Published: Sat, March 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Russian Federation nuclear weapons boast irresponsible

Russian Federation nuclear weapons boast irresponsible

Putin stunned the West - and many in Russian Federation - on Thursday by using his state of the nation address to unveil a new arsenal of hypersonic weapons and submarines less than three weeks before an election is expected to extend his rule until 2024. Spokeswoman Dana White said that the Pentagon was "not surprised by (Putin's) statement, and the American people should rest assured that we are fully prepared".

Putin presented Russia's military efforts as a response to recent actions by the USA, which last month unveiled plans to revamp its nuclear arsenal and develop new low-yield atomic weapons.

He presented Russia's military efforts as a response to recent actions by the United States, which last month unveiled plans to revamp its nuclear arsenal and develop new low-yield atomic weapons.

Putin, who has dominated his country's political landscape for the last 18 years, said the technological advances meant that NATO's build-up on Russia's borders and the roll-out of a US anti-missile system would be rendered useless.

Both Russia and the US have been working to develop missiles that could travel at hypersonic speed, or more than five times the speed of sound.

His descriptions of Russia's new weapons were punctuated with videos, projected on a screen behind him, that were greeted by applause from the assembled lawmakers and top officials.

Geist said, ideally the Russians would carry the Status-6 in a submarine and park in the Arctic, where it would be hard for USA subs to find them. And in the USA, it was President Obama who set in motion a major modernisation of the nuclear triad - its air, land and sea-based nuclear systems.

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At the State Department, spokesman Heather Nauert noted the timing of Putin's speech - weeks ahead of the election.

Senior Australian military figures have told the ABC that Russia's new nuclear capabilities would be a "game changer" if Mr Putin's initial comments were accurate. It placed new emphasis on acquiring "usable" tactical or battlefield nuclear weapons that, unlike strategic systems, could hypothetically be used in actual or potential conflicts zones such as Syria or the Baltic republics.

Instead, the technology is aimed at what the United States views as "rogue" states, such as Iran or North Korea.

The first samples of a new generation cruise missile equipped with a nuclear power plant and of a missile carrying a glide vehicle will become available for the Russian armed forces within ten years to come, Bondarev stressed.

The Pentagon has not publicly talked about the nuclear-powered cruise missile mentioned by Putin. "But in this case, if it's a threat to the very existence of the Russian state", he said.

With less than three weeks to go before a presidential election that he is widely expected to win, Putin was appealing to the Russian electorate as well as an global audience.

Citing new threats in space, cyberspace, and from terrorism, the Trump review also proposed loosening the conditions under which the USA might go nuclear - for example, in response to a non-nuclear attack that caused mass casualties (such as the September 11 attacks).

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