ATLANTA,None — A Russian weapons company is marketing a new missile system that is hidden inside an ordinary shipping container. It can turn a ship, train or truck into a long range missile launcher. Channel Two Action News anchor Justin Farmer investigated the threat and found officials at the Port of Savannah had never heard of the Club K Missile system.
New Hidden Cruise Missile Unknown To Feds
It sounds like something out of a James Bond movie. A hidden cruise missile that can transform a shipping container into a missile launcher. The problem is it's real and a Russian weapons company is advertising it for sale to anyone who has the cash to pay for it. Channel Two Action News went to the Port of Savannah to find out how the feds are combating this potential threat. They did not even know about it, until Farmer told them.
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The promotional video for the Club K Missile system is part of the marketing campaign by a private, Russian-based weapons manufacturer. The cruise missile system is hidden in a 40-foot shipping container. It can fire four long range satellite-guided missiles from a ship, train or tractor-trailer.
The Club K is being marketed at international weapons shows as a military weapon. In the hands of a terrorist group the container could easily be smuggled into the United states. It is so new most international security experts have never heard of it.
"To look at an entire weapons system that can be put on a cargo ship and deployed is frightening," said Brent Brown an international security consultant, "It is a pretty devastating piece of technology that could have all kinds of collateral damange."
The Port of Savannah is the fourth largest in the nation; moving over three million containers a year. A Club K Missile system fired from a container at the Port of Savannah could easily reach Atlanta 250 miles away.
Customs and Border protection are responsible for port security. Farmer asked the Directors of Customs and Border Protections if he was aware of the weapons. Director John Porter replied, "I am now."
Just how does the Federal government check millions of containers? Customs says that they carefully monitor the paperwork of every container. They said that it is largely done at the port of origin overseas. They admit, while they have the latest in x-ray technology, it is simply not realistic to scan all cargo.
Thousands of containers are off loaded from ships like this one but just a fraction go through machines.
"If you are not checking 100% that it is a hole in the system," said Brown.
Every truck is check for radiation as it leaves the Savannah port, but the Club K Missile can be either nuclear or hold conventional explosives that would not' trip these detectors. Savannah authorities told us they believe the Club K would not' make it through either way.
"Our systems in place would detect such an anomaly," said Porter.
"It is extremely troubling, it's extremely troubling," said retired general now defense industry consultant David Poythress. Poythress added that the military has quietly been working on technology to defend against a Club K cruise missile-type system.
"It's a huge threat. A cruise missile launch from a vessel, off-shore against an urban population," said Poythress.
Janes Defense Weekly estimates the price tag on the Club K Missile is between $10-20 million. The Russian company that makes the weapon has refused interviews. They have issued statements saying the Club-K is not being marketed to terrorists and is meant for use on military ships. The company also claims to have nations in Latin America and the Asia pacific region interested in weapon.
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