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1 Mar, 2018 10:40

Russia's new hypersonic Sarmat ICBM has begun active testing – Putin (VIDEO)

Russia's new hypersonic Sarmat ICBM, which is capable of overcoming missile defense systems, has completed tests and is a "breakthrough" for the country's missile program, according to President Vladimir Putin.

The announcement was made during Putin's annual address to Russia's Federal Assembly, and was accompanied by a video showcasing the missile's capabilities. Sarmat is capable of outmanoeuvring modern missile defense systems, he said. 

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Putin told the Federal Assembly that Russia had begun working on ways to counter American anti-missile capabilities as early as 2004 – but that Washington had ignored Moscow's warnings. “You will listen to us now,” he said.

Capable of carrying a wide range of nuclear weapons, the Sarmat system has virtually no range limit and will be able to attack across both the South and North Poles, Putin said.

The Sarmat will replace the aging but reliable Soviet-era R-36M2 Voevoda (SS-18 Satan) ICBMs.

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Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that the new missile “can rip [US] air defenses apart," adding that "at the moment [the US defense shield] poses no serious military threat to us, except for provocations."