MOSCOW, December 17. /TASS/. First Avangard hypersonic missile systems will enter combat duty in 2019 at the Dombarovsky missile division based in the Orenburg Region in the south Urals, Strategic Missile Force Commander Colonel-General Sergei Karakayev said in an interview with Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper.
"First complexes are planned to be put on combat duty at the missile regiment of the Dombarosky division starting next year," Karakayev said.
The Avangard is a strategic intercontinental ballistic missile system equipped with a hypersonic glide vehicle. According to open sources, the ‘breakthrough’ weapon was developed by the Research and Production Association of Machine-Building (the town of Reutov, the Moscow Region) and was tested from 2004. The glide vehicle is capable of flying at hypersonic speed in the dense layers of the atmosphere, maneuvering by its flight path and its altitude and breaching any anti-missile defense.
The new weapon was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State of the Nation address to the Federal Assembly on March 1. Later, the Russian leader said during his annual Q&A session on June 7 that "the Avangard system is already in the process of its manufacture and has entered its serial production and in 2019 we are planning to deliver it to the Armed Forces."
The UR-100N UTTKh (SS-19 Stiletto) is a heavy upgrade of the UR-100 missile complex developed in the Soviet Union in the 1960s by the Design Bureau-52 led by Vladimir Chelomei. It was accepted for service in 1980. Currently, Russia’s Strategic Missile Force operates 30 silo-based missiles of this type, according to open sources. The missile has a takeoff weight of about 100 tonnes and a throw weight of around 4.5 tonnes.
Initially, the UR-100N UTTKh will be the carrier for Russia’s strategic hypersonic weapon. Eventually, it will be replaced by the Sarmat ICBM.