The Russian army equipped the first unit with Avangard-type hypersonic missiles. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has informed President Vladimir Putin that the missile regiment has been operational since early this morning, the ministry said. In December 2018 it was announced that the first unit with these weapons would be deployed at Orenburg in the Urals.
Putin described the Avangard rockets as an “absolute weapon” in June 2018. The ICBMs with a range of 4,000 kilometers were tested for the first time in December 2018. The government in Moscow stated that the airspeed was Mach 20, 20 times the speed of sound. Even a speed of Mach 27 should be possible – that would be more than 33,000 kilometers per hour.
Since the target and altitude can still be changed in flight, Putin described the type of missile as „practically invincible“. Putin added that he doesn’t think any country will have such a weapon in the coming years. According to Russian information, the Avangard missiles can break through any existing missile shield.
In the coming year, the Russian armed forces are to be equipped with another type of weapon, which Putin has described as „invincible“. It is the fifth series of the Sarmat ICBM.