Putin boasts of new Russian nuclear weapons

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has tested an array of new strategic nuclear weapons that can’t be intercepted, President Vladimir Putin announced Thursday, marking a technological breakthrough that could dramatically increase Russia’s military capability, boost the Kremlin’s global position and open a new round in the global arms race.

Speaking in a state-of-the-nation speech, Putin said the weapons include a nuclear-powered cruise missile, a nuclear-powered underwater drone and new hypersonic missile that have no equivalent elsewhere in the world. He said the creation of the new weapons has made NATO’s U.S.-led missile defense “useless,” and means an effective end to what he described as Western efforts to stymie Russia’s development.

“I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development: all what you wanted to impede with your policies have already happened,” he said. “You have failed to contain Russia.”

The announcement comes as Putin is set to easily win another six-year presidential term in the March 18 election.

He said that the nuclear-powered cruise missile tested last fall has a “practically unlimited” range and high speed and maneuverability allowing it to pierce any missile defense.

The Russian leader said the high-speed underwater drone also has an “intercontinental” range and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that could target both aircraft carriers and coastal facilities. He said its operational depth and high speed would make it immune to enemy intercept.

Putin noted that the tests of the compact nuclear reactor to power the new drone were completed last fall.

He added, to applause, that names for the nuclear-powered cruise missile and the drone haven’t yet been chosen, and suggested that the Defense Ministry run a nationwide contest for the best names.

Putin accompanied his statement to an audience of hundreds of senior officials and lawmakers with videos and computer images of new weapons, which were shown on giant screens at a conference hall near the Kremlin.

“No one in the world has anything like that,” he said. “It may appear someday, but by that time we will develop something new.”

The Russian leader said that another new weapon called Avangard is an intercontinental hypersonic missile that would fly to targets at a speed 20 times the speed of sound and strike “like a meteorite, like a fireball.”

Putin said that Russia also tested a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, called Sarmat, with a range and number of warheads exceeding its Soviet-era predecessor, known in the West as Satan.

The Russian leader emphasized that the development of new weapons that have no equivalent in the West came in response to the U.S. withdrawal from a Cold war-era treaty banning missile defenses and U.S. efforts to develop a missile defense system.

He said that the U.S. has ignored Russian complaints.

“No one has listened to us,” he said. “You listen to us now.”

He said the new weapons will help ensure global stability and draw a line under attempts to weaken Russia.

He said that another weapons system, called Kinzhal, already has been deployed in Russia’s Southern Military District. He said it’s a hypersonic missile carried by an aircraft that can strike targets 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) away.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s