Official Reveals Russia's Avangard Hypersonic Missile Speed
02:58 28.12.2018(updated 02:59 28.12.2018)
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 Russia's Zvezda television channel.
Borisov spoke a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw what he described as the conclusive successful test of the Avangard and hailed it as a reliable guarantee of Russia's security for decades to come.
"The latest tests have shown that it has reached speeds close to 30 Machs. Practically at these speeds, no anti-missile can knock it down," Borisov said.
In Wednesday's test, the weapon was reportedly launched from the Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Ural Mountains. Moscow said it successfully hit a practice target on the Kura shooting range on Kamchatka, 6,000 kilometres (3,700 miles) away.
Sergei Ivanov, a former Russian defence minister, said in televised comments that the Avangard constantly changes its course and altitude while it flies through the atmosphere, chaotically zigzagging on its path to its target, making it impossible to predict the weapon's location.
He noted that Russia has a stockpile of several dozen such missiles, which are in a factory-mint condition and not filled with fuel, allowing them to serve for a long time to come. Ivanov added that they could be put in existing silos, reducing the costs of Avangard's deployment.
"The Avangard has cost hundreds of times less than what the US has spent on its missile defence," Ivanov said, cited by Associated Press.
He noted that Russia began to develop the Avangard after 2002 when the US withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and began developing defences against ballistic missiles.
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