Avangard weapon makes missile defences useless, Russian Federation says

Avangard weapon makes missile defences useless, Russian Federation says

President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he witnessed a final test of a hypersonic glide vehicle, one of a series of new weapons that will be able to overcome existing and future defences. In footage released by the Kremlin, the Russian leader can be seen watching the successful test launch of the new missile that could evade United States defences.

The missile launched in southwest Russian Federation and destroyed a target in the Far East.

Following the test launch, the Russian president affirmed that "the new Avangard system is invulnerable to current and promising air defense and missile defense systems of a potential enemy". He added that the new weapon "essentially makes missile defenses useless".

"Russia has a new type of strategic weapon", he said, adding that the intercontinental "Avangard" system would be ready for use from 2019.

The Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle flies 27 times faster than the speed of sound, making it impossible to intercept, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told Russian state television. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

Putin watched the launch of the Avangard missile system from the Defense Ministry's control room with a group of top Russian military officials.

RU-RTR Russian Television via AP  file
A computer simulation show the Avangard hypersonic vehicle being released from booster rockets
RU-RTR Russian Television via AP file A computer simulation show the Avangard hypersonic vehicle being released from booster rockets

He said at the time that Cold War tensions between the U.S. and Russian Federation "no longer exist" and that in the aftermath of 9/11, the biggest threats come from "terrorists who strike without warning".

The test launch was conducted by the combat crew of the Strategic Missile Forces formation from the Orenburg region in the Southern Urals and hit a conventional target at a test site in the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Far East, the Kremlin said.

Russian Federation began full-fledged development of the Avangard 15 years ago. It's a big moment in the life of the armed forces and in the life of the country.

Putin announced an array of new weapons in March, including the Avangard, in one of his most bellicose speeches in years, saying they could hit nearly any point in the world and evade a US-built missile shield.

He emphasised that no other country now has hypersonic weapons.




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