RUSSIA and the US risk a military showdown as they continue to trade barbs over Ukraine amid fears of an imminent invasion.
Joe Biden has warned that Vladimir Putin may be preparing an offensive within days – with such a move feared to trigger the biggest conflict since World War 2.
NATO and Russia have long had a tit-for-tat row with each accusing the other of aggression in Eastern Europe.
And as tensions have ramped up, it appears to be devolving into a potentially devastating game of chicken.
Putin is believed to want to seize parts of Ukraine – as he did with Crimea in 2014 – as part of his chilling ambition to bring Russia back to the heady days of the Soviet Union.
It has been warned any regional conflict which brings the West and Russia to loggerheads could spiral out of control and may become World War 3.
The US and Russia have comparable militaries in terms of size – but Washington massively outspends Moscow.
The White House forks out $778billion on its armies and weapons, while Russia reportedly spends a fraction of that – with $62billion.
The US has more active personnel with 1.4million compared to Russia’s estimated around 1million, but Putin has a much larger reserve force – with 2million compared to 850,000.
Russia also has more tanks with around 13,000 compared to the US’s 6,100, and more naval assets with 600 相比 490.
Putin however lacks the key vessel in modern naval warfare – aircraft carriers.
The US have 20 of the mammoth floating airfields, while Putin has just one – the infamous, smoke belching and unreliable Soviet-era Admiral Kuznetsov.
Washington also has more destroyers with 94 相比 18 – which include the state-of-the-art USS Zumwalt – and more submarines the with 69 到 59.
Russia has more corvettes – the smallest class of warship – 和 83 as compared to 22.
And the US also rules the skies as it has vastly more aircraft with over 13,000 compared to Russia’s around 4,000.
The Pentagon also maintains a much larger force of combat drones with around 300, while Russia is only believed to have around two dozen.
And these are some of the most impressive weapons which head up each side’s arsenal at the world awaits with bated breath for Putin to make his move.
Russia has claimed its Satan 2 missiles are almost ready to enter service in a major step forward for Putin’s missile arsenal.
The 15,880mph weapon can deliver between 10 和 15 warheads that weigh up to 10-tonnes to any point in the world flying over both the North and South Pole.
It is claimed the weapon – known in Russia as The Sarmat – has the capability to use trajectories and unpredictable routes which “substantially impede their destruction even by advanced missile defence systems”.
And its reported just one of its warheads would contains eight megatons of TNT-equivalent explosive power.
That is more than 400 times as strong as either bomb the US dropped on Japan in the final days of World War 2.
Kremlin officials have bragged it is an “invincible” weapon and it has been under development for 10 年.
The USS Zumwalt is a 15,000 tonne destroyer known for its unique appearance – more resembling something out of Star Wars than a seagoing warship.
The ship cost £3.2billion and features an angular shape to dodge radar and sensors.
And the vessel can operate with half as many crew as a normal destroyer due to advanced technologies.
The 610-foot ship is 50 per cent heavier than the US’s previous generation of destroyers.
USS Zumwalt was the first of a wave of new ships – but after just three were completed, the rest of the programme was cancelled due to costs.
Russia’s giant “city killer” 潜艇 – the Belgorod – is packed with “启示录” drones designed to trigger a radioactive tsunami.
The ship – which at 604ft is twice the size of the Royal Navy’s Astute-class attack subs – is hailed as a “让它更令人满意” for Putin’s forces.
The 14,700-ton war machine was made even longer so it can carry the new devastating nuclear-tipped Poseidon torpedoes guided by artificial intelligence.
And this week, 来源 told Russia’s Tass news agency the final sea trials are almost complete.
It will reportedly serve in the Pacific fleet – directly threatening US naval bases on the West Coast and major cities such as Los Angeles.
The B-2 bomber has been in service for 30 年, but she remains an iconic and devastating part of the US’s aresnal.
The heavy strategic bombers have a distinctive flying wing design and can up to 50,000lbs of bombs.
Nuclear weapons can be packed on board, along with devastating conventional explosives such as massive bunker busters.
Capable of flying at speeds of 630mph over a range of 6,900 英里 – the plane has a long reach and also very hard to detect while in stealth mode.
一些 21 of the bombers remain in service.
Each aircraft – like a warship – also has its own name, such as the Spirit of America, the Spirit of Texas or the Spirit of New York.
The fearsome T-14 Armata is seen as the next generation of super tank and is intended to have the capability to operate without an human input.
And the tankers have a special stealth coating to disguise themselves on enemy radar.
UV detectors give instant warning of incoming fire while a 125mm smoothbore cannon fires at a rate of 100 shots per minute.
It also boasts a fully autonomous turret that can rotate 360 degrees at high speed to hit back at threats in any direction.
The tanks also have slat armour providing protection against high-precision anti-tank weapons and close combat weapons such as hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers.
F-35s are the £100million fighter jets designed to the next generation of aerial warfare for the West.
Operated by the US, UK and some of their allies – the aircraft is a stealth fighter jet designed for both strike missions and aerial combat.
The warplanes can fly at speeds of up to Mach 1.6 and can carry up to 18,000lbs worth of weapons.
Taking off from either an airfield or an aircraft carrier, the versatile jets are fifth generation fighters designed to stay in service until 2070.
Equipped with advanced cockpit technology, the F-35 actually beams data onto the specialised visor of the pilot’s helmet – helping them feel one with the aircraft.
Hypersonic missiles and nuclear bombs are all capable of being carried by the plane which is also armed with a 4 barrel rotary cannon.
Russia’s answer to the F-35 is Putin’s own fifth generation fighter, the Sukhoi Su-57 – which entered service in 2020.
The aircraft is a stealth fighter with a sleek design to help it evade radar detection.
Su-57s can hit speeds of up to 1,327mph and are bristling with weapons, capable of carrying up to 12 missiles and bombs.
And the fighters are also designed to be able to carry Putin’s terrifying hypersonic nuclear missiles.
It is reported the weapons will be able to be fired for the Su-57 and travel five times the speed of sound towards its target.
USS GERALD R. FORD
The USS Gerald R. Ford is the lead ship in her class for Washington’s next generation of aircraft carriers.
这 100,000 ton vessel is powered by two nuclear reactors and can carry up to 75 warplanes, bombers and helicopters.
Being the latest class of super carrier, the ship is truly enormous – being 1,092ft long and carrying a crew of more than 2,500 sailors.
Like all US carriers, she is designed to be the hub of a carrier strike group – being accompanied by destroyers and submarines.
Her sister ship the USS John F. Kennedy is expected to be in service by 2024, while the USS Enterprise will join them in 2028.