Hypersonic armament will accelerate growth of Russian nuclear arsenals

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MOSCOW – The current treaties do not foresee limits to the deployment of hypersonic missiles, which will instigate the growth of nuclear arsenals, said General Viktor Esin.

Retired Colonel-General Viktor Esin, former Chief of Staff of Strategic Missile Troops, shared his view on the current situation of hypersonic weaponry on the sidelines of the conference of the Luxembourg International Forum for the Prevention of Nuclear Disasters.

“The unlimited deployment of long-range, high-precision hypersonic weapon systems has a destructive role in relation to strategic stability,” he says.

According to Viktor Esin, such a situation could lead to the devaluation of nuclear deterrence potential. For this reason, the nuclear powers would need to increase their nuclear arsenals.

The unlimited deployment of hypersonic weapon systems makes it impossible to limit and reduce nuclear weapons, the analyst says.

“Today, it is impossible to speak of concrete deadlines, since the work on the [Burevestnik hypersonic missile] began only recently,” said Viktor Esin, commenting on the commissioning of the new Russian hypersonic missile Burevestnik.

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The Russian military has said that the stealth cruise missile flying at low altitude is invulnerable to all existing anti-missile and anti-missile defense systems.

Another participant at the Luxembourg International Forum, Robert Legvold, honorary professor at Columbia University (New York), said that the most tragic consequence of the current situation is that it opens the way for the nuclear arms race.

Burevestnik is an intercontinental cruise missile with an almost unlimited radius of action due to its nuclear engine, which can be armed with a nuclear warhead.

The comments come as Russian Strategic Missile Forces have begun to receive the Avangard systems, said the commander of that weapon.

The first deliveries of Avangard missiles began with deliveries to Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces, said the commander of the weapon, Sergei Karasev.

According to him, in the Yasnensk missile cluster, which is located in the Orenburg region, the appropriate military infrastructure has been deployed to receive an Avangard missile regiment. It is scheduled to enter the service by the end of the year.

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