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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Putin hails successful test of Avangard hypersonic missile system

Iran Press TV

Wed Dec 26, 2018 05:34PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin has commended his military forces for carrying out a successful test launch of the cutting-edge Avangard hypersonic missile system.

"On my instructions the industrial enterprises and the Defense Ministry have prepared for and carried out the final test of this system," Putin said at a meeting with members of his government on Wednesday. "The test was completely successful; all technical parameters were verified."

The test on Wednesday saw an Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle launched from the Dombarovskiy missile base in Russia's southern Ural Mountains, successfully hitting its designated target 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) away in Kamchatka's Kura shooting range.

"The Avangard is invulnerable to intercept by any existing and prospective missile defense means of the potential adversary," Putin said after the test.

When first unveiling the Avangard in his state-of-the-nation address in March, Putin said the hypersonic system has an intercontinental range and could reach speeds 20 times faster than the speed of sound when flying in the atmosphere.

This, according to the Russian president, allows the missile to bypass all of world's existing missile defense systems.

Emphasizing that no other country in the world had hypersonic weapons, Putin said then that the Avangard could fly so fast because of the new composite materials that allow it to withstand temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Celsius (3,632 degrees Fahrenheit) caused by hypersonic flights through the atmosphere.

The Russian head of state said the advanced system would enter service next year as a new addition to the country's arsenal of strategic weapons.

"It's a big moment in the life of the armed forces and in the life of the country. Russia has obtained a new type of strategic weapon," he said.

The Avangard is one of the many new nuclear weapons that Russia has in development.

It was reported Tuesday that the Russian Navy has started sea trials of its Poseidon underwater nuclear drone, that could carry nuclear warheads powerful enough to level entire naval bases.

Russia is planning to modernize its strategic and conventional weapons in reaction to US President Donald Trump's threats to withdraw from the Soviet-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which bans the two sides from developing land-based missile systems ranging from 310 to 3,400 miles.

Avangard's test comes 16 years after former US President George W. Bush abandoned the 1972 the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, which banned the US and the Soviet Union from developing more than two ABM complexes at the same time.

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