Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Photo: Mother Russia's Missiles

It was a week ago today that I ate my lunch cold because of the Russians, since I couldn't just let my lunch half-hour go by without figuring out where all the uniformed Russian Navy officers in the Pacific Centre were coming from. As it happened, the Russian missile cruiser Varyag had arrived at Canada Place earlier that day, coming off of exercises near Vancouver Island. While I wasn't able to make it on board, I took as many shots as I could manage from the Canada Place walkway during the days she was here.

Here's the bridge and some of the starboard missile tubes of Varyag - in all, it mounts sixteen P-500 Bazalt/SS-N-12 Sandbox anti-ship missiles. While I was in the lineup trying to get aboard, some guys behind me were debating how much of Vancouver the ship could destroy if it came down to it; they eventually settled on downtown, but I don't know if you can use anti-ship missiles against ground targets. Even then, those missiles can only carry a 950-kilogram high explosive warhead - while sixteen would carve ragged chunks out of downtown, I don't know about total destruction. Besides, they were pointed at North Van, anyway.

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