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24 Oct, 2023 12:42

Russia stole ‘super-duper missile’ plans from US – Trump

Moscow says it has multiple fine weapons of its own, but cannot say whether they fit Trump’s description
Russia stole ‘super-duper missile’ plans from US – Trump

Donald Trump has claimed that Russia made a technological breakthrough after stealing ‘super-duper’ missile plans from the US during the presidency of Barack Obama. Moscow has dismissed the allegation.

The former US president made the suggestion during an election rally in New Hampshire on Monday, when he pledged to beef up American strategic defensive and offensive capabilities if he is returned to the White House next year.

“Under my leadership, we will once again protect our own people with our own missile defense system capable of blasting China, Russia, Iranian missiles out of the sky. And we will in addition have offensive weapons that will be second to none,” he said.

“You know, Russia stole the super, we call them the super-dupers, right? They go super fast. They stole that during the Obama administration,” Trump added. “They stole the plans and they built it.”

Asked about the remarks on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was capable of developing advanced weapon systems on its own, and had several that no other nations could replicate. He added that he was not in a position to say whether they qualified as “‘super-duper,’ in Mr. Trump’s terms.”

Trump made similar claims about Russia in 2021, when he discussed a Chinese test of a hypersonic glider – a type of weapon that can travel at a very high speed in the atmosphere before hitting its target.

Two tests by Beijing stood out that year because they involved the deployment of the gliders from a spacecraft traveling in low Earth orbit, rather than from a suborbital missile, according to US officials. Western media reported that the development had come as a surprise to Washington, which perceived it as a major breakthrough in China’s capacity to deliver nuclear strikes globally.

“You know, somebody gave them, during the Obama administration, everything we had on hypersonic,” Trump claimed in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt at the time. “What happened is Russia got it, and China got it, perhaps from Russia.”

Moscow has in its arsenal a hypersonic glider called Avangard, which reportedly can be deployed from an intercontinental ballistic missile. According to the Kremlin, the weapon was developed in response to the US decision to build a national anti-ballistic missile system, which was taken under President George W. Bush.

Washington withdrew from a treaty with Moscow to pursue these plans. It turned out to be the first of many steps on the way to dismantling Cold War-era security architecture, which was designed to reduce tensions between the US and the USSR, and mitigate the risk of a nuclear exchange.