Russia has become the first country to complete the development of hypersonic weapons, President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday as he hailed the successful testing of advanced missiles.
“On my instructions, the industrial enterprises and the Defense Ministry have prepared for and carried out the final test of this system,” Putin said, according to Russia’s TASS news agency. “The test was completely successful: All technical parameters were verified.”
The intercontinental, nuclear-capable hypersonic missile system will enter service in Russia’s military next year, he added.
The weapon, dubbed “Avangard,” successfully hit a target 6,000 kilometers from launch, according to a separate statement from the Kremlin.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense released a video of the test launch:
“The Avangard is invulnerable to intercept by any existing and prospective missile-defense means of the potential adversary,” Putin said.
Putin first announced the missile along with an array of other developments in a speech last March, helping to fuel calls in the US to spend more on the military.
This month, an association representing arms manufacturers hosted an event titled “Hypersonics Senior Executives Series,” at which US defense officials said they were scaling up efforts to develop the advanced projectiles.
“In the last year, China has tested more hypersonic weapons than we have in a decade,” said Michael Griffin, US undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, as reported by a US Army website. “We’ve got to fix that,” he stressed, noting that Russia is also ahead of the curve.
“Hypersonics is a game changer,” he added.