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Russian Defense Ministry Gives Updates on New Strategic Weapons

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EIRNS—The Russian Defense Ministry issued updates yesterday on all the new strategic weapons that Russian President Vladimir Putin first revealed during his televised Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1. The clear point was to reinforce to the world that these weapons do indeed exist and to provide information as to the status of each system.

The updates, as reported by TASS, are as follows:

MiG-31Ks carrying Kinzhal (“Dagger”) hypersonic missiles participated in an exercise with missile-equipped Tu-22M3 bombers (carrying a different missile) in early July, focused on hitting ground and naval targets.

“The drills focused on planning, preparing and jointly employing Kinzhal air-launched missile systems and long-range Tu-22M3 missile-carrying bombers, and also on fighter jets’ operations to provide cover for air strike groups,”

Russian Aerospace Forces Deputy Commander in Chief Lt. Gen. Sergei Dronov said.

The Russian Strategic Missile Forces are preparing to accept the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle into service.

“The Russian defense industry has completed developing the Avangard missile system with the principally new armament—the gliding cruise warhead. Industrial enterprises have switched to its serial production,”

the Defense Ministry said. Deputy Commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces for Armament Maj. Gen. Sergei Poroskun has said that the Avangard hypersonic missile system features combat capabilities that “make it possible to reliably breach any anti-missile defenses.”

The Sarmat ICBM, the missile destined to begin replacing the R-36 liquid fuel ICBM in two to three years’ time, will be ready for its first flight tests sometime this year, having just completed pop-up tests.

Trials of the Poseidon nuclear submarine drone (formerly called “Status 6”) are also set to begin.

“Trials have been organized at the ranges of the Defense Ministry of Russia to confirm the dynamic characteristics of the apparatus [Poseidon] during launches in a real environment and to check the parameters of the apparatus’s movement along the route in autonomous mode,”

the Defense Ministry said.

The Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile is also being prepared for flight testing. According to the Defense Ministry,

“work on an unlimited-range missile is going according to plan. In the meantime, launching systems are also being designed, while technological processes to manufacture, assemble and test the missile are being improved. This range of work will make it possible to start designing a totally new sort of weapon—a strategic nuclear complex armed with a nuclear-powered missile.”

The last weapon on the list is the Peresvet laser system, which has been accepted into the Russian Aerospace Forces, but very little detail on this system is otherwise provided. The Peresvets are the first Russian combat complexes based on new physical principles.

See also: Russia’s new weapons, nuclear parity and arms race: What’s going on? Video.