Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Russia's new laser weapon systems enter into service

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would no longer be bound by the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty unless Moscow withdraws a new system that has threatened to trigger an arms race Putin's new laser to fend off missiles | World
Jeannette Daniel | 08 December, 2018, 22:00

In October, President Donald Trump declared the United States would pull out of the treaty and build up America's nuclear stockpile "until people come to their senses".

"We strongly support the finding of the United States that Russian Federation is in material breach of its obligations under the INF Treaty".

"There are no new USA missiles in Europe, but there are new Russian missiles, SSC-8, they are mobile, they are hard to detect, they are nuclear capable", he stated.

A joint statement from NATO foreign ministers said: "Allies have concluded that Russian Federation has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security".

Mr Pompeo said the missiles pose a threat to peace on the continent.

Over the past five years, the USA has raised its concerns over the SSC-8 at least 30 times with Russian Federation "to the highest levels of leadership", Pompeo said, only to be met with denials, obfuscation and spurious counter-claims.

But Mr Putin says the accusation is a pretext for the United States to leave the pact.

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The NATO chief said the alliance is also preparing a contingency plan in case the Kremlin fails to comply and the US pulls out of the accord.

"What's our response? It's simple - in that case we will also do this".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would no longer be bound by the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty unless Moscow withdraws a new system that has threatened to trigger an arms race.

USA news reports in August, citing US intelligence, said the nuclear-powered missile had crashed in a test flight in the Barents Sea, and Russian searchers were trying to recover it.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Russia's Defense Ministry claimed it has deployed laser weapons, including the Peresvet laser, which while most of its capabilities remain secret is believe by military experts to be capable of disrupting "drones, missiles and aircraft".

The new weapons, including the Peresvet laser, were unveiled at Mr Putin's annual address in March.

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