On Wednesday, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has reported that a next hypersonic missile system outfitted with the Avangard nuclear boost-glide vehicle has been put into service.
The newest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with the hypersonic glide vehicles was assumed “combat duty” in the Dombarovsky division of the Strategic Missile Force, according to a press release from the Russian military released on 16 Dec.
The Avangard is a strategic intercontinental ballistic missile system equipped with a hypersonic boost-glide vehicle. According to open sources, the breakthrough weapon was developed by the Research and Production Association of Machine-Building (the town of Reutov in the Moscow Region) and was tested from 2004.
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The boost-glide vehicle is capable of flying at over 20 times the speed of sound in the dense layers of the atmosphere, maneuvering by its flight path and its altitude and breaching any anti-missile defense.
Mounted on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the Avangard can carry a nuclear weapon of up to two megatons.
The first missile regiment armed with Avangard entered duty near the southern Urals city of Orenburg late last year, according to multiple reports.