Putin crows as he oversees Russian hypersonic weapons test

Putin crows as he oversees Russian hypersonic weapons test

Putin described the successful test, in which the glider was launched from a site in southwestern Russian Federation toward a target on the Kamchatka Peninsula more than 3,500 miles away, as a "wonderful, flawless New Year's gift for the country".

"Starting from next year, a new intercontinental strategic system Avangard will enter service in the Russian Army and the first regiment in the Strategic Missile Troops will be deployed", he said.

Putin attributed the development of Avangard to advances in the US missile defense system that could erode Russia's nuclear deterrent.

The U.S. says Russian Federation was in violation of the INF agreement, because it developed and deployed a new cruise missile, an allegation Russian Federation has denied.

He said Avangard has been designed using new composite materials to withstand temperatures of up to 2,000 Celsius (3,632 Fahrenheit) resulting from a flight through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds.

The Avangard missiles are created to fly faster and at higher altitude to avoid missile defense systems. He said Avangard "heads for its target like a meteorite". "Russia now has a new kind of strategic weapon".

Traditional intercontinental ballistic missiles travel in a predetermined arc and do not maneuver, making them easier to shoot down with missile defense interceptors.

Russian Federation just completed testing with "complete success", Putin said.

Putin oversaw a test of the Avangard system on Wednesday, watching a large video screen in Moscow that showed a missile carrying the weapon being launched from a silo in the Dombarovskiy missile base in Orenburg Oblast, in the southern Ural Mountains.

He noted that Russian Federation began to develop the Avangard after the United States withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 and started to develop defences against ballistic missiles.

"In the past year, China has tested more hypersonic weapons than we have in a decade", said Michael Griffin, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, as reported by a US Army website.

Ivanov, who now serves as Putin's adviser, said the Avangard could be fitted to the Soviet-made UR-100UTTKh intercontinental ballistic missile, which is code- named SS-19 Stiletto by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Footage of the successful test was released immediately by Russian media, showing the missile's hot launch from a silo.

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