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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Russian Navy to be armed with hypersonic nuclear strike weapons: Putin

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 26 July 2020 2:44 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a boost in the county's military equipment, saying the Navy will be armed with hypersonic nuclear strike weapons, underwater nuclear drones as well as 40 new ships and vessels this year.

Putin was speaking in St. Petersburg at a naval parade marking the Navy Day in Russia on Sunday.

"The widespread deployment of advanced digital technologies that have no equals in the world, including hypersonic strike systems and underwater drones, will give the fleet unique advantages and increased combat capabilities," he said.

The new weapons include the Poseidon underwater nuclear drone, designed to be carried by submarines, and the Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile, which can be deployed on surface ships.

The Russian president did not specify when the navy would receive the new nuclear weapons, but suggested that day was drawing closer.

In a separate statement, Russia's defense ministry said testing of the Belgorod, the first submarine capable of carrying the Poseidon drones, was underway and testing of the weapons systems was

"Work is being successfully completed to create modern weapons systems for the Navy," the ministry said.

Putin has previously warned that Moscow will take action if the United States moved to deploy intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe.

The Russian president has said he does not want an arms race and has often spoken of a new generation of Russian nuclear weapons that he says are unequalled and can hit almost anywhere in the world.

President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia in 2019, and is now seeking not to renew another nuclear arms treaty.

The INF had banned all land-based missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers and included missiles carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads.

Putin has previously warned that yet another arms race would be inevitable if Washington did not renew the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

The New START accord is the last major nuclear arms control treaty between Moscow and Washington that puts a limit on the development and deployment of strategic nuclear warheads of the two countries. It can be extended for another five years, beyond its expiry date in February 2021, by mutual agreement.

Under the New START, signed in April 2010, the US and Russia agreed to halve the number of their strategic nuclear missiles and restrict the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550.

Russia has also repeatedly voiced concern about the installment of US Patriot missiles and the deployment of American ground troops in the Baltic countries, as well as US-led NATO drills near Russia's borders.

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