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Putin: New weapons will maintain Russia’s might for decades

May 15, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to a group of workers after driving to officially open the much-anticipated bridge linking Russia and the Crimean peninsula the opening ceremony near in Kerch, Crimea, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Putin has taken the wheel of a truck to officially open the much-anticipated bridge linking Russia's south and the Crimean peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. (Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s new weapons, including an array of new nuclear systems, will ensure the country’s security for decades to come, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday at a meeting with top military brass.

Speaking in Sochi, Putin said the new systems unveiled this year will significantly increase Russia’s military capabilities and “ensure a strategic balance for decades.”

The Russian leader presented an array of new nuclear weapons in March that he said can’t be intercepted. They include a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile; a nuclear-powered global range cruise missile; and an underwater drone designed to strike coastal facilities with a heavy nuclear weapon.

Putin said at Tuesday’s meeting that the development of the weapons would remain a high priority.

He also mentioned other weapons systems, including the prospective S-500 air defense system that is meant to be precise and powerful enough to hit targets in space.

Putin said the strategic nuclear forces should receive new batches of Yars intercontinental ballistic missiles to replace the older Topol ICBMs. Also in the pipeline are modernized Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic bombers equipped with long-range cruise missiles and the new Borei-class nuclear submarines armed with ICBMs.

The navy, Putin said, will commission more warships armed with Kalibr cruise missiles that the military tested during the war in Syria.

The Russian president said the army will receive a range of new armored vehicles, including the new Armata main battle tanks.

The Kremlin has made military modernization a top priority as Russia-West ties plummeted to post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria and other disputes.

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