Cruise Missile in a Box

The West's new nightmare: A deadly cruise missile that can be launched from a shipping container on land or sea

During the MAKS Air Show (18-21 August in Moscow) the nightmare for anti-terrorism experts was unveiled—“Pandora’s Box.”

This week, a Russian company introduced the Novator Klub-K 3M-54TE cruise missile’s latest launch pad—a shipping container. The cruise missile is known to be one of the world’s deadliest and now Russia’s Concern Morinformsystem-Agat JSC company is marketing the system as the ultimate portable weapon.

From its container, the missile can be launched from a boat, truck, or train. "This will give a lot of hostile elements capabilities they may not have had so far, and this creates a huge problem," said an expert.

For Israel, missiles launched from ships are considered a real threat, since it is impossible to know exactly where the missile was launched from, as the ship responsible for firing it may be disguised among civilian ships at the sea. The ship could disappear from the scene with relative ease.

“Pandora’s Box,” packs the Klub-K cruise missile and launcher into a 40-foot long cargo container—the same cargo containers numbering in the hundreds of thousands that are transported around the world everyday.

There are four operable missiles packed into the compact and portable container. Before firing, the container opens and vertically launches the missiles. The lethal Klub-K has a range of 270 km and is guided to its target by radar. The missile is 20 feet long, weighs 1.7 tons, is equipped with a 400 kg penetrator warhead, and hits its target at 700 meters per second, which increases its impact factor.

In addition to the development of this weapon, Israel is concerned because of Russia’s commercial ties to its enemies. Russia announced in 2010, that it would supply the Yakhont cruise missile to Syria. The sale of the Yakhont is very worrying for Israel’s navy because of the fear that the advanced weapon might fall into the hands of Hezbollah. This means that Israeli navy vessels will be under almost constant threat from the Yakhont.

Due to its tendency to supply hostile regimes with sophisticated weapons, Israel is concerned that “Pandora’s Box” might be procured by the Syrians.