Russia, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, marching soldiers Preobrazhensky Regiment 2020 [880]

Putin: Russia is Winning the Arms Race

Hypersonics and the Russian Wunderwaffe Highlighted in Putin’s Speech

Russian President Vladimir Putin attended an annual meeting of the Defense Ministry Board, Monday. Two features arose from both his speech and that of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Firstly, Russian officials believe that updated weapons in the army are necessary to ensure the security of Russia as the country sees threats from the outside. By saying so, and secondly, they meant the United States and NATO. Putin’s words in this matter fitted into his sharp anti-Western rhetoric at the recent annual press conference.

According to Putin: “The world’s leading armies are spending enormous resources that do not compare with ours on ensuring their supremacy.” Therefore, he stated that Russia cannot slow down in this arms race, where each falloff leads to a bigger advantage for its rivals.

The Russian Wunderwaffe

Putin added Russia could not give the edge to anyone in this respect, arguing that his nation is gaining an advantage over others. “I proudly repeat: we have developed weapons that the world does not possess, primarily, of course, hypersonic arms,” the president added, yet again broaching the topic of nuclear weapon that Russian propaganda has named as “Russian Wunderwaffe.”

Putin said he had ordered to boost the level of modern weapons in the country’s armed forces to 75.9 percent by 2024. The things already look very good in some forces, he added. The share of advanced types of armament and military hardware in the Russian troops equals already over 70 percent in general-purpose forces and 86 percent in nuclear forces, according to the Russian leader.

Russia’s Nuclear Deterrent

Putin also stressed that the nuclear triad had reached the level that allowed guaranteeing Russia’s security. The president mentioned the Avangard strategic missile system tipped with a hypersonic cruising warhead among other prospective weapon systems Russia has at its disposal. These would be carried by the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) to replace the Voyevoda ICBMs currently in use (NATO designation: SS-18 Satan).

Shoigu went into more detail about Russia’s nuclear programme:

Our nuclear triad is maintained at a level that warrants strategic deterrence. 95% of the Strategic Missile Forces launchers are in constant readiness.

Long-range aviation successfully solves the tasks of air patrol. This year, 50 flights of strategic missile carriers have been carried out along the established routes.

Nuclear-powered missile submarines carry out scheduled combat service in designated areas of the world’s oceans.

The high combat readiness of the strategic nuclear forces is ensured by the unprecedented level of modernity, brought to 86%.

Three missile regiments of Strategic Missile Forces have been re-equipped with modern Yars missile systems.

Rearmament of the 1st missile regiment with Avangard complex with hypersonic gliding systems continues.

Five modernized missile carriers have entered strategic aviation nuclear forces.

The lead nuclear-powered submarine of the Borei-A project, Knyaz Vladimir, armed with Bulava ballistic missiles with a modern complex of means of overcoming antimissile defence, entered the Russian Navy.

A modern infrastructure has been created for the Yars and Avangard missile systems. This year, more than 950 buildings and structures were built in the interests of the Strategic Missile Forces.

Russian Land Forces

Russia’s Land Forces received more than 3,500 new and modernized weapons, including 220 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, over 1,500 wheeled vehicles.

In addition to equipment procurement, a new motorized rifle division, and missile and artillery brigades have been formed.

Russian Aerospace Forces

Russian Aerospace Forces have formed 13 military units, including a military transport aviation regiment and an anti-aircraft missile regiment.

147 aircraft were supplied, with more than 150 pieces of air defence equipment, including 4 S-400 anti-aircraft missile complexes and 24 Pantsir-S combat vehicles.

The Aerospace Forces began to receive the first modern complexes with reconnaissance and strike unmanned aerial vehicles of medium-range “Inokhodec” and “Forpost”.

Shoidu also reported that the fourth Kupol spacecraft was launched in May this year, completing the second stage of deployment of the USS orbital constellation.

The launch complex for the Soyuz-2 missiles and the assembly and test complex for heavy launch vehicles were reconstructed.

The test launch of the Angara-A5 missile with a mass and size model of the spacecraft was completed successfully.

Russian Navy

The Russian Navy received 2 new submarines, 7 surface ships and 10 combat boats, and 10 ships and support boats.

Coastal missile systems Bal and Bastion this year reached the figure of 74% of the planned deployment.

The Russian Navy also created a motorized rifle division and a coastal missile brigade.

Currently, 16 surface ships of the far-sea zone are under construction and 19 are under modernization for another 6 state contracts will be signed next year.

The total number of newly built and modernized warships of the far-sea zone is projected to be 41.

Russian Military and the Coronavirus

As part of the assistance to the Russian population, specialists of the military construction complex have built 30 multifunctional medical centres with a total area of more than two hundred thousand square meters in 23 regions of the country in 9 months. They are equipped with the most modern equipment.

Due to the measures taken, the incidence rate of coronavirus in the Armed Forces per 100 thousand people is 37% lower than in the country.

To do this, the number of PCR laboratories has been increased two and a half times and the number of tests per day has been increased seven times since April. This closed the need for testing of military personnel and civilian personnel of the Armed Forces.

More than 8,000 beds have been deployed in military hospitals for inpatient treatment, half of which are used in the interests of the population. Since the beginning of the pandemic, medical care has been provided to more than 13,000 civilian patients.

In addition, about 5,000 veterans, as well as large families of military personnel and those who lost their breadwinner, received social support measures.

For the purpose of early diagnosis of coronavirus, the number of tomographs has been increased by 8 times, which allows conducting studies on the day of treatment without failures and queues.

A strict quarantine has been introduced in military educational institutions. Educational organizations work in a planned mode using an electronic learning environment. Thanks to this, the training was not interrupted.

The Russian Armed Forces are actively conducting mass vaccination and the 48th central research institute of the Russian NBCP troops took part in the development of the Sputnik V vaccine.­

US Seen As Increasing Its Threat Stance

During the meeting, Sergei Shoigu said that there has been an increase by 15 percent in the intensity of U.S. surveillance activities near the Russian border. “NATO sees Russia as the main threat to their military build-up on our borders,” Russian top defense official added.

Shoigu noted that the United States began relocating combat units from Germany to Poland and the Baltic States, withincreasing intensity of reconnaissance and demonstrative actions of US aircraft and ships near Russian borders.

The advanced presence of USships in the Arctic region is being increased.

NATO exercises, conducted simultaneously at the western, southern and eastern borders of Russia, have become systemic.

In August-September alone, 55 combat aircraft took part in them, including strategic bombers and 12 high-precision weapons carriers.

Shoigu stated that the Russian military has closely monitored these exercises and taken counter-measures.


Sources: Warsaw Institute, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.

Image: Parade of the Preobrazhensky Regiment of the Russian Armed Forces (Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, 2020)

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