Putin Announces New Hypersonic Weapon Will Be Deployed In “Months”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Moscow would deploy new Avangard hypersonic glider warheads in the “coming months,” adding that Russia’s hypersonic program is the most advanced in the world, according to a new report from the Financial Times.
“We are improving our attack systems in response to the construction of a missile defense system by the United States. Some of them are already in service, and some will be supplied in the near future,” said Putin, who was speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club in the Black Sea resort of Sochi Thursday, adding that Moscow’s hypersonic weapons program was well ahead of China and the US.
“The Avangard system [will be deployed] in the next few months.”
Video of Putin at the Valdai Club in Sochi:
“It is a fact of life that we are ahead of all our partners and competitors in this sphere of high precision, hypersonic weapons,” he said.
“No one else has that . . . In that sense, we feel very comfortable, very safe.”
This latest revelation comes seven months after Putin shocked Russia’s political elite at the annual Russian state of the union address in March by claiming Moscow had developed new nuclear weapons that cannot be shot down by US anti-ballistic missile defenses. The missiles, Putin said, are capable of striking almost any point on Earth while traveling at hypersonic speeds.
In what sounded like an implicit threat to the West, Putin also said back in March that Russia had repeatedly warned Washington not to go ahead with anti-missile systems that Moscow fears could erode its nuclear deterrent. However “nobody listened to us. Listen Now,” he said, to a loud ovation from the crowd of legislators, officials, and dignitaries.
A hypersonic glider is a projectile that can fly at speeds of over Mach 5 (+3,800 mph). The glider is extremely maneuverable, which makes its ballistic trajectory unpredictable, thus rendering most Western missile defense shields useless.