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Russia's New Laser Weapons Systems Enter Into Service, Military Says

Russia’s new "Peresvet" laser weapons systems have been put on combat duty, the Defense Ministry has said.

President Vladimir Putin first announced the development of the lasers, one of Russia's six new major offensive weapons systems, during a state-of-the-nation speech in March in which he proposed that the public vote to name them. After an online vote, the system was named “Peresvet,” in honor of a medieval Russian warrior monk.

The Peresvet laser complex entered into combat service on Dec. 1, the Defense Ministry’s Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The ministry released a video on social media of the weapons complex being deployed.

The first shipments of the weapons began in 2017 as part of the military’s modernization program, according to the paper, while military personnel learned to deploy and apply the weapons during special training at the Mozhaysky Military Space Academy in St. Petersburg. 

The systems are capable of “concealing the areas of deployment of intercontinental ballistic missiles” and will be used in air defense and military defense, Viktor Murakhovsky, an expert at Russia’s Military Industrial Commission, was cited as saying by Krasnaya Zvezda.

In August, The United States voiced concern over Russia's pursuit of Peresvet, calling the development of the weapon "disturbing."

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