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‘A quantum leap in military capability’

Friday - 29/06/2018 06:56
RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin boasted about his country's prospective nuclear weapons, saying they are years and even decades ahead of foreign designs.
US President Donald Trump said June 21, 2018 he is considering meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and is sending his national security adviser to Moscow to discuss the idea. Picture: Mikhail KlimentyevSource:AFP
US President Donald Trump said June 21, 2018 he is considering meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and is sending his national security adviser to Moscow to discuss the idea. Picture: Mikhail KlimentyevSource:AFP

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin boasted about his country’s prospective nuclear weapons Thursday, saying they are years and even decades ahead of foreign designs.

Speaking before the graduates of Russian military academies, Putin said the new weapons represent a quantum leap in the nation’s military capability.

“A number of our weapons systems are years, and, perhaps, decades ahead of foreign analogs,” Putin told young military officers who gathered in an ornate Kremlin hall. “Modern weapons contribute to a multifold increase in the Russian military potential.” The tough statement comes as Putin is preparing for a summit with US President Donald Trump set for July 16 in Helsinki, Finland. Russia-US relations have plunged to post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria, the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and differences over nuclear arms control issues.

“We have achieved a real breakthrough thanks to the colossal efforts by science and design bureaus and industries, a real feat by workers, engineers and scientists,” Putin told the officers.

In this video grab file photo provided by RU-RTR Russian television, a computer simulation shows the Avangard hypersonic vehicle being released from booster rockets. Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted about his country's prospective nuclear weapons, saying they are years and even decades ahead of foreign designs.
In this video grab file photo provided by RU-RTR Russian television, a computer simulation shows the Avangard hypersonic vehicle being released from booster rockets. Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted about his country's prospective nuclear weapons, saying they are years and even decades ahead of foreign designs.Source:AP

The Russian leader singled out the new Avangard hypersonic vehicle and the new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, which are set to enter service in the next few years. Putin also mentioned the Kinzhal hypersonic missile that has already been put on duty with the units of Russia’s Southern Military District. Those systems were among an array of new nuclear weapons the Russian leader presented in March amid tensions with the West.

Putin said then that the Avangard has an intercontinental range and can fly in the atmosphere at a speed 20 times the speed of sound.

The Russian leader added that the weapon can change both its course and its altitude en route to a target, making it “absolutely invulnerable to any air or missile defence means.”

He said Avangard has been designed using new composite materials to withstand temperatures of up to 2,000 Celsius resulting from a flight through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds.

The Sarmat is intended to replace the Soviet-designed Voyevoda, the world’s heaviest ICBM, which is known as “Satan” in the West and which carries 10 nuclear warheads.

Putin said in March that Sarmat weighs 200 metric tons and has a higher range than Satan, allowing it to fly over the North or the South Poles and strike targets anywhere in the world. He noted that Sarmat also carries a bigger number of nuclear warheads, which are more powerful than the ones on Satan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, centre, toasts with the graduates of Russian military academies in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 28, 2018. Picture: Alexei Nikolsky
Russian President Vladimir Putin, centre, toasts with the graduates of Russian military academies in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 28, 2018. Picture: Alexei NikolskySource:AP

 

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