(MOSCOW) — President Vladimir Putin declared that Russia has tested a new generation of nuclear weapons, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile that he said has unlimited range.
Speaking at his annual State of the Nation address, Putin boasted about a series of the new weapons, including underwater drones capable of launching nuclear strikes and a hypersonic missile, that he said were all-but invulnerable to missile-defense systems.
He said the nuclear-power cruise missile had been successfully tested in late 2017 and showed a video apparently of the test.
“The missile’s test-launch and ground trials make it possible to create a brand-new weapon, a strategic nuclear missile powered by a nuclear engine,” Putin told an audience in a hall by the Kremlin. “The range is unlimited, it can maneuver for an unlimited period of time.
“No one in the world has anything similar,” Putin said to applause. The video showed the missile firing into the sky and then flying, before switching to a graphic that showed the rocket meandering around the globe, headed towards the United States before turning south and flying down to the South Atlantic.
Russia is also now in the “active phase” of testing a new intercontinental-ballistic missile, known as the Sarmat, that would replace its Soviet predecessor and could carry more warheads and fly further, he said.
Putin said the missile, which was previously known and has been named Satan 2 by NATO, effectively has no range limit, is able to reach “any point in the world” and could not be stopped by any missile defense system.
Another weapon, a hypersonic missile carried by aircraft, called “Kinzhal” or “Dagger,”’ had already been deployed in Russia’s Southern Military District, he said.
Putin said Russia was developing the array of new weapons in response to the United States’ creation of a missile defense shield that has been partly deployed in Europe. A refusal to listen to Russia’s concerns about the shield, which Moscow has voiced for well over a decade, had forced it to develop a deterrent that could overcome any conceivable types of missile defense.
“No one listened to us,’ Putin said. “Listen to us now.”
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