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Russia fires anti-ship supersonic missiles at mock target in Sea of Japan

Russia’s defence ministry has announced that it test-fired anti-ship missiles in the Sea of Japan.

“In the waters of the Sea of Japan, missile ships of the Pacific Fleet fired Moskit cruise missiles at a mock enemy sea target,” the ministry said in a statement on its Telegram account on Tuesday.

“The target, located at a distance of about 100 kilometres (62.14 miles), was successfully hit by a direct hit from two Moskit cruise missiles.”

The Moskit, whose NATO reporting name is the SS-N-22 Sunburn, is a  medium-range supersonic anti-ship cruise missile that has conventional and nuclear warhead capacity, 

It is capable of destroying a ship within a range of up to 120 km (75 miles).

The ministry said the exercise took place in the Peter the Great Gulf in the Sea of Japan but did not give more precise coordinates. 

The gulf borders the Russian Pacific Fleet headquarters at Fokino and is about 700 kilometers (430 miles) from Japan’s northern Hokkaido Island.

Japan’s defence ministry had no immediate response. The US Navy’s 7th Fleet did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Russian nuclear-capable Tu-95 flew over the Sea of Japan for several hours last week.

The firing of the missiles comes a week after two Russian strategic bomber planes, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, flew over the Sea of Japan for more than seven hours in what Moscow said was a “planned flight”.

In September, Japan protested multinational military exercises on the Russian-held Kuril Islands – some of which are claimed by Japan – and expressed concern about Russian and Chinese warships conducting shooting drills in the Sea of Japan.

Russia also tested submarine-launched missiles in the Sea of Japan last year.

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