The Sixth Seal: The Big Apple Shake (Revelation 6:12)

Image result for new york earthquake

Big Apple shake? Potential for earthquake in New York City exists

NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) – For the last 43 years John Armbruster has been a seismologist with Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.  A veteran of what he describes as “a couple of dozen” quakes, he is interested in the seismic activity throughout the Pacific region in recent weeks.

However, does the amount of plate movements around the world in recent weeks as well as years to translate to New York City being more vulnerable, “These earthquakes are not communicating with each other, they are too far apart,” said Armbruster in an interview with PIX 11 News on Wednesday.

What would a magnitude 6.0 earthquake inflict upon the city?

“We know that its unlikely because it hasn’t happened in the last 300 years but the earthquake that struck Fukushima Japan was the 1000 year earthquake and they weren’t ready for the that.

China Joins the Space Wars (Daniel 7)

SPACE WAR: China Joins The US & Russia To Conquer The Final Frontier – Space

By EurAsian Times DeskJuly 30, 2020

Three global superpowers – Russia, China and the US, are now battling to conquer the final frontier – Space. Space has become the ultimate battlefield and the only place left to militarise after land, air and the sea.

Last week, Russia and the US held talks in Vienna to discuss issues concerning space security for the first time in seven years. “I remember not a single instance over the past 10 years when the Russian-US consultations had been so lengthy, and with such an intensive and substantive agenda,” said Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Vienna. “It is not just talking, but such specific matters,” he added.

However, according to reports, the meeting didn’t end on a good note. The US and Russia couldn’t agree on how much both sides can militarize space and protect satellites and other orbital assets.

Russia raised opposition to the deployment of space-based antimissile defence systems. The US, resisting such limits, instead wants both parties to work out some sort of code of conduct in orbit.

“Space has been a part of military conflicts since the late 1990s. But the difference is, in the future, a great power conflict may involve more direct attacks on satellites,” said Brian Weeden, an expert once involved in policy planning for the American military’s space operations.

Meanwhile, the US and UK have accused Russia of testing weapon-like projectile in space that could be used to target satellites in orbit. The US State Department described the recent use of “what would appear to be actual in-orbit anti-satellite weaponry” as concerning. Christopher Ford, the US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non-proliferation, accused Russia of hypocrisy after it said that it wanted arms control to be extended to space.

“Moscow aims to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting its own counter-space programme,” he said.

China also destroyed its own satellite using a missile in 2007. India also shot down a satellite as part of an experiment last year making it the fourth country to carry out such a test successfully after the U.S., Russia and China.

Amid fear over weaponisation of space, such experiments are conducted to counter the adversary and shoot down hostile satellites in case of a war. Such acts are bound to receive criticism for the fear of orbital debris from the operation risk damaging satellites launched by other countries. There is no treaty to arbitrate such disputes.

There are only five international treaties and agreements that govern activities in space and only the member states are legally bound by such treaties.

One of such treaties is the Outer Space Treaty signed by 103 members including the US, Russia and the United Kingdom. Parties to the treaty agree to keep space a peaceful, non-militaristic zone. They also agree not to send nuclear weapons into orbit around the Earth or on celestial bodies.

And the treaty expressly prohibits the use of the moon and other celestial bodies for the “establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military manoeuvres.”

China who is currently trailing behind Russia and the US is set to become a space power by 2030. China has been expanding its network of military intelligence satellites. Last year, China conducted 32 successful rocket launches as per the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank. This puts China on top for the second year in a row, exceeding the 21 launches in the US in 2019.

Pentagon has raised the possibility of space-based sensors that can detect and track missile launches from nearly every location on the planet, as well as a missile interception system from space. Experts believe that it will be difficult to forge international norms as long as Washington engages in military expansionism in space. China trails the Americans and Russians in the space arena, so Beijing is likely to follow if the U.S. continues on its current path.

Babylon the Great wants to stop Iran’s arms build-up by hook or by crook

The US wants to stop Iran’s arms build-up by hook or by crook

The prospect of Iran being able to buy weapons on the open market has prompted the Trump administration to launch a diplomatic offensive aimed at pressuring the United Nations to extend its arms embargo against Tehran when it comes up for renewal later this year.

The embargo was implemented under UN Security Council resolution 2231, passed in 2015 in support of the controversial nuclear deal negotiated under the aegis of former US president Barack Obama.

The embargo is due to expire on October 18, but attempts by Washington to persuade the UN to agree to an extension have foundered in the face of strong opposition from China and Russia, which have the power to veto any extension.

Both Beijing and Moscow have lent their support to Tehran during the latter’s recent upsurge in tensions with Washington following US President Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal in 2018. The Russians and Chinese argue that the American withdrawal from the agreement means that Iran should no longer be subjected to an arms embargo when the terms of the resolution expire in the autumn.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is hoping to acquire weapons after the arms embargo expires. EPA

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has already indicated that his regime intends to take full advantage of any relaxation in the terms of the arms embargo to rebuild his country’s depleted weapons arsenal. State-run Iranian television reported at the end of last year that Mr Rouhani had commented: “When the embargo is lifted next year, we can easily buy and sell weapons. This is one of those important impacts of this [nuclear] agreement.”

Washington has expressed particular concern that ending the arms embargo will enable Iran to buy sophisticated weaponry from Russia and China. Tehran is currently in the process of negotiating a wide-ranging trade deal with Beijing said to be worth around $400 billion over a 25-year period. Under the terms of the agreement, Tehran and Beijing are said to be working on a project to develop a military base in the Indian Ocean that will enable them to challenge America’s long-standing military dominance in the region.

The agreement, which a senior aide to Mr Rouhani says should be signed by next March, encompasses closer military co-operation between the two countries, including weapons development, combined training and intelligence sharing. Washington has expressed concern that this will allow China and Iran to monitor more closely the activities of the US Fifth Fleet in the Gulf, as well as the joint US-UK military base on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia.

A series of explosions during the last day of Iranian military exercises near sensitive Gulf waters in the Strait of Hormuz. AFP

Despite the arms embargo, Iran has continued work on developing its military strength, in particular by upgrading the numerous ballistic missile systems that have been linked with its nuclear programme.

The growing sophistication of Iran’s missile capabilities was demonstrated earlier this week when the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps launched underground ballistic missiles at a mock-up American aircraft carrier that had been deployed in the Strait of Hormuz. The missiles, appeared to have been launched from Iran’s desert plateau, suggest that the regime has developed a network of subterranean bases that can be used to threaten the US and its allies in the Gulf. Commenting on the exercise, Gen Amir Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC’s aerospace division, told state TV: “We have carried out the launch of the ballistic missiles from the depths of the earth for the first time.”

Moreover, the prospect of Iran having the freedom to rebuild its weapons arsenal comes at a time when there has been an upsurge in provocative activity by Tehran in the Middle East. Iran has been accused of increasing tensions with Israel after a team of Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon were reported to have attempted an attack on Israeli positions in their country’s north earlier this month.

In this Wednesday, April 15, 2020, photo made available by the US Navy, Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels sail close to US ships in the Arabian Gulf near Kuwait. All Photos supplied by US Navy

In an attempt to curb Iran’s military ambitions, which believes constitute a direct threat to the security of the Gulf region, Washington has launched a diplomatic offensive aimed at putting pressure on the UN to extend the arms embargo.

In a recent address to the Security Council, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a blunt warning, arguing that the council was faced with a stark choice. It could “stand for international peace and security, as the United Nations’ founders intended, or let the arms embargo on the Islamic Republic of Iran expire, betraying the UN’s mission and its finest deals, which we have all pledged to uphold”.

Mr Pompeo explicitly warned that a failure to renew the embargo would enable Iran to buy sophisticated weaponry from Russia, such as warplanes “that can strike up to a 3,000-kilometre radius”.

Tehran would also be able to upgrade and expand its fleet of submarines, thereby enabling it to threaten international shipping and freedom of navigation in the Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and the Arabian Sea. Allowing Iran access to new arms supplies would also enable it to continue supplying weapons to proxies, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as maintain its support for the Assad regime in Syria.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned about Iran’s military adventures on the floor of the UN. Reuters

Given that China and Russia are unlikely to alter their position on ending the arms embargo when the issue comes before the Security Council in October, the Trump administration is looking at a range of options to maintain the embargo. One option under consideration in Washington is for the US to point out that – despite the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the deal – it remains a participant in the nuclear agreement, and can therefore exercise a Security Council provision to veto the embargo’s expiration.

Whether or not this dubious tactic succeeds, what is beyond doubt is that any attempt by Iran to rebuild its weapons arsenal will, at the very least, encounter stiff resistance from Washington.

Con Coughlin is the Telegraph’s defence and foreign affairs editor

Updated: July 30, 2020 06:14 PM

Israel Prepares to Attack the Iranian Nuclear Horn

Countdown to Israeli Action on Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot (L) give a press conference in Tel Aviv, on December 4, 2018. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP

Recent mysterious explosions at Iran’s nuclear facilities, which some have attributed to Israel, return to prominence a calculation not seriously considered since 2015: Iran’s dwindling “breakout” clock.

The ensuing damage might successfully turn back time on that clock. But if not, Israel might have to consider military action; a decision lent urgency by the looming American election.

The disastrous 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) emboldened Iran’s aggression and enabled its eventual nuclear capability. President Donald Trump rightfully withdrew from the agreement and replaced it with a “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign, but Iran responded by attacking US and allied assets, and evidently has been accelerating its nuclear program.

The Trump administration ultimately responded to Iran’s aggression with an airstrike in January that killed Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Quds Force and the mastermind behind Tehran’s regional aggression.

However, the United States has had no answer to Iranian nuclear expansion. Having now reportedly produced enough low-enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon, with further enrichment, Iran could reach nuclear weapons capability in 3 to 4 months. This “breakout” window would shrink further if Iran installs advanced centrifuges.

Slowing Iran’s Nuclear Advance

Sanctions haven’t slowed this nuclear advance. Neither will extending Iran’s arms embargo, expiring this October under the JCPOA, which the Trump administration should pursue regardless.

Only credible military threats have convinced Iran to postpone its nuclear ambitions, such as in 2003, after America’s toppled the Taliban and former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s literal red-line drawing at the United Nations in 2012, which Iran was careful not to cross.

Sabotage has proven effective at slowing Iran’s nuclear clock, too. Israel has reportedly pursued this strategy repeatedly, with the 2009 Stuxnet cyberattack, the 2010-12 killing of Iranian nuclear scientists, and now perhaps the explosions targeting Iran’s centrifuge construction facility. Covert disruption has the significant benefit of deniability and minimizing the risk of major retaliation.

With Iran’s nuclear clock once again ticking loudly, the question is whether sabotage will continue to buy time. Early reports suggest the explosions at Iran’s Natanz Centrifuge Assembly Center set back Iran’s longer-term plans for an industrial nuclear program (to produce multiple nuclear bombs in short order), but it remains unclear if it also delayed Iran’s breakout time.

While the former is important, it is the latter that more likely determines if some time has been bought. If not, then Israel might not only consider further sabotage but another approach that could more significantly delay a nuclear Iran: overt military action.

Historically, Israel has conducted major military action when time leaves it no other alternative, such as its strikes on nuclear reactors in Iraq in 1981 and in Syria in 2007. Israel might be inclined to reserve this option until sabotage has proven no longer materially effective or an Iranian breakout seems imminent.

Looming US Elections

But there is another clock that might push Israel to act overtly sooner: the US political calendar.

American backing could be critical to mitigating the scope and intensity of Iran’s retaliation to an overt Israeli strike and subsequently pressing Iran not to renew its nuclear pursuit. Trump could well do just that; he reportedly instructed former National Security Advisor John Bolton to “tell Bibi [Netanyahu] that if he uses force, I will back him.”

If Trump wins a second term, Israel might feel it has more time – or it might worry that he will pursue a new deal with Iran.

US President Donald Trump salutes at the grave site of former president Andrew Jackson, March 15, 2017. Image: Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office

If Joe Biden becomes president, he likely will reengage President Barack Obama’s JCPOA and strongly oppose Israeli action, effectively taking the military option off the table until at least 2025.

Meanwhile, more JCPOA restrictions, including on advanced R&D and ballistic missiles, will lapse by the end of the next president’s term, bringing Iran too close to nuclear capability. Israel might find this risk unacceptable.

Thus, Israel might determine the next four months are its best opportunity to cripple Iran’s nuclear program – a choice Trump might welcome as it would scramble the electoral picture. Alternatively, Israel could wait to see who wins the American election and decide what to do.

Israeli Action

Some American analysts contend that Israel lacks the capability or will to attack Iranian nuclear facilities overtly, or it would have done so already. Yet, we should heed the repeated assertations by senior Israeli military and political leaders of intent to strike militarily when necessary. History suggests that such action – and Israel’s national security, if not very existence – necessitates it.

An overt Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would continue its growing role of rolling back the Iranian threat and advancing US interests. To support its partner, Washington should accelerate weapons deliveries that Israel needs for a military campaign and to blunt Iranian retaliation.

It is possible that if military action is required, the United States will act first. American presidents since Bill Clinton have pledged, in Obama’s 2009 words, “to use all elements of American power to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”

If the United States, with its immense capabilities, does conduct military action, it is likely to inflict greater damage to Iran’s nuclear program and set it back further than Israel could, while reducing Tehran’s will or capability to retaliate.

Yet, absent American action, or regime collapse in Tehran, Israel can be expected to conduct whatever covert or overt action is necessary to prevent a nuclear Iran.

Michael Makovsky is President and CEO of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA).

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The Defense Post.

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China’s Space Force Advances (Daniel 7)

China’s Homegrown GPS Is Now Fully Operational

Aug 1, 2020,

XICHANG, June 23, 2020 — A carrier rocket [+]

Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

The Chinese version of GPS, called BeiDou, was declared fully operational on Friday 31 July with great fanfare in a ceremony attended by President Xi Jinping. These Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), borne out of cold war necessities for America and the Soviet Union to launch accurate nuclear strikes rapidly are thankfully today focussed more on Uber arrival times and Pokemon Go gym takedowns. But why do countries choose to build rivals to the perfectly good USA’s Global Positioning System who’s very acronym – GPS – has become completely synonymous with any general reference at all to an electronic device showing a position on a map?

Economics

In the current peacetime climate the most important benefits of GNSS are economical. Estimates of the economic impact of a sudden loss of GNSS vary, but it is certainly of the order of $1B per day to the USA and a similar figure across the EU. This is because of the sheer number of facets of modern society that have become dependent upon GNSS. There are the obvious areas like aviation, shipping, road transport, etc where navigation using GNSS provides efficiencies and automation. Lesser known sectors that are critically dependent on GNSS availability are telecommunications, the finance sector, and even the electrical power grid. These sectors all make use of the fact that GNSS receivers can calculate the exact time, as well as exact position. Knowing the exact “true” time is critical to synchronising radio transmissions, or declaring the exact order of stock market trades at the millisecond level, or in maintaining a common phase for all substations across the electrical power grid. Since the loss of these delicate signals from GNSS satellites would cause such a huge impact to the economy of a first world country, it is no surprise that global powers like China have decided that they cannot rely on foreign sources of these signals to always be available to them.

Availability and performance

Relying on a different country’s positioning satellites means that you are of course making use of a system that is not necessarily tailored or optimised for your needs. The GPS Wide Area Augmentation Service is a geostationary satellite parked directly over USA that broadcasts correction data to GPS receivers to reduce the errors caused by atmospheric perturbations from around ten metres to around one metre. China have embraced this idea of tailoring their own GNSS too, using a mixture of satellite orbit types, including some geostationary above China, to ensure that while Beidou provides accurate positioning anywhere on the planet, it is specifically tailored to providing maximum performance over home soil.

Defence

The Defence arguments behind the needs for a home-grown GNSS have evolved in various ways over the decades. The two first GNSSs, the American GPS and Russian GLONASS, were developed for a very specific clear purpose – to aid nuclear submarines and bomber aircraft in the rapid deployment and delivery of nuclear weapons, and the very first receivers were too large for a single person to lift them. Fast forward a few decades and fingernail-sized GNSS chipsets are a critical requirement of all modern warfare platforms for a great swath of reasons, from battlefield situational awareness and precision-guided munitions to synchronisation of military radio communications systems. Originally GPS was designed in such a way that the open “civilian” signal available to the public was required to allow a military receiver to lock on to and start using the military encrypted signal, which then provides higher performance and protection against hacking or “spoofing” of the positioning signals. This dependence of the military signal initialisation phase on the availability of the simpler civilian signal gave other countries some reassurance that the USA would never turn off the open civilian signal or block its availability in a warzone, but over time the USA has changed the encrypted military signal, and the capabilities of receivers such that this requirement of the military signal on the civilian signal no longer exists. This means that in principle the USA could actually employ local jamming or spoofing of its own civilian signal in a warzone without disrupting its own military signals in any way. This has therefore also been a factor in accelerating the completion of the Chinese BeiDou GNSS, and the European Galileo GNSS.

What does the future hold?

China has presented plans to lead the world in robust Positioning Navigation and Timing capabilities by combing the fully operational BeiDou system with signals from Low Earth Orbit satellites, terrestrial low frequency radio signals, and future quantum-based navigation systems. Such multi-sensor systems are the key to robust and highly-accurate positioning and timing systems, and the Chinese proposals exceed those formally laid out by other nation. It may be the case that in another decade’s time it is no longer GPS, but instead BeiDou that is the expression we will all be casually using to refer that little blue dot on our smartphones.

I am the Founder CEO of Focal Point Positioning, a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation, and a Bye-Fellow of Queens’ College, at the University of Cambridge.

The Bowls of Wrath Are Coming (Revelation 16)

Nuclear war is as likely as ever, says former defense secretary William Perry

Warren OlneyJul. 31, 2020

America’s nuclear weapons are thousands of times more powerful than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago. They’re on hair-trigger alert: ready to be set off by a false alarm, computer malfunction, or by human error. President Trump has the sole authority to start a war that would end civilization as we know it. 

KCRW’s Warren Olney talks with former Defense Secretary William J. Perry and Tom Z. Collina of the Ploughshares Fund about their new book, “The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump.” They explain the terrifying potential of America’s current nuclear policy, and how there’s still a chance to make the world safer. 

Olney also talks with former California Governor Jerry Brown. He’s now Executive Chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which has set its famous Doomsday Clock inching closer to midnight than ever before. Brown criticizes the mainstream media for reporting the news of the day while ignoring the prospect of a future disaster.    

The following interview excerpts have been abbreviated and edited for clarity. 

KCRW: Long ago you said that a nuclear war cannot be won, therefore it should never be fought. But in your role as a deputy advisor to the Defense Department, the department actually built up the nuclear arsenal.

William Perry: “I didn’t think — and more importantly in those days — didn’t build up the conventional forces. But I’ve come to believe that our nuclear forces are more of a liability to our security than an asset.”

When you say more of a liability than an asset, is it worse now than when you first perceived nuclear war couldn’t be won?

William Perry: “I think the difference now is that we, the population, didn’t fully appreciate the significance of nuclear weapons. Many people still thought of them as just bigger bombs, more destructive bombs. They didn’t realize that the bombs are so destructive. We have so many of them that the result of using them in the war would simply be the end of our civilization. In a nuclear war, there could be no winners, everybody is a loser. All of civilization is at stake.

How did we determine that a president has the sole power to unleash nuclear weapons?

Tom Collina: “This is a fascinating history, and something that I didn’t realize until we actually sat down to write the book. I had assumed that the reason we had sole authority was so that the president can make a decision quickly. If there were a Russian attack on the way, the president would have just minutes to launch U.S. weapons before a possible attack arrived. 

But that, in fact, is not the origin. If you go back to 1945 when President Truman initiated, or took for himself, the sole authority to launch nuclear weapons, there were no Russian nuclear weapons. No one else had nuclear weapons other than the United States. So it wasn’t even possible for there to be a quick launch or a bolt from the blue. 

When we examined the origins, it was because President Truman was so horrified by the results of using the bomb on Japan that he determined he wasn’t going to use them again. And the way he was going to do that was take the authority away from the military, from the generals, who he didn’t completely trust, and put it only in civilian hands. I certainly support putting it in civilian hands as opposed to the military, but the mistake he made is by putting it in only one civilian’s hands: his own. He didn’t share that authority with the other civilian authority, which is Congress. 

So one of our recommendations in the book is that the president should share sole authority for first use with Congress. … The U.S. Constitution says Congress declares war, not the president. And we see the first use of nuclear weapons as the ultimate declaration of war.”

Jerry Brown, we heard former Secretary of Defense William Perry and Tom Collina say that there’s a Renaissance going on with nuclear weapons. You’ve indicated you think the same thing. How much does this have to do with lack of media interest in this issue? 

Jerry Brown: “We have a highly competitive media market, driven by clicks and eyeballs and advertising dollars. And so that’s the imperative — not necessarily the biggest problem, but the biggest response. The biggest reach is through the media networks. Take something like the Doomsday Clock that we presented last year as advancing 20 seconds closer to midnight (or Doomsday). That was from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and their scientific committee. That would not be published by the New York Times because it was not considered news. 

It got a little coverage in the Washington Post and somewhere around the world, but for the most part, there are other issues: #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, Trump, COVID. Those are all important, but they’re not as important as the elimination of the human race, which would happen if there was a false alert, as there was when Perry was Secretary of Defense. 

He got a report in the middle of the night. Hundreds of Russian missiles were coming our way, and he had minutes to respond. Had he taken [it] seriously, we would have blown up the world. And on the other side, Russia had a similar false alert. That was a technical mistake by the man in charge who did not relay the message up to the higher-ups. Absent that we wouldn’t be here. 

Same thing in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy did not know that the Russian submarines were coming with nuclear charged torpedoes, nor did he know that they already had in place nuclear short range missiles. If [he] follow[ed] the advice of the Joint Chiefs and actually bombed Cuba, then Cuba and the Russians, at that point, had the authority to fire without even talking to Moscow. So if they fired on Florida, or wherever those short range missiles would go, we would have fired on Moscow. Moscow would have retaliated, and we could have had the end of the human race. This is the most serious and profound danger facing humankind every day, every moment. Yet it’s barely talked about by most people.” 

The Unstoppable Russian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

UK warned Putin’s hypersonic nuclear weapons ‘will be impossible to shoot down’

PUTIN’S hypersonic nuclear strike weapons will be impossible for an enemy to track and shoot down, an expert has warned.

By LAURA O’CALLAGHAN

PUBLISHED: 07:00, Sat, Aug 1, 2020

Moscow’s strongman president has said the Russian Navy will soon be beefed up with the sophisticated weapons as well as underwater nuclear drones, which the defence ministry said were in their final phase of testing. President Putin, who this month tightened his grip on power following a public vote which allows him to remain in office until 2036, has insisted he does not want an arms race. However, he has often spoken of a new generation of unrivalled Russian nuclear weapons which could hit targets anywhere on the planet.

Dr Dan Plesch, an expert in weapons of mass destruction, has said the UK and its Western allies should take note of Mr Putin’s latest comments made at an annual navy parade in St Petersburg on Sunday.

The academic, of SOAS University of London, warned the “existential threat of global nuclear devastation” remains, 30 years after the Cold War ended.

Dr Plesch told Express.co.uk: “Adding on yet more dangerous and destabilising and fast weapons just makes an existing extremely dangerous situation even more dangerous.”

He said hypersonic nuclear weapons would, if deployed, pose significant challenges for enemies in battle due to their sheer speed and manoeuvrability.

Because part of the weapons’ trajectory is in space, this makes them “much harder to track and even hypothetically shoot down”.

Dr Plesch explained: “Assuming they can be made to work reliably, which is always a question with new technologies, they are far faster than existing ballistic missiles.

“These are ballistic missiles, essentially unlike gigantic bullets they have an arc trajectory, and hypersonic missiles essentially fly – broadly speaking – like an aeroplane for a bit, like a cruise function.

“And then they rocket into space and rocket back down to earth.

The idea is the velocity of going up and coming down very fast makes them impossible to track.

“And the Russians believe they face a threat from the American ability to shoot down their, as they would see them, deterrent missiles.

“They see they have a threat to their nuclear deterrent from American smart conventional weapons and for the Russians and the Chinese their real fear is that they could be disarmed by America only using its smart conventional weapons.”

Smart weapons, also known as precision guided weapons (PGMs), rely on computerised guidance systems to reach their target.

Dr Plesch said the underwater nuclear drones mentioned by President Putin would not be as hard to intercept.

While the weapons are extremely powerful, when fired underwater they will inevitably disrupt the water, causing their location to be given away.

He suggested that highly-advanced anti-submarine warfare could possibly have the capabilities to detect such drones.

He added: “It’s the idea of having a gigantic torpedo with a great deal of fuel able to use a nuclear weapon at long distances underwater or at an enemy port or naval base.

“An object going through water inevitably disrupts the water, you can’t stealth that, and so they are potentially relatively much easier – hypothetically – to shoot down than a space missile.”

The weapons which Mr Putin has promised include the Poseidon underwater nuclear drone, designed to be carried by submarines, and the Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile, which can be deployed on surface ships.

Russia’s leader told crowds at the naval parade on Sunday: “The widespread deployment of advanced digital technologies that have no equals in the world, including hypersonic strike systems and underwater drones, will give the fleet unique advantages and increased combat capabilities.”

He did not specify when the navy would receive the weapons, but suggested it would be sometime in the near future.