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President Putin’s State of the Nation address included the following segment, in which he detailed the prioritization of excellence in military education and also a rundown of the weapons systems in development and (mostly) already deployed in Russia.
Among these the Avangard, Tsirkon and Kinzhal hypersonic missiles systems, weapons with speeds as high as Mach 20 (about four miles per second) in the atmosphere, and maneuverable at these speeds. The Sarmat ICBM, capable of hitting any target on the planet, and not restricted to trajectory paths over the North Pole, is to be in operation by late 2022. Still in development are the fearsome Poseidon underwater weapons delivery platform and the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile, boasting unlimited range – this device could literally fly for six months in circles over the remote Pacific before being directed at its target anywhere in the world.
Russia’s defenses are based on the concept of real defense, and while any military force should and does have offensive capability, the Russian super weapons described here are designed to create such a crushing response that no one would want to attack Russia and risk it. The Poseidon underwater system could, for example, deliver a 100 MT (megaton) nuclear warhead offshore of the American East Coast, and generate a tsunami capable of wiping out every city on the Eastern Seaboard.
In other words, Russia is not messing around. All the same, this fearsome capability is designed with the same notion that the nuclear arms buildup had – create something so fearsome and so hideously destructive that no one would dare provoke a response by attacking Russia.