Moscow is leading the rest of the world in the development of advanced weapons of war, surpassing Washington, Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed, arguing that his country is out in first place in a new arms race.
In a new documentary film, ‘Recent History’, which aired on Russian TV on Sunday, Putin remarked that Russia has approximate nuclear “parity with the United States both in carriers and in the number of warheads, but still, in our promising developments, we are undoubtedly the leaders.”
“We are not just modernizing the capabilities we traditionally have in weapons, we are introducing new systems,” the president continued. While he acknowledged that other states will one day possess the same armaments that his country has, Moscow “will likely have the means to counter” them at that stage.
Putin’s remarks come after Russia announced that it had developed hypersonic weapons with a maximum speed of Mach 9. Speaking at a forum late last month, Putin said the development of high-speed missiles was a “necessary” response to “Western actions.”
Just one day prior, Moscow’s Ministry of Defense said that a Russian warship had carried out a test-fire of the state-of-the art Zircon missile, which travels nine times the speed of sound, or 10,000kph, as part of exercises off the Arctic Ocean. It is the world’s first hypersonic cruise missile, capable of continuous aerodynamic flight while maneuvering in the atmosphere using the thrust of its own engine.
In November, Putin confirmed that the missiles are nearing completion and will be delivered to the navy in 2022, stating that “now, it is especially important to develop and implement the technologies necessary to create new hypersonic weapons systems, high-powered lasers and robotic systems that will be able to effectively counter potential military threats, which means they will further strengthen the security of our country.”