Russia is spending far less on defense and more efficiently, having developed a series of advanced weapons that rivals are struggling to copy, President Vladimir Putin said teasing a ground-launched hypersonic missile.
The Soviet Union was always catching up to the US, when it came to the atomic bomb, the strategic aviation or the first intercontinental missiles, Putin recalled on Tuesday, during the meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry Board.
Today, we have a unique situation in our new and recent history – they are trying to catch up with us.
The president noted that “not a single country possesses hypersonic weapons, let alone continental-range hypersonic weapons,” but the Russian military is already equipped with Kinzhal air-launched missiles, while Avangard hypersonic gliders are currently being introduced in service.
Kalibr cruise missiles and Peresvet combat laser also recently boosted the capabilities of the Russian military, while the development of other state-of-the-art weapon systems such as the Sarmat ICBM, Poseidon long-range underwater drone, and the nuclear-powered Burevestnik cruise missile is “going according to plan.”
Putin also slipped in a revelation that work was underway on the ground-launched version of the Zircon hypersonic missile, previously only intended to be placed on surface ships.
Zircon is said to be virtually invisible to radar, due to the plasma cloud that appears around the projectile as it reaches the whopping speed of Mach 9, or around 10,000 kilometers per hour. The missile is capable of hitting targets at a range of over 1,000km.
Russia ranks only sixth in the world in terms of gross military spending – behind the US, China, Saudi Arabia, UK, France and Japan – but the country “must and will remain ahead of the others,” in terms of advanced technology, the president vowed. This will be achieved through “brains, intellect, better organization of work [and] minimization of theft and sloppiness.
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