Russian cruise missiles could strike the UK within an hour if NATO intervenes directly in Ukraine, an expert warns.
Kalibr class cruise missiles have a range of around 1,500 miles and can be launched from frigates and submarines.
Experts have now said that if the missiles were used against the UK they would most likely be directed against infrastructure targets such as power stations and communications networks.
Dr Sidharth Kaushal, a research fellow for sea power and missile defence at the Royal United Services Institute, described the missiles as a rough equivalent to the Tomahawk missiles used by the Royal Navy and United States.
The missiles can reach twice the speed of sound before they reach their target, meaning that it's possible you would not hear one coming until after it hit.
Dr Kaushal nonetheless said that the missiles would have to be used against particular targets as the Russian arsenal is "large but not limitless".
He told inews: “If Nato did get involved in a war with Russia, but I don’t think it will, the first step would be conventional cruise missiles against Nato countries rather than going straight to the nuclear button, but that risk still remains.”
He said it could also be difficult for ships to get within range of the UK due to actions by NATO forces, and added that any bombers trying to get to the UK would have to get past Scandinavia and "would expect interception".
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Dr Kaushal also said that although the UK does not have a missile defence system as sophisticated as countries such as Israel with its Iron Dome system, there is still a strong network of defences that could intercept incoming missiles and planes.
These include the navy's type 45 destroyers, which have anti-air capabilities, and a system called 'Sky Sabre' which is run by the Army.
Nonetheless, he also highlighted that he believes a direct military intervention by NATO remains unlikely.
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