Feb 20, 2019 14:32 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Aug 31, 2019 10:59 Asia/Tehran]

Russia will respond to any deployment of intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe by targeting not only the countries where those missiles are stationed, but the United States itself, President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday.

Iran Press/Europe: Putin in his annual state of the nation, addressed the Federal Assembly, including the State Duma parliamentarians, members of the Federation Council, regional governors and other high-ranking officials, in Moscow on February 20, 2019.

Putin said Russia was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first step to deploy missiles in response to the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, RT reported.

But he said that Russia’s reaction to any deployment would be resolute and that US policy-makers should calculate the risks before taking any steps.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the Federal Assembly in Moscow February 20. Sputnik

Putin also announced Russia was developing a new hyper-sonic missile for the navy and building a new submarine with a drone complex capable of hitting both land and sea targets.

Russian President specifically called for expanding the country’s satellite network, which he said is needed for "a real revolution in communications and navigation".

“It is necessary to increase the capabilities of our satellite network. Russia has unique technologies for this”, Putin pointed out.

According to him, such a task stipulates a qualitative upgrade of Russia's entire space industry.

Russia’s cutting-edge Avangard hypersonic glider

Vladimir Putin has likened development of Russia’s cutting-edge Avangard hypersonic glider to the 1957 launch of Sputnik-1, the world’s first artificial satellite built by the Soviet Union.

The secretive top-notch weapon has demonstrated Russia’s technological capabilities, Putin said in his annual address to the Federal Assembly. “It seemed until recently that Russia can’t make a breakthrough in defense technologies, but we made it,” the president noted.

For instance, developing the Avangard hypersonic glider is matched in importance with the launch of the first artificial satellite.

Little is verifiably known about the glider that was successfully test-launched by the Russian military earlier this year. Top Russian officials threw some light on the secretive project, telling the media that the latest test proved it can travel a whopping 27 Mach, which is equal to over 30,000 km/h or 20,000 mph.

A hypersonic glider is a warhead able to fly through the atmosphere at an exceptionally high speed. China, the US, and Russia are considered the most advanced nations to possess hypersonic technologies, with Moscow claiming it is leading in the race with the Avangard. 101/205

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