MOSCOW, June 7. /TASS/. The Kinzhal hypersonic missile system and the laser combat complex are already in service with the Russian Armed Forces while the Avangard weapon will come into operation in 2019 and the Sarmat super-powerful missile in 2020, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said during his annual Q&A session on Thursday.
"The Kinzhal airborne hypersonic system is a hypersonic missile that flies at a speed of Mach 10 and it is already operational in our army in the Southern Federal District. If someone has come to have doubts about that, he should watch it: we specially demonstrated the launches of this missile," Putin said.
"Secondly, this is the laser combat system that is also in operation. The Avangard system is in the process of industrial production. It has gone into serial production and we plan to deliver it to the Armed Forces in 2019. In 2020, we also plan to deliver our most powerful strategic missile complex - the super-powerful Sarmat ballistic missile - to our Armed Forces," Putin said.
As the Russian leader stressed, Russia started developing breakthrough weapon systems in response to the US unilateral withdrawal from the ABM Treaty.
According to Putin, the Avangard is an intercontinental ballistic missile system that changes its course by its direction and its altitude.
"This is an absolute weapon, if we speak about the present day - over Mach 20 - twenty speeds of the sound. I don’t think that such weapons will be developed in some other country in the coming years, although they will surely be developed someday," the Russian president forecasted, stressing that he was not concerned over the possibility that analogs of this weapon could be created by other countries.