US imposes sanctions on Russian developer of hypersonic missiles

The US has imposed sanctions on three Russian defense companies for violation of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

As of February 3, sanctions have been imposed on NPO Mashinostroyeniya, Russia’s largest developer of rocket systems, according a report published in the Federal Register.

From now on, the company, which develops the full range of missile and space equipment – from launch vehicles and satellites to cruise and ballistic missiles – is banned from any contact with US government structures and from purchasing American equipment.

Similar sanctions have been imposed on the Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise, a factory located in the Republic of Bashkortostan (a federal subject of the Russian Federation) which produces and repairs Ka-266 helicopters, as well as the Instrument Design Bureau, which produces precision weaponry and aerial defense systems, including Pantsir-S1 systems.

NPO Mashinostroyeniya is the developer of the Zirkon hypersonic missile, one of the six new weapon types unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018.

According to the American Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), of all the new developments announced by Russia, only the Kinzhal systems designed for modernized MiG-31 long-range interceptors have already been deployed.

In the foreseeable future (by 2022), Russia also hopes to finish developing the Sarmat intercontinental missile, a prospective replacement of the splitting warhead-containing Voyevoda missiles, which are becoming obsolete due to degradation of the rockets.

The other developments are either unrelated or impossible in principle.

The Zirkon missile, which is reportedly undergoing testing, could arrive only in “2025-2030 or later; the Poseidon unmanned underwater vehicle after 2027, and the Burevestnik, a nuclear-powered missile, “after 2030, if it is ever built”, the NTI notes.

  Russia, USA, Sanctions on Russia