Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw a test Wednesday of a new hypersonic glide vehicle, declaring that the weapon is impossible to intercept and will ensure Russia's security for decades to come.
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.
Putin unveiled the Avangard missile system, one of a variety of weapons Russian Federation developed to counter United States defenses, after former President George W. Bush withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002. The Kremlin says it successfully hit a designated practice target on the Kura shooting range on Kamchatka, 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) away. Mr. Putin has laid out plans to develop missiles banned under the deal if the US abandons it.
The hypersonic missile could fly at 20 times the speed of sound and maneuver up and down, meaning it could breach defense systems, he said at the time.
Avangard, also known as "Objekt 4202", is a hypersonic boost-glide missile system that is supposed to combine a high-performance ballistic missile with an unmanned glider vehicle for significant improvements in maneuverability and sustained top speed.
China has successfully tested the advanced S-400 air defence system imported from Russian Federation for which India also signed-up recently despite concerns over threat of sanctions from the US.
It can strike "like a meteorite, like a fireball", Putin said in his speech. But subsequent developments have borne out an altogether different truth: these weapons are, in fact, quite real, and pose varying levels of strategic threat. "We've got to fix that", he stressed, noting that Russian Federation is also ahead of the curve.
He emphasised that no other country now has hypersonic weapons.