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Russia: Putin says Russian Navy to get hypersonic nuclear strike weapons

St. Petersburg:  Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday, July 26 the country's navy would be armed with hypersonic nuclear strike weapons and underwater nuclear drones, which the defense ministry said were in their final phase of testing.

Putin, who says he does not want an arms race, has often spoken of a new generation of Russian nuclear weapons that he says are unequaled and can hit almost anywhere in the world. Some Western experts have questioned how advanced they are. The weapons, some of which have yet to be deployed, include the Poseidon underwater nuclear drone, designed to be carried by submarines, and the Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile, which can be deployed on surface ships.

The combination of speed, maneuverability and altitude of hypersonic missiles, capable of traveling at more than five times the speed of sound, makes them difficult to track and intercept. Speaking in St Petersburg at an annual naval parade that showcases Russia's best ships, nuclear submarines and naval aviation, Putin said the navy's capabilities were growing and it would get 40 new vessels this year. He did not specify when it would receive new hypersonic weapons, but suggested that day was drawing closer.

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