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Putin hails Russian military advancements, says new ICBM almost final

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Federal Security Service Director General of the Army Alexander Bortnikov during a greetings ceremony to senior officers and prosecutors at the Kremlin in Moscow on April 11, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile is in its final testing phase, hailing the amount of work the Russian military has put into developing advanced weapons.

Speaking at a meeting with senior officers and prosecutors on the occasion of their promotion on Thursday, Putin commended the "large-scale systematic work that has been conducted in recent years to comprehensively develop the army and provide advanced military hardware for the armed forces."

He noted that "the final tests of the Sarmat missile are proceeding successfully and the Kinzhal system and Peresvet laser system have entered combat duty."

Sarmat is touted to have virtually no range limit. The missile is planned to replace the Soviet-era Voevoda and is able to carry massive payloads across the North or the South pole to anywhere on the planet.

The missile was featured for the first time in Putin's annual address to the Federal Assembly in early March 2018, where he showcased the missile system as the centerpiece of Russia's renewed and super advanced weapons.

Back then, Putin also unveiled nuclear submarine drones, cruise missiles and a ground-based combat laser weapon.

Kinzhal, or Dagger, is a hypersonic air-to-surface missile which was first tested last March.

Kinzhal can reportedly reach speeds of around 11,000 km/h (7000 mph) and travel a distance of 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles). The missile is intended to destroy surface and waterborne targets.

Putin also talked about the Avangard hypersonic system, the first testing of which he personally oversaw in late December.

"The missile system Avangard with a hypersonic glide vehicle will considerably enhance the ICBM potential," Putin said.

During the test, the Avangard was launched from the Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Ural and successfully struck its intended target on the Kura shooting range on Kamchatka, some 6,000 kilometers away.

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