Russia tested the new weapon on Wednesday, the missile has the ability to reach more than 15,000 miles per hour and as it closes in on its target it can adjust both altitude and direction in order to fly low and avoid interceptors, all this thanks to a maneuverable gliding warhead.
The Russian leader says this will be a wonderful gift for the country for the New Year, and that it will be practically invulnerable. The hypersonic system was tested in southwest Russia, from the Dombarovsky military airbase.
There was no official Pentagon answer to President Putin’s announcement that took place on Wednesday. But there was a comment by Gen. John Hyten, the head of US Strategic Command made back in March, saying that the current US missile-detecting satellites and radars will not be capable of spotting hypersonic threats like the Avangard.
However, US Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael D. Griffin stated that US might have a working defense capability against hypersonic weapons in about five to six years. Meanwhile, the US has set up a hypersonic missile project together with Lockheed Martin earlier this year.
The Avangard announcement comes less than a month after US declared to pull out of the decades-old nuclear treaty in 60 days unless Russia returns to full and verifiable compliance with it.