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    UPDATE: Russia to deploy new hypersonic missile systems - Putin

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    MOSCOW, September 27 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia would deploy new hypersonic missile systems that would be virtually invulnerable to enemy defenses.

    "We are developing and will deploy new strategic high-precision systems that have no rivals across the globe. These hypersonic systems will be capable of changing the course and altitude. They will be practically invulnerable, including to air defense systems," the president said speaking on live television and radio.

    Commenting on the president's statement, an air defense expert, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Putin must have meant state-of-the-art air defense systems, or "weapons of the future" that specialists and researchers had been working on for a long time.

    The expert added that the new system would combine the functions of air defense, missile defense and space defense.

    The expert said the Russian army already had sea- and land-based missile complexes such as Bulava and Topol-M.

    Putin also said that Russia would continue providing its army with mobile missile systems, state-of-the-art tanks, new and modernized air defense systems.

    He added that last year Russia overcame an important psychological barrier when "allocations for army re-equipment topped the $5-billion profits from arms exports," while only a few years ago, Russia did not buy anything for the army.

    "A great deal has been done in the past few years to restore the defense industry's financial health," Putin said, adding this included debt settlements and jobs.

    He also said that expansion to foreign markets was a way to support Russia's defense sector financially. "If our specialists make it to foreign markets and uphold our interests there, it will be a very good job," the president said.

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