Russian Federation on Wednesday conducted a final test of a nuclear-capable glider that flies at 20 times the speed of sound, President Vladimir Putin said, adding that the weapon will be added to the country's arsenal next year.
In Wednesday's test, the weapon was launched from the Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Ural Mountains.
The military has previously said the Avangard glider was sacked from the Dombarovsky site in southern Russian Federation and targeted the test range in Kura in the Kamchatka Peninsula.
It is extremely hard to predict the glider's trajectory, which essentially leaves any missile defense system off-guard.
"The Avangard gliding warhead is a re-entry vehicle created to perform erratic hypersonic manoeuvres to baffle defence systems", he said.
Speaking to his top military brass after watching the live feed of the launch of the Avangard vehicle from the Defence Ministry's control room, Putin said the successful test was a "great success" and an "excellent New Year's gift to the nation".
Putin's hopes for repairing ties with Washington under President Donald Trump have fizzled amid investigations into allegations of Trump's campaign ties with Russian Federation, and tensions have escalated as the USA administration slapped Russian Federation with new waves of sanctions.
Sergei Ivanov, a former Russian defence minister, said in televised comments that the Avangard constantly changes its course and altitude as it flies through the atmosphere. Traditional intercontinental ballistic missiles travel in a predetermined arc and do not maneuver, making them easier to shoot down with missile defense interceptors.
Ivanov, 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 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Russian President Vladimir Putinoversaw the weapon's launch, comparing it to a "meteorite". Ivanov added that they could be put in existing silos, sharply reducing the costs of Avangard's deployment.
Outstanding mobility makes the Avangard one of the hardest targets, Borisov explained: "There's nearly no missile that can shoot it down at such speeds".
"From next year, 2019, Russia's armed forces will get the new intercontinental strategic system Avangard".
At the time he said Russian Federation had developed the weapons because of Washington's efforts to develop USA missile-defense capabilities.
Ivanov recalled that when Russian officials warned their USA counterparts about the new weapon programme at the time, American officials were openly skeptical about Russia's ability to carry out its plan.
He touted the nuclear-capable weapon, named Avangard, was almost impossible to intercept and would ensure the country's security for decades.
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