MOSCOW, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Russia has been modernizing its strategic arsenal in response to the U.S. global deployment of missile defense systems, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
"Russia has created and is upgrading relatively cheap but very efficient systems to overcome missile shields," Putin said in his annual address to the Federal Assembly, or the parliament.
Russia has begun testing Sarmat, a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile, which has "practically no range limits" as it is capable of attacking across both the South and North Poles, he said.
According to Putin, Russia has also developed strategic weapons that do not use ballistic flight trajectories, making missile shields "useless and senseless".
Russia has developed underwater unmanned weapons capable of moving at very big depths between continents with a speed much higher than that of modern submarines, torpedoes and surface vessels, Putin said.
In addition, Russia has deployed high-precision hypersonic missiles that are capable of penetrating "existing and prospective" defense systems, according to the president.
"Kinzhal" (Dagger) missiles can fly at a speed 10 times that of sound and are maneuvering during the whole flight. They can deliver nuclear or conventional warheads to a target at a distance of more than 2,000 km.
"Avangard" (Vanguard) missiles can fly at a speed 20 times that of sound and can reach intercontinental distances.
In his speech, Putin vowed immediate retaliation if Russia or its allies is hit with a nuclear attack.