The Death of Deterrence, Part 55

Maybe not as much fun to speculate about as the DYI garage shop cruise missile, but a potential game changer.

So…what if the Somali pirates tag a Hanjin container vessel but rather than ransom it, transfer it to al-Shabab or an ally (or just the highest bidder) and trans-ship a couple containers of these puppies before the word gets out. Sail on up the Canal…Even with a conventional payload, that’s gotta hurt, folks.

While the world’s ‘powers’ dither over the doctrine of deterrence (now dead and stinking, even if it hasn’t quite fallen over), the evolution of lethality multiplied by the porosity of globalization enhances the likelihood of such scenarios.

Deadly new Russian cruise missile hides in shipping container, reports the International Business Times.

Excerpts:

A Russian company is marketing a devastating new cruise missile system which can be hidden inside a shipping container, giving any merchant vessel the capability to wipe out an aircraft carrier.

“At a stroke, the Club-K gives a long-range precision strike capability to ordinary vehicles that can be moved to almost any place on earth without attracting attention,” said Robert Hewson of Jane’s Defense Weekly, who first discovered the existence of the system…”The idea that you can hide a missile system in a box and drive it around without anyone knowing is pretty new.”

Hewson estimated the cost of the Club-K system, which packs a launcher with four ground or sea-launched cruise missiles into a standard 40-foot shipping container, at $10-20 million. The cruise missile system is still in the concept phase though and it will take some time before they could be possibly shipped to customers.

One of the missiles on offer is a special anti-ship variant with a second stage which splits off after launch and accelerates to supersonic speeds of up to Mach 3…”It’s a carrier-killer,” said Hewson…”Unless sales are very tightly controlled, there is a danger that it could end up in the wrong hands.” [A Russian defense expert said,] “Potential clients include anyone who likes the idea.”