NATO keeps deeming Russian SSC-8 cruise missile non compliant with INF Treaty

NATO member states have been united in their response to Russia’s new SSC-8 cruise missile system, which the alliance deems to be non-compliant with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in his opening remarks at NATO’s ministerial meeting in Brussels on Thursday, Feb.13.

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SS-CX-8 cruise missile (Picture source: Russian MoD)

NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said that this past June, the Alliance agreed on a set of measures, which he called balanced and defensive, in response to the Russian SSC-8 system. The secretary-general had previously said that these measures could be implemented upon further examination of the situation. “Today we will take a broader look at the full range of Russia’s short- and intermediate-range missiles while remaining fully committed to arms control and disarmament,” Stoltenberg added during his opening remarks.

The Novator RK-55 Relief (NATO code: SSC-X-4 'Slingshot'; Russian GRAU: 3K12) is a Russian land-based and submarine-launched cruise missile with a nuclear warhead developed in the Soviet Union. It was about to enter service in 1987, when such weapons were banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. A version launched from submarine torpedo tubes, the S-10 Granat (SS-N-21 'Sampson'; GRAU: 3K10), has apparently been converted to carry conventional warheads and continues in service to this day. The Russian Federation was reported to have deployed the derivative SS-CX-7/SS-CX-8 systems on February 14, 2017.