Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed that the Russian navy will be armed with hypersonic nuclear strike weapons and underwater nuclear drones, which are currently in the final phase of testing, according to reports.
Speaking at the annual naval parade to showcase Russia’s best ships, Putin laid out a plan to expand the navy’s capabilities, including 40 new vessels this year in addition to new technology and weapons, Reuters reported. The parade already included 46 vessels and more than 4,000 troops.
While he claimed that he did not want to see an arms race, Putin said on Friday that the parade demonstrates “the growing power of our navy,” according to DW. Similar parades took place in Vladivostok, Sevastopol in annexed Crimea, and several port towns in the south of Russia.
“The widespread deployment of advanced digital technologies that have no equals in the world, including hypersonic strike systems and underwater drones, will give the fleet unique advantages and increased combat capabilities,” Putin said.
The new weapons include the Poseidon underwater nuclear drone, intended for underwater vessels, and the Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile, which can be deployed on surface vessels, Reuters reported.
In separate statements released via Russian news agencies, the defense ministry claimed it was testing the Belgorod, the first submarine capable of carrying the Poseidon drones.
“Work is being successfully completed to create modern weapons systems for the Navy,” the statement read.
Hypersonic weapons would see missiles traveling up to five times the speed of sound, which would be difficult to track or intercept. While the United States does not deploy such weapons in Europe, Reuters claimed that Russia is worried that the U.S. might plan to do so in the future.