MOSCOW: The United States was unable to detect the presence of Russian strategic submarines in the Arctic before they test-launched two ballistic missiles, a Russian intelligence source said on Wednesday.
Russia carried out test launches of two Sineva intercontinental ballistic missiles from two Delta IV class nuclear-powered submarines, located near the North Pole, on July 13-14.
“The American radars certainly detected the missile launches but their location took them by surprise,” the source said.
The first missile, flying a ballistic path, hit its designated target at the Kura testing grounds on the Kamchatka Peninsula, while the second, fired with a flat trajectory, destroyed a target at the Chizha testing site on the White Sea.
The source said that the launch area, covered by ice floe, was heavily patrolled by Russian attack submarines and the Americans were unable to detect the arrival of two strategic submarines before the launch.
“At the same time, U.S. reconnaissance satellites are unable to detect submarines under thick ice floe in the Arctic,” he said.
The region around the North Pole is a perfect place for launches of ballistic missiles because it allows the submarines to arrive in a designated area undetected and to shorten the missile flight time to the target.
The RSM-54 Sineva (NATO designation SS-N-23 Skiff) is a third-generation liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile that entered service with the Russian Navy in July 2007. It can carry four or 10 nuclear warheads, depending on the modification.
Russia plans to equip its Delta IV class submarines with at least 100 Sineva missiles.