This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has unveiled a new laser weapons system, the latest in a series of advanced offensive systems that the Kremlin has pledged to pursue.
A video published on the ministry’s Twitter feed on December 5 showed the new Peresvet system being moved out of a hangar and put on display.
#Видео Уникальные кадры заступления на опытно-боевое дежурство новейших лазерных комплексов #Пересвет, первые образцы которых начали поступать в войска еще в прошлом году https://t.co/zvTewxtJNf #Лазеры #ЛазерныеКомплексы #ВВСТ #БоеваяПодготовка pic.twitter.com/cuX6XThE8o
— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) December 5, 2018
During his state of the nation address on March 1, President Vladimir Putin showcased a series of advanced weapons that he said the country’s military was developing.
That included the laser system, as well as an underwater nuclear-powered drone and a nuclear-powered cruise missile.
“We have achieved significant progress in laser weapons,” Putin said at the time. “It is not just a concept or a plan any more. It is not even in the early production stages. Since last year, our troops have been armed with laser weapons.”
It’s unclear how operational the laser system is.
U.S. news reports in August, citing U.S. intelligence, said the nuclear-powered missile had crashed in a test flight in the Barents Sea, and Russian searchers were trying to recover it.