The Russian military says its new intercontinental weapon that can fly 27 times the speed of sound is now operational. It bolsters the country’s nuclear strike capability and can carry a nuclear weapon of up to 2 megatons. Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the weapon’s creation as a technological breakthrough comparable to the 1957 Soviet launch of the first satellite. The weapon it can make sharp maneuvers in the atmosphere en route to target, making it much harder to intercept. The United States has pondered defense strategies.