Russian President Vladimir Putin promises new weapons will outstrip Western defence technology

Putin wants ‘new weapons’ to defy west


RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has promised his military commanders a new array of weapons — from intercontinental nuclear missiles to aircraft and submarines — to counter what he calls ‘growing Western aggression’.

Mr Putin’s statement came as the military successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile launched from a nuclear submarine yesterday.\Putin accused the West of using the crisis in Ukraine to reinvigorate NATO, warning that Moscow will ponder a response to the alliance’s decision to create a rapid-reaction “spearhead” force to protect Eastern Europe.

His comments came as Russia’s relations with the West have plunged to their lowest point since the Cold War due to Russia’s role in the crisis in Ukraine. They appear to show that the Russian leader is determined to pursue a tough course in the face of more Western sanctions.

“We have warned many times that we would have to take corresponding countermeasures to ensure our security,” Putin said, adding that he would now take personal charge of the government commission overseeing military industries.

He said Russia’s weapons modernisation program for 2016-2025 should focus on building a new array of offensive weapons to provide a “guaranteed nuclear deterrent;” rearming strategic and long-range aviation; creating an aerospace defence system and developing high-precision conventional weapons.

Among the new arsenal are:

Sukhoi PAK FA T-50 Fighter Jets: Intended to be Russia’s new frontline fighter, the prototype of the T-50 first flew in 2010. It is intended to be the match for the US F-22 “Raptor”, with stealth characteristics and engines capable of “supercruise” — high speed and high fuel economy.

Anti Ballistic-Missile System: Currently under development, the S-500 missile is intended to be capable of intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles when combined with radar input from the likes of the new A-100 AWACS aircraft. It is supposed to be able to track and shoot at up to 10 supersonic targets at any one time at heights of up to 40km.

Talking about potential threats, the Russian president specifically pointed at the US missile defence program and Washington’s plans to develop new “hypervelocity” conventional weapons that could strike targets anywhere in the world in as little as an hour with deadly precision.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of weapons industries, told reporters after the meeting that Russia will respond to the US challenge by developing its strategic nuclear forces and aerospace defences.

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