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Putin ramps up war chest with terrifying new hypersonic missiles

Chinese missiles: 'We should be concerned' says US General

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Speaking at a defence industry meeting on Wednesday, Putin said the Russian Navy will start receiving the weapons from next year, Tass news agency reports. “The trials of the Tsirkon seaborne hypersonic cruise missile are coming to a close,” Putin said.

He added that during trials targets on both land and at sea were struck accurately from underwater and from surface ships.

“Already from next year, these missiles will start arriving for service in the Russian Navy,” Putin said.

He hailed the trials for “perfectly” confirming the unique properties of Peresvet laser weapons, Avangard and Kinzhal hypersonic systems.

The Russian leader urged weapons manufacturers to develop the technologies needed to create new hypersonic weapon systems,
enhanced power lasers and robotic platforms capable of fending off potential military threats.

“And this means that they will further bolster our country’s security,” Putin said.

Reuters reports that Moscow’s move is part of a bid to forge ahead in a race to deploy the next generation of long-range weapons, which are harder to detect and intercept.

Hypersonic missiles fly at more than five times the speed of sound and are the focus of a growing arms race between the US, Russia and China.

A former Marine Corps General warned last month that the US should be very concerned over China’s proven ability to fire a hypersonic missile capable of circling the globe.

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Retired general Arnold Punaro told Fox News the launch of the advanced missile had the potential to weaponise space.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg addressed NATO’s annual Nuclear Policy Symposium on Wednesday, saying the Alliance is adapting to a more challenging security environment and responding to growing nuclear threats.

“We do this by keeping our nuclear deterrence strong, but we must continue to adapt and enhance the credibility and effectiveness of our nuclear capabilities,” he said.

Mr Stoltenberg added that NATO continues to play its part in support of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation efforts. He added that NATO’s aim is a world free of nuclear weapons, but as long as they exist NATO will remain a nuclear alliance.

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In October, he criticised Russia’s “aggressive posturing” and military build-up while visiting the Berga Naval Base.

Russia last month said it had successfully test-launched a Zircon missile from a submarine for the first time.

North Korea tested a hypersonic missile in September despite leader Kim Jong-un not showing up to the launch, according to state media reports.

Some experts in the West have questioned how advanced Russia’s new generation of weapons is while recognising that the combined speed, manoeuvrability and altitude of hypersonic missiles makes them difficult to track and intercept.

Travelling in the upper atmosphere, the missiles can carry nuclear warheads but are slower than an intercontinental ballistic missile. However, their shape allows them to manoeuvre towards a target or swerve away from defences.

They are launched into space on a rocket and orbit the earth under their own steam.

Last month the US Department of Defense said it wanted contractors to cut the cost of hypersonic weapons, Reuters reports.

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said in October: “I definitely think the West needs to wake up to the consequences of Chinese and Russian missile development.

“They are potent.”

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