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Russia's Putin Oversees Test of Hypersonic Weapon

Russia's Putin Oversees Test of Hypersonic Weapon
This photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, An Su-30 fighter jet of the Russian air force launches a missile during maneuvers in southern Russia. The Russian Defense Ministry said the drills included launches of missiles and bombing runs on sea and land targets. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

Wednesday, 26 December 2018 06:44 AM

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.

Speaking to Russia's top military brass after watching the live feed of the launch of the Avangard vehicle from the Defense Ministry's control room, Putin said the successful test was a "great success" and an "excellent New Year's gift to the nation."

The test comes amid bitter tensions in Russia-U.S. relations, which have sunk to their lowest level since the Cold War times over the conflict in Ukraine, the war in Syria and the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Putin's hopes for repairing ties with Washington under President Donald Trump have fizzled amid investigations into allegations of Trump's campaign ties with Russia, and tensions have escalated as the U.S. administration slapped Russia with new waves of sanctions.

The Avangard was among the array of new nuclear weapons that Putin presented in March, saying that Russia had to develop them in response to the development of the U.S. missile defense system that could erode Russia's nuclear deterrent.

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 designated practice target on the Kura shooting range on Kamchatka, 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) away.

"The Avangard is invulnerable to intercept by any existing and prospective missile defense means of the potential adversary," Putin said after the test, adding that the new weapon will enter service next year with the military's Strategic Missile Forces.

When first presenting the Avangard in March, the Russian leader said the new system has an intercontinental range and can fly in the atmosphere at 20 times the speed of sound, bypassing the enemy's missile defense.

He emphasized that no other country currently has hypersonic weapons.

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

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The Kremlin says the Russian military has successful tested a new hypersonic glide vehicle.It said Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw the test launch of the Avangard vehicle from the Defense Ministry's control room.In Wednesday' test, the weapon was launched from the...
russia, hypersonic, missile, test, putin
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2018-44-26
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 06:44 AM
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