Published: Sat, December 29, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Russia Tests Nuclear-Capable Mach 20 Hypersonic Missile Successfully, Overtaking US Capability

Russia Tests Nuclear-Capable Mach 20 Hypersonic Missile Successfully, Overtaking US Capability

Putin said that with this launch, the country begins a new stage in its military development, by having a new type of weapon, because it is a strategic hypersonic missile.

Russia's new strategic weapon has rendered any missile defences useless at a small fraction of their cost, officials said.

The Avangard system was one of several advanced weapons systems that Putin presented during his state-of-the-nation speech in March.

In March 2018, Putin announced the Avangard alongside other modernized Russian nuclear delivery systems, emphasizing that it was being pursued due to USA pursuit of missile defense systems.

The "Avangard" missile platform is a boost-glide vehicle that is deployed from the tip of an ICBM before gliding back to earth in a controlled descent at speeds in excess of Mach 5, and if Moscow is to be believed, as quickly as Mach 20. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

Russian weapon test
Russian president Vladimir Putin and chief of general staff of Russia Valery Gerasimov

The Avangard hypersonic vehicle zigzags on its path, making it impossible to predict, Russian Federation says.

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 says its hypersonic "Avangard" missile can carry nuclear and conventional warheads, reach nearly any point in the world and evade a US-built missile shield. It's a big moment in the life of the armed forces and in the life of the country. The next secretary of defense must demand high-priority returns on investment from USA defense contractors working to counter these threats.Ultimately, the Avangard is a tanglble reminder that Russian Federation and China are America's two primary adversaries. At the time, he also cited its potential speed as being 20 times the speed of sound - which is 767 miles per hour. The missile's payload separates after the booster's powered flight into the exoatmosphere; after that, the hypersonic glide vehicle descends and maneuvers in the upper atmosphere to its target.

The Defense Ministry released footage from the test launch, in which a ballistic missile could be seen blasting from a silo in a cloud of smoke, but it hasn't released any images of the vehicle itself.

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