Russia can respond to the increasing NATO military presence by reinforcing its Baltic Fleet and there are also plans to deploy Iskander-M tactical missile systems in the Kaliningrad region, Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, a former Black Sea Fleet commander and head of the State Duma Defense Committee, told Interfax on Saturday.
"Kaliningrad is our forward outpost on western borders, the main Baltic Fleet base surrounded from every side by NATO countries," he said.
"It is a special area and we need to further strengthen our aviation element by increasing the amount of modern equipment in the armed forces. The existence of the plans to deploy Iskander systems was repeatedly announced," Komoyedov said.
The Iskander-M missile system can destroy targets within a range of up to 500 kilometers. The system consists of two types of missiles: ballistic and cruise ones. It is designed to destroy hostile multiple rocket launchers, missile defense and air defense systems, aircraft and helicopters on airfields, command and control centers and infrastructure.
"The state armament program has already spelt out how to strengthen the Baltic Fleet and with what, and this process is already underway. New equipment and ships are being received, the large landing ship Alexander Gren recently completed sea trials," the admiral said.
"There will be no second Tilsit, it was Tsar Alexander who recognized Napoleon's conquests and signed the Tilsit truce with him. Being surrounded means being armed. We transformed Tilsit into the town of Sovetsk in the Kaliningrad region, this Russian bastion," Komoyedov said.
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