Russia's 3M14 Kalibr: What to know about Putin's weapon against Ukraine

It can travel over 1,500 miles before impact.
Loukia Papadopoulos
3M-54 Kalibr cruise missileDefenseNigeria/ Twitter

On Friday, Russian forces closed in on Kyiv, Ukraine's capital of 3 million people, firing missiles onto the city and causing many casualties including civilian ones.

But it wasn't any old missiles that Ukraine was using, it was Kalibrs.

What is this type of missile and why is it so terrifying? We explain it all.

3M14 Kalibr

"The 3M14 Kalibr (NATO: SS-N-30A) is a Russian land-attack cruise missile (LACM) and an improved version of the 3M-14E “Club” LACM. The SS-N-30A has an estimated range of around 1,500 to 2,500 km (932 to 1553 miles) and has become a mainstay in the Russian Navy’s ground-strike capabilities"' states online blog Missile Threat

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, the Russian assault they were subjected to consisted of 30 examples of the 3M14 Kalibr, a weapon previously used by the Russian Navy in the Syrian Civil War, reported news outlet The Drive. Today the weapon, known in the West as the SS-N-30A Sagaris, constitutes one of the most important and lethal in the Russian army.

Arming small vehicles

3M14 Kalibr missiles are considered very versatile as they can be fired from a common vertical launch system that can be deployed from many types of warships and submarines. Warships the size of small vehicles can even be equipped with Kalibr turning the most discreet of vehicles into powerful war machines.

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According to Missile Threat, this fact was further confirmed by a “high ranking Russia defense industry official” who said in 2011 that: "Kalibr provides even modest platforms, such as corvettes, with significant offensive capability and, with the use of the land attack missile, all platforms have a significant ability to hold distant fixed ground targets at risk using conventional warheads. The proliferation of this capability within the new Russian Navy is profoundly changing its ability to deter, threaten or destroy adversary targets."

Last January, Ukraine claimed that Russia was behind cyberattacks on the nation's government websites and the situation has only escalated for the worst.