Russia to expand navy with new warships & nuclear subs as Putin says new tech, from AI to robotics, will drive next-gen weapons

Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed that the country’s shipyards have begun work on half a dozen new vessels for its growing navy, and that Moscow is now planning to revamp its armed forces with cutting-edge hardware.

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Speaking as part of the Army 2021 expo on Monday, Putin announced that “the potential of our sailors is increasing.” Therefore, he said, “today, at leading shipyards across Russia, two modern short-range ships and four new submarines – including two equipped to carry nuclear missiles – are being laid.”

Manufacturers on the Baltic Sea, along the waters of the Arctic and on the coast of the Sea of Japan in the country’s Far East are all now working to deliver the orders. In July, a shipyard in Severodvinsk, near the northern city of Arkhangelsk, put out to sea a nuclear missile cruiser; while in May, another nuclear submarine, ‘Kazan’, was delivered to the navy.

In addition, the Russian president said that there is now a need to overhaul the country’s military equipment in order to take advantage of the latest innovations. “We are developing Russia’s defense industry and our armed forces in line with new technological principles based on our scientific and technical advances,” he said.

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Significant attention is being paid to “areas such as the use of artificial intelligence and robotics to support the troops, as well as the latest command and control systems.” Putin added that the share of modern weapons in the strategic nuclear forces already exceeds 80%, with outdated hardware having been replaced.

The president also said that Russia had achieved technological supremacy in a number of areas of military technology. “Many of these weapons have no analogues elsewhere in the world in terms of their tactical and technical characteristics,” he said, “and according to what we see, one can firmly say: They will not have them for a long time.”

In April, Putin said that hypersonic and laser weapons are a key focus for the Russian Armed Forces and were an important deterrent in dealing with potentially unfriendly states. “We have patience, self-confidence and righteousness on our side,” Putin added. “I hope no one will think of crossing red lines in their relations with Russia. Where that line sits is ours to determine.” Those planning provocations, he said, “will regret their deeds in a way they have not regretted anything else for a long time.”

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