Russian President Vladimir Putin has in fresh statements revealed the status of Russia's hypersonic and nuclear-capable arsenal within the context of the Ukraine war.
In early May, Ukraine's military claimed to have intercepted Russian ballistic missiles for the first time in the conflict, using a US-made anti-air defense system. The Kremlin rejected the claims, but did confirm it had been using hypersonic missiles within specific or limited operations and long-range launches.
Putin said Wednesday, as translated in TASS: "About half of the units of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force have been equipped with the latest Yars missile systems and are being rearmed with modern Avangard warheads."
He was speaking at an event honoring graduates of military academies and stressed the "unconditional priority" of missile readiness.
The Russian president continued:
"In light of the new challenges and invaluable experience of the special military operation we will continue to improve the Armed Forces in every possible way," he said, adding that the most important task here was to develop the nuclear triad as the key guarantee of Russia's military security and global stability.
Putin also announced that new Sarmat missile launchers would enter duty soon.
"In the near future, the first launchers of the Sarmat complex with a new heavy missile will be put on combat duty," he said.
"The arsenals of aviation and naval components of strategic nuclear forces are being replenished in strict accordance with the timetable," he emphasized. "Russia’s nuclear triad allows for effective and guaranteed strategic deterrence and maintains the global balance of power," Putin concluded.
As for the feared Sarmat, which is Russia's new super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), state media has also continued touting it will soon be deployed.
🇷🇺 Putin announces new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) will soon be ready for deployment.— dana (@dana916) June 21, 2023
Sarmat ICBM weighs 100 tonnes (for comparison, the US-made LGM-30 Minuteman is 35 tonnes) with a range of 18,000km (11184 mi)
This allows it to carry around 15 warheads,… pic.twitter.com/UpWFbylKJF
The ultra-large Sarmat missile has been dubbed in the West as the 'Satan II' - which is nuclear capable. In February of this year there were reports the Russian military tested the weapon, but the test may have failed.