Russia is renewing its long-range aviation fleet, in addition to developing new warplanes, will result in a significant strengthening of the air component of its nuclear triad, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said.
“This year, Tupolev PJSC performed a significant amount of work on the first and second stage of the Tu-95MS modernization, with the replacement of obsolete radio engineering and navigation equipment,” the minister said.
Thus, as part of long-range aviation, there is a “planned number of operational strategic bombers,” he explained.
The Defense Minister also gave the order to increase the number of warships armed with Kalibr and Zircon missiles.
“For the Navy, it is necessary to increase the number of ships in the far sea zone, including those carrying Kalibr cruise missiles and Zircon hypersonic missiles,” Shoigu said.
The nuclear triad is an armed force equipped with nuclear weapons, including strategic aviation, intercontinental missiles and nuclear submarines.
Russia’s long-range aircraft are now undergoing a deep modernization. In particular, the first advanced Tu-22M3M was transferred for flight testing, and the first modernized Tu-160M is under construction.
These aircraft will enhance the combat potential of the Russian Aerospace Forces until the development of a new, promising strategic bomber. Currently, Tupolev and other aviation companies are working on such designs.
Furthermore, Shoigu said that it is required “to expand the range of unmanned aerial vehicles, robotic systems and weapons based on new physical principles.”
Weapons based on new physical principles are weapons based on the creation of physical processes and phenomena not previously used in conventional weapons (cold, laser) or in weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical, bacteriological).
The term is conditional in nature, since in most cases known physical principles are used in New Physical Principles Weapons (NPPW) prototypes, and their use in weapons is new. Depending on the principle of action, the following types of NPPW are distinguished: laser, radio-frequency, beam, kinetic weapons, and others.
As for the Kalibr cruise missile and the Zircon hypersonic missile.
Currently, the Kalibr cruise missiles are one of the most effective weapons which the Russian navy’s submarines and warships are equipped with. This type of missile was widely used during the operation in Syria and proved its high tactical and technical characteristics.
After a successful application in Syria, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the Kalibr had undergone modernization.
In the future, along with the Kalibr, the Russian Navy will use Zircon hypersonic missiles, the creation of which was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin last year. The Zircon hypersonic ship-launched missile will have a speed of Mach 9 and a flight range of more than a thousand kilometers.
Both warships and submarines will be armed with the Zircon, for example the project 20385 Gremyashchiy-class corvette will possibly be equipped with the new weapon. The warship is currently in development and is to be commissioned in the Russian Northern Fleet.
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