A long-range missile was rolled out of the back of a C-130 aircraft and dropped via a parachute over the Arctic on Wednesday by American special operations personnel. The missile then rocketed toward its target in the distance.
The mission served as Rapid Dragon’s first-ever demonstration in Europe. Rapid Dragon is an experimental program that launches air-to-surface cruise missiles using customary air drop techniques. It places this object into Russia’s combat zone. Before the launch on Wednesday, Lt. Col. Lawrence Melnicoff of Special Operations Command Europe told Stars and Stripes that they were attempting to be provocative without escalating the situation. We are attempting to prevent Russian aggressiveness and expansionist conduct by showcasing the allies’ improved capabilities. The missile launch, which took place inside the Arctic Circle at Norway’s Andoya Space Range, also exemplifies how allies can flex their muscles by combining and repurposing their arsenals, according to Melnicoff. It served as the apex of the Stuttgart-based SOCEUR’s demonstration of the capacity of American and ally units to quickly mobilize and deliver long-range, precise fire over considerable distances.