The Russian army will soon receive a completely new kind of weapon which utilizes laser and hypersonic technology, said Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, as cited by TASS.
“In the near future, the army and the fleet will receive a completely new, unprecedented type of weapon, based on hypersonic and laser energy technology,” the minister said during a scientific conference attended by Russia’s military leaders.
He claimed that the first prototypes of the new weapon have already been delivered for trial use, but did not provide any specifics.
This is not the first time that the Russian government has talked about laser and hypersonic weapons being developed for the armed forces.
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about “Peresvet” laser systems in March 2018 during his address to the Federal Assembly. At the time, he said that the systems would become operational in December 2018. Putin also mentioned the development of the “Sarmat” intercontinental strategic missile, a nuclear-powered cruise missile, and underwater drones. The president also unveiled the new “Tsirkon” hypersonic missile, which supposedly has a top speed of Mach 10 and a range greater than 1,000 km.
The defense minister later described these weapons as “unattainably effective”.
Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov later claimed that the first laser systems capable of destroying targets had been adopted into Russia’s armament in 2017.
According to the Russian president, it is precisely the laser weapons which will determine the Russian army and navy’s potential for “virtually the entire 21st century”.
In April 2019, Putin announced that “Kinzhal” hypersonic aerial missile systems were ready for use.
At the end of 2018, Colonel General Sergey Karakaev, commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces, said that rearmament of the forces with Sarmat missile systems would begin in 2021, and that the Dombarov division would receive the first prototypes of the hypersonic “Avant-garde” missile system in 2019.