Russia's Latest 'Super Weapons': What Are They and What Can They Do?

Russia has released new footage of an advanced arsenal of weapons in the wake of the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump.

The Russian Defense Ministry showed off a number of the weapons that were officially revealed during Putin's State of the Nation address in March. They include nuclear-powered and nuclear-capable weapons as well as a laser complex all said capable of thwarting even the world's top defenses, even those of the U.S. In once clip, Russia could be seen testing its highly-anticipated RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, known in the West as "Satan 2."

"The program of the system's pop-up tests has been completed with the positive results, which makes it possible to switch to preparations for the flight trials of the Sarmat missile complex," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, according to the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.

"All the measures that have been carried out allow for making a clear conclusion that the Sarmat missile system will be created and placed on combat duty within the scheduled timeframe," officially set for 2021.

In March, Putin claimed the superheavy Russian ICBM had virtually no range limits and could be fired over the North or South Poles. To demonstrate this, Russia showed off a simulation of the weapon coming down on what appeared to be Florida, a scenario that may have ended in the entire state being wiped off the map. In another clip from Thursday, a Russian Mikoyan MiG-31K fighter jets armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles could be seen conducting joint exercises with Tupolev Tu-22M3 long-range bombers.

"Tactical flight drills were held in the first ten-day period of July with the crews of long-range aviation to practice hitting ground and naval targets. The drills focused on planning, preparing and jointly employing Kinzhal air-launched missile systems and long-range Tu-22M3 missile-carrying bombers, and also on fighter jets' operations to provide cover for air strike groups," Russia's air force Commander-in-Chief Lieutenant-General Sergei Dronov said, according to Tass.

He said the training missions "have been accomplished highly qualitatively and within the established timeframe" and "the flight personnel have gained the necessary skills of joint practical actions."

The Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missile has reportedly been improved from 1,200 miles to more than 1,800 miles and is capable of traveling 10 times the speed of sound. It can also be maneuvered mid-flight to hit targets with a powerful conventional or nuclear payload.

The same press release also spoke of upcoming tests for its "fine-tuned" and "unlimited-range" nuclear-powered cruise missile, a state-of-the-art weapon recently named Burevestnik after a seabird known in English as the stormy petrel. The weapon will be the first of its kind.

"The missile's component makeup is being improved based on clarified requirements, while ground tests continue and preparations are being made for experimental flight tests of the improved missile," a Russian Defense Ministry official told reporters, according to Tass.

Related: How the U.S. Could Shoot Down A Russian Nuclear Missile (It Can't)

"A low-flying and low observable cruise missile carrying a nuclear warhead, with an almost unlimited range, an unpredictable trajectory and capability to bypass interception lines is invincible to all the existing and advanced air and missile defense systems," the ministry said, echoing Putin's words in March.

U.S. anti-missile systems are traditionally designed to block attacks from high-flying ICBMs, meaning a cruise missile could prove problematic. Even in nuclear-capable ICBM trials where conditions are predetermined and ideal, U.S. missile defenses work about half the time.

The Russian Defense Ministry also said Thursday it had begun test trials of the Poseidon underwater drone. The drone is capable of carrying a nuclear torpedo and was described as a "Doomsday" weapon in a White House report in February.

After officially announcing its production in March, Putin said it could travel "extreme depths, intercontinentally, at a speed multiple times higher than the speed of submarines, cutting-edge torpedoes and all kinds of surface vessels, including some of the fastest."

Related: Russia's New Nuclear Torpedo May Be Able to Consume U.S. Cities with Giant Radioactive Waves, Experts Say

Touting the technological achievement, he said the submersibles "are quiet, highly maneuverable and have hardly any vulnerabilities for the enemy to exploit. There is simply nothing in the world capable of withstanding them." If it does have the "tens" of megaton power previously cited in Russia media, some experts say it could even cause nuclear tsunamis capable of consuming major cities.

In 2015, Russia's state-run NTV channel accidentally showed documents suggesting the underwater drone, then referred to as "Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System," could carry a 100-megaton nuclear explosive that can travel up to 6,200 miles away at a depth of trajectory of up to 3,300 feet, as BBC News reported. This would make it nearly twice as strong as the Soviet Union's Tsar Bomba, the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated.

Russia also displayed its Peresvet laser combat system, named after a 14th-century warrior monk who battled the Mongol army. The weapon has been officially accepted into Russia's air force, a novel addition to a branch trying to compete with a much larger, technologically advanced U.S. counterpart.

"The Peresvet laser complexes have been placed at sites of permanent deployment," the Russian Defense Ministry said, according to Tass. "Active efforts to make them fully operational are underway."

Related: Russia Names New Weapons And Claims It Has Surpassed U.S. In Laser Warfare

"To ensure their proper functioning, the necessary infrastructures and specialized facilities for housing the complexes and duty crews have been built," it added.

Following Putin's speech in March, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov discussed with local media the necessity of such weapons in modern warfare. He claimed the Peresvet could disarm targets "within fractions of a second." He later argued that Russia had even "gone ahead" of the U.S. in terms of laser combat technology.

Russia also announced it successfully finished developing the Avangard, an ICBM equipped with a gliding hypersonic warhead. Putin described the weapons as "absolutely invulnerable to any air defense and missile defense weapons" due to its extremely high maneuverability.

"The Russian defense industry has completed developing the Avangard missile system with the principally new armament - the gliding cruise warhead. Industrial enterprises have switched to its serial production," the Russia Defense Ministry said Thursday, according to Tass.

Related: Russia's Hypersonic Super Weapons Are 'No Bluff,' Defense Minister Claims

"A set of organizational and technical measures is underway in the position area of the Dombarovsky large unit of the Strategic Missile Force to accept the Avangard missile system for operation," it added.

The weapon can reportedly travel 20 times the speed of sound high in the atmosphere, but also at a low enough altitude to evade ICBM defenses. It is set to enter service by next year.

While Putin and Trump appeared to get along quite well at their Helsinki summit Monday, their respective countries have been engaged in a decades-long bout for global influence interrupted by the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s but resurrected with Putin's leadership in the 21st century. Since at least 2008, Putin has set out to revamp Russia's armed forces in a way that would restore and expand upon is Cold War-era legacy.

The U.S. has largely viewed this initiative as a challenge to its own military dominance and has accused Russia of undermining democracies, including the 2016 U.S. election. Trump and Putin have set out to mend U.S.-Russia ties, but the U.S. leader has faced widespread criticism at home for his efforts.

Russia's Latest 'Super Weapons': What Are They and What Can They Do? | World