Here’s what Vladimir Putin said about new nuclear weapons and countering the West
Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a slew of new weaponry during a televised address to the country, including a cruise missile he said is “invincible” and has “unlimited range.”
Putin announced Russia had developed new strategic nuclear weapons that he claims renders NATO’s U.S.-led missile defence useless.
Here’s what he said about the weapons.
Intercontinental ballistic missile dubbed “Sarmat”
“The ministry of defense, in collaboration with aerospace industry, has begun an active phase of testing a new missile system with a heavy transcontinental ballistic missile,” Putin said. “”This new system has virtually no limitations on distance… and it is capable of attacking targets via both the North and South Pole.
“Sarmat is a formidable weapon, no systems, not even prospective missile defense systems, are an obstacle for it due to its characteristics,” he said.
Putin claims the missile is essentially “invincible” to the enemy
“Low attitude, difficult to notice cruise missile carrying a nuclear warhead, with a virtually unlimited range and an unpredictable trajectory and capability to bypass interception lines, it’s invincible to all existing and prospective air defence and missile defence systems,” Putin said. “The most important stage of development of modern arms systems is the creation of a high-precision, supersonic missile aerospace system that has no equivalents in the world. Its tests have been successfully concluded.”
According to Russian media outlet TASS, Russia’s Defense Ministry had been working on the Sarmat program since the 2000s to replace the country’s current ICBM, the R-36M2 Voyevoda which was developed in 1988.
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The RS-28 Sarmat is a silo-based, liquid-propelled missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads, TASS reported.
New submarine tech
Putin claimed Russia had developed a new, “absolutely fantastic” unmanned submarine.
“I can say that Russia has developed an unmanned submarine that can operate at great depth, I would say at a very great depth and at a transcontinental distance, with a speed many-fold faster than conventional submarines, the most advanced torpedoes, and all types of ships, even the fastest,” the president said. “This is absolutely fantastic.
“Unmanned submarines can be armed with conventional and nuclear warheads. This allows them to strike a wide range of targets,” Putin said.
Russia’s strength is a “guarantee of peace”
“The growing military strength of Russia is a secure guarantee of peace on our planet because this strength preserves and will always preserve the strategic balance and a balance of power in the world,” Putin said.
Russia to immediately respond if country, allies attacked
“Russia maintains its right to use nuclear weapons only in response to use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction against it or its allies or in the case of aggression against us with the use of conventional weapons when the state is under existential threat,” the president said. “Everything is very accurate, clear, and specific.
“Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia and its allies, small or medium or of any strength, will be perceived as a nuclear attack on our country. The response will be immediate and with all due consequences,” Putin said.
–with files from Reuters
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