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Russia Reinforces U.S. Flank With Cutting-Edge Missile System

Yury Smityuk / TASS

The Defense Ministry announced on Feb. 22 the deployment of a cutting-edge Bastion coastal defense battalion to Russia's eastern frontier. 

The Bastion deployed to Kamchatka is designed to sink enemy ships and landing parties at range

It has been deployed with the 520th Coastal Rocket and Artillery Brigade in the Yelizovsky region of Kamchatka. The system replaces an older Redut missile battery that has protected the coastline since 1917.

The Bastion system uses Russia's powerful P-800 Oniks supersonic anti-ship missile. The Oniks has a reported range of 300km. Though designed to attack ships at sea, Oniks missiles used in the Syrian conflict have demonstrated land attack capability. Its range is too short to reach Alaska.

The deployment is the latest in a series of deployments on Russia's Pacific territory. Last year, the Defense Ministry deployed Bastion systems to the Kuril Islands, where Russia and Japan have yet to settle a territorial dispute going back to the end of the Second World War.

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