27 Dec 2018

Russia ready to deploy new hypersonic nuclear missile - Putin

4:30 pm on 27 December 2018

President Vladimir Putin says Russia now has a new type of strategic weapon, announcing it will deploy its first regiment of hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles next year.

President Vladimir Putin at the National Defense Control Center.

President Vladimir Putin at the National Defense Control Center. Photo: AFP / Mikhael Klimentyev / Sputnik

Mr Putin was speaking after overseeing what the Kremlin said was a pre-deployment test of the new missile system, called Avangard.

"This test, which has just finished, ended with complete success," Mr Putin told a government meeting.

"From next year, 2019, Russia's armed forces will get the new intercontinental strategic system Avangard ... It's a big moment in the life of the armed forces and in the life of the country. Russia has obtained a new type of strategic weapon."

Russia has said the new missile system, one of several new weapons Mr Putin announced in March, is highly manoeuvrable, allowing it to easily evade missile defence systems.

Mr Putin remotely observed Wednesday's test from a Russian defence ministry building in Moscow. The Kremlin described the test in a statement, saying that an Avangard missile, launched from a location in south-west Russia, had successfully hit and destroyed a target in the Russian Far East.

Mr Putin announced an array of new weapons in March, including the Avangard, in one of his most bellicose speeches in years, saying they could hit almost any point in the world and evade a US-built missile shield.


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