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07:33 AM, May 14, 2019
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Russia Should Pioneer Hypersonic Weapon Defense Tech: Putin
3K-22 missile with Tsirkon 3M22 hypersonic warhead (image: TASS)

Russia must develop defense systems against hypersonic weapons before the “world’s leading countries” successfully develop the weapons, President of Russia, Vladimir Putin said Monday.

"So far only Russia has hypersonic weapons. But we also understand that the world’s leading countries will develop such weapons sooner or later," he said at a government meeting on the development of Russia’s defense sector, reports TASS.

"It means that we must develop means to protect ourselves from hypersonic weapons, before they are put on combat alert in the armies I have just mentioned," he stressed.

Putin officially unveiled the development of a nuclear-capable hypersonic arsenal in March 2018, when he devoted his annual State of the Nation address to showing off such weapons as the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile and the Avangard boost glide vehicle, a device that Russia planned to fit to its new RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, nicknamed "Satan 2" by the West, reports Newsweek.

Another submarine-launched hypersonic missile called 3M22 Tsirkon was confirmed by Putin in March of this year. Russia has also been developing new frigates capable of carrying a good number of hypersonic missiles.

All of these weapons have undergone various rounds of testing, and the Kinzhal was said to have already entered service with a number of Mikoyan MiG-31K interceptor and attack aircraft.

The president also said that since the US has decided to opt out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) in February, it is all the more important for Russia to develop active defences.

The INF Treaty was signed by the Soviet Union and the US in 1987, banning all nuclear-armed ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles that operate at ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometres.

Washington claims that Moscow violated some of the accord's provisions by testing the “Novator 9M729” ground-launched cruise missile. The range of the missile is estimated to be 2,500 kilometres.

According to a report by Sputnik, Russia invited the US to a demonstration of the missile in question to show that it's in full compliance with the INF Treaty, but the event was never attended by US representatives.

 

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