Russian officials said on Thursday December 27th that their country’s new strategic weapon has rendered any missile defences useless at a small fraction of their cost.
As reported by AP, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told Russian state television that the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle flies 27 times faster than the speed of sound, making it impossible to intercept.
He said that the new weapon “essentially makes missile defences useless.”
In Wednesday's test, the weapon was launched from the Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Ural Mountains. The Kremlin said it successfully hit a practice target on the Kura shooting range on Kamchatka, 6,000 kilometres (3,700 miles) away.
Putin said the Avangard will enter service with the Russian Strategic Missile Forces next year.
Sergei Ivanov, a former Russian defence minister 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 Nato.
Ivanov said, “The Avangard has cost hundreds of times less than what the US has spent on its missile defence.”