Putin unveils Russia's next-gen weapons

MOSCOW • Three days after Russian President Vladimir Putin's meeting with his American counterpart Donald Trump, when the leaders announced no developments in talks on a pair of nuclear arms treaties, the Defence Ministry in Moscow released the first footage meant to suggest it was making progress in building up a new arsenal.

Unveiling the weapons during his annual address, Mr Putin described them as Russia's response to the US decision in 2002 to pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and develop its global defence shield.

The videos, published on the ministry's Facebook page on Thursday, showed a Russian MiG-31 fighter jet taking off from an airfield carrying the new Kinjal hypersonic missile and then launching it while airborne.

MiG-31 jets which patrol the Caspian Sea have been armed with the Kinjal since April, the Interfax news agency reported.

The ministry also said that it was preparing to conduct flight tests of a new nuclear-powered cruise missile, the Burevestnik or Storm Petrel.

Other clips included what the ministry said was a launch test of the Avangard intercontinental hypersonic missile and showed weapons including the new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, the air-to-surface "Dagger" missile and a laser system called Peresvet, which was described as already in service.

One of the new videos purported to demonstrate a submarine drone in an assembly plant. Known as Poseidon, it is said to be capable of attacking ships or coastal cities.

BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2018, with the headline 'Putin unveils Russia's next-gen weapons'. Print Edition | Subscribe