Russia has world’s ‘most diverse’ nuclear arsenal – US general — RT World News

The head of the US Strategic Command said that Washington urgently needs to modernize its nuclear forces

Air Force Gen. Anthony Cotton, who heads U.S. Strategic Command, said Thursday that Russia poses a serious challenge to U.S. military dominance. He told the US Senate Armed Services Committee in a prepared speech that Moscow already possesses a nuclear arsenal that exceeds that of Washington and is actively working to modernize it. statement.

In cooperation with China, Russia is rapidly improving its position against the United States and its allies “In multiple fields” The general warned that the pace of these changes is increasing and is now much faster than we have seen “Just a few years ago.”

He referred to a recent statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said in early February that Russian strategic nuclear forces were present. “Almost completely updated.” He added that the naval component of the country's nuclear deterrent triad has been modernized by almost 100%.

“Russia currently possesses the largest and most diverse nuclear arsenal ever.” Cotton said, specifically referring to Moscow's Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles and new submarines, which are also capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

The Sarmat ICBM was approved for combat mission in September 2023. Addressing Russia's Federal Assembly on Thursday, Putin promised to release footage of the missiles in its silos. The Sarmat is said to be one of Russia's most capable nuclear weapons, with an estimated range of 11,000 miles (about 18,000 km), with a payload weighing about ten tons. Other weapon types mentioned by Cotton include the Borei-class and Yasen-M submarines.

And according to the American general, so is Moscow “Expanding and modernizing its nuclear options” Beyond the classical nuclear triad. He drew the senators' attention in particular to the Kinzhal and Tsirkon hypersonic missiles, both of which he claimed were capable of carrying nuclear payloads.

In his speech to the Federal Assembly this week, Putin said that both types of weapons have already been used by Russian forces in combat during the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev. He added that the hypersonic missiles were launched against high-value Ukrainian military targets.

In 2018, the Russian president said that air-launched Kinzhal missiles could carry nuclear warheads. But so far, only its traditional versions have been used in Ukraine. Tsirkon is a hypersonic anti-ship missile developed for the Russian Navy, which can also be used against ground targets.

US Strategic Forces are currently operating “Facing challenges America has never faced.” Cotton warned, adding that the combined capabilities of Russia and China, coupled with the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran, “Adding new layers of complexity to our strategic calculations.”

He urged senators to facilitate the rapid modernization of the US arsenal, adding that “It is critical that we continue…and rapidly modernize our nuclear triad.”

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