Putin: New nuclear weapons to enter duty in next few years

Putin: New nuclear weapons to enter duty in next few years
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends news conference after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Putin's residence in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Friday, May 18, 2018. The meeting in Sochi is Merkel's first visit to Russia in a year and comes amid tense relations between Berlin and Moscow. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin says the Russian military will start receiving new nuclear weapons in the coming years.

Speaking at a meeting Friday in Sochi, Putin said delivery of the new Avangard hypersonic vehicle will begin next year while the new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile will enter duty in 2020.

The Avangard and the Sarmat were among an array of new nuclear weapons Putin presented in March. He noted that they can’t be intercepted. They also included a nuclear-powered global range cruise missile and an underwater drone designed to strike coastal facilities with a heavy nuclear weapon.

Putin said two other new systems unveiled in March — the Kinzhal hypersonic missile and the laser weapon called — have already been put on duty with the units of Russia’s Southern Military District.