The Zvezda missile deal with Moscow is reportedly flawed. Official U.S. Navy sources noted the 1,100-pound MA-31 does not replicate the massive 9,920-pound Moskit threat, and the missile does not carry any Russian electronics. Documentation obtained from the Navy through the Freedom of Information Act shows the Russian target drone being equipped with U.S.-made radio beacons to assist the Aegis missile system.

In response to allegations that the MA-31 could not replicate the Moskit threat, the U.S. Navy recently announced a

program to acquire Moskit
anti-ship missiles from Russia.
The second U.S. Navy purchase of Russian-made missiles, including the no. 1 threat against the Aegis warships, moved Congress to pass legislation and seek hearings.

“The Russians should not be selling the Moskit to anyone, including us,” stated Al Santoli, national security advisor to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. “This is an example of the criminal abandonment of essential military Research and Development by the Clinton administration. The Clinton administration is responsible for this lapse in critical research. We have known about the Moskit for years. We could have, and should have developed a counter before this.”

Santoli noted that Rohrabacher recently introduced a bill that would withhold debt re-scheduling with Russia unless the Russian military discontinues sales of the Moskit missile to China.

“The Moskit sales are most damaging to the U.S./Russian relations. As long as communist China is the Clinton administration’s ‘strategic partner,’ the missiles will continue to be a threat,” noted Santoli.

WorldNetDaily has learned that Russian missile makers are now offering China the very latest in supersonic killing technology, the NPO Mashinostroyenya Yahont. The Yahont ramjet missile is nearly 30 feet long, over 2 feet in diameter, and weighs in at 8,598 pounds.

“The Yahont is fast, compact, and lethal,” stated defense analyst Richard Fisher. “You can place a large number of them on a very small platform.”


The Russian Yahont flies at over twice the speed of sound only a few feet above the surface.

The Yahont is powered by an air-breathing ramjet engine giving it a top speed of Mach 2.6 at 45,000 feet. The Yahont is reported to deliver a 440-pound warhead at an impact velocity of 2,460 feet per second — faster than a rifle bullet.

According to defense intelligence sources, Russia is offering to sell China up to eight more Sovremenny destroyers armed with eight nuclear-tipped Moskit missiles each. In addition, the Sovremenny will also be armed with Yahont missiles and a naval version of the SA-10C advanced surface-to-air defense missile.

U.S. defense analysis indicates that Yahont comes in a nuclear-tipped land attack version, enabling it to strike ground targets such as the Clinton proposed land-based missile site in Alaska or U.S. cities. Each Yahont is produced in a sealed launch canister, enabling the missile to be fired from simple and low cost platforms such as a diesel submarine or a common truck.

The appeal of a supersonic robot bomb is enhanced by the fact that the supersonic cruise missile is ignored in political circles. International arms control treaties do not cover the small, deadly and accurate weapons. The low maintenance cost and compact size associated with cruise missiles such as the Yahont appeal greatly to third-world militaries. North Korea, Iran, Syria, Vietnam and India are all considering supersonic cruise missile purchases from Russia.

The Clinton administration has also ignored the supersonic cruise missile. With cancellation of the Sea Snake, the American military arsenal has no weapon to match the Yahont or the Moskit. The U.S. Air Force ALCM, and the U.S. Navy Tomahawk missiles fly at low subsonic speeds. Both U.S. cruise missiles are no longer armed with nuclear warheads, and both missiles have been shot down by conventional anti-aircraft fire in Iraq and Serbia.

“We need a Mach 3 Tomahawk to overcome new surface-to-air defenses. Kosovo and the recent deployment of advanced Russian air defenses like the SA-10 Grumble showed that we need a hypersonic replacement for our cruise missiles,” stated Fisher.

Newly developed Russian air defense missiles such as the SA-10C are capable of defeating Tomahawk and ALCM attacks. The Russian maker of the SA-10C states that it has a kill ratio ranging from 0.8 to 0.98 against Tomahawk-class cruise missiles. Russia is exporting large numbers of the new air defense missile. Russia has exported the SA-10C to China where it is produced under license and has made offers to North Korea, India, Syria and Cyprus.

Spring points out that, flawed or not, the U.S. Navy does have a cruise missile defense program in place. In contrast, a U.S. national ballistic missile defense program remains stalled in President Clinton’s arms-control talks with Russian President Putin and American election-year politics.

“The V-1 Buzz Bomb and the V-2 rocket of World War II fame are very much alive in the 21st century,” said Spring. “We need to be able to defend against both.”

“Cruise missile defense is something the U.S Navy can work on,” concluded Spring. “Unlike the ABM treaty with the former Soviet Union, there is no paper that Clinton can cling to in order to deny America defense against airborne cruise missiles. On the other hand, nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles can strike America from space and we have no means to stop them.”

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.