MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday the Avangard hypersonic missile system poses an asymmetric response to the US Missile Shield and its revolutionary development may be compared with the first artificial Earth satellite.
"We were in the need to come up with either an adequate or asymmetric, but very serious response," Putin said talking to Russian media representatives. "But what kind of response it would be? This is what Avangard stands for. It represents the movement of the maneuverable glide vehicle in the dense layers of the atmosphere," Putin said.
Earlier in the day during his annual address to the Federal Assembly, Putin said that "the development of the Avangard hypersonic boost-glide vehicle is no less important that the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite."
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.
Avangard hypersonic system
The new weapon was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1 last year. 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.
According to the data of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force, Avangard hypersonic weapons will assume combat duty in the Dombarovsky missile division in the Orenburg Region in 2019. As Russia’s Defense Ministry noted, overall, 31 silo-based launchers of the Yars and Avangard missile systems are expected to assume combat duty this year (the number of the latter was not specified).