Russia will continue to modernize nuclear arsenal – Putin
Russia’s nuclear arsenal is the key guarantor of its sovereignty, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, pledging that new weapons would soon enter into service. Putin made the statement in a speech during a meeting with the country’s senior defense officials.
The nuclear triad comprises missiles fired from aircraft, submarines, and ground-based mobile launchers and silos.
“We will continue to maintain and improve the combat-readiness of our nuclear triad. This is the main guarantee for preserving our sovereignty and territorial integrity, strategic parity, and the general balance of power in the world,” Putin said.
The president added that “the share of modern types of weapons in [Russia’s] strategic nuclear forces has exceeded 91% this year.”
Putin stated that the Sarmat silo-based intercontinental ballistic missile will enter service “in the nearest future.” The missile can travel 18,000km (11,184 miles).
Putin also said that the Northern Fleet's frigate ‘Admiral Gorshkov’ will be equipped with Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missiles in early January. Launched in 2010, the frigate is among Russia’s largest ships. Testing of the Zircon aboard the ‘Admiral Gorshkov’ was completed in June, according to the Defense Ministry.
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at the same meeting that the first Tu-160M, the upgraded version of the Tu-160 nuclear-capable bomber, has joined the Air Force.
Western and Ukrainian officials have accused Putin of making nuclear threats after he vowed to “use all means at our disposal” to defend Russia. Under Russia’s official nuclear doctrine, which was revised in 2020, Moscow would use atomic weapons in response to an attack with weapons of mass destruction or when there is “a threat to the existence of the state as a whole.”
Putin reiterated this month that Moscow would only use nuclear weapons in response to an attack.