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Putin calls for speeding up development of defense systems against hypersonic weapons

President Vladimir Putin reiterated that so far, only Russia possesses hypersonic weapons
Russian President Vladimir Putin Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS
Russian President Vladimir Putin
© Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS

SOCHI, May 13. /TASS/. Russia should develop defense systems against hypersonic weapons before such weapons are developed in other countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

"We know perfectly well that so far no one but us, Russia, has such weapons. But we also understand that the world’s leading countries will develop such weapons sooner or later," he said at a government meeting on the development of Russia’s defense sector.

"It would be better for us if they do it later. And what does ‘later’ mean for them? It means that we must develop means to protect ourselves from such weapons before hypersonic weapons are put on combat alert in the armies I have just mentioned," he stressed.

According to the Russian leader, the analysis of present-day armed conflicts proves that development of advanced missile defense systems is among the key priorities for Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces. "We must continue to equip the Aerospace Forces with the most advanced missile defense systems, including S-400 long-range systems and short-range systems," he added.

"One of the key tasks is to increase control over the airspace," Putin said. The Russian president reminded that a Konteyner over-the-horizon radar assumed combat duty in December 2018. The Konteyner radar provides long-distance airspace monitoring over most Western Europe and Middle East.