The trailer-mounted Peresvet laser system as seen in a Russian Ministry of Defense video.
by Bart Hendrickx
Monday, June 15, 2020
On March 1, 2018 Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a saber-rattling State of the Union speech that harkened back to the darkest days of the Cold War. He used the occasion to put on a display of new armaments such as nuclear-powered cruise missiles and hypersonic glide vehicles capable of penetrating US missile defenses, underlining they had been developed as a result of the US pulling out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty in 2002. Putin also boasted that Russia was “one step ahead” in what he called “weapons with new physical properties”, adding:
“We have achieved significant progress in laser weapons. It is not just a concept or a plan anymore. It is not even in the early production stages. Since last year, our troops have been armed with laser weapons. I do not want to reveal more details. It is not the time yet. But experts will understand that with such weaponry, Russia’s defense capacity has multiplied.”
Putin’s remarks were illustrated with a brief video showing a semi-trailer carrying the laser in its aft section. The device was seen quickly turning in various directions, demonstrating its ability to track fast moving targets. In response to Putin’s invitation to