US missiles can reach Moscow in 11 minutes, says Russian expert

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Moscow, Feb 28 (UNI) Russia's top strategic missile expert Vladimir Vasilyev today said with the deployment of US missile shield in Europe, American missiles can reach Moscow in just 11 minutes.

The US which already had missile interceptors in North Dakota and Alaska, would soon deploy similar systems in the Czech Republic and north-eastern Poland, in Europe.

Vasilyev who is assistant professor of the radio-electronic warfare chair at the Russian Strategic Missile Force's Peter the Great Military Academy, told Russian daily newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta that the three-stage GBI-3 ground-based interceptors would be able to destroy Russian inter-continental ballistic missiles during their boost phase, and that one GBI-3 missile launched from Poland could reach Moscow, Nizhny Tagil in the Urals area and Novosibirsk in Western Siberia in just 11, 15 and 21 minutes, respectively.

Mr Vasilyev said the US missile-defence system in Eastern Europe featured the rather vulnerable In-Flight Interceptor Communications System (IFICS), and that two separate IFICS centres were needed to ensure reliable remote control and communications in adverse weather conditions affecting the propagation of centimetre and millimetre band radio waves.

He said Washington plans to deploy seven IFICS tandems depending on the number of missile defence areas in the United States and elsewhere.

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