Putin crows as he oversees Russian hypersonic weapons test

The Kremlin says the Russian military has successful tested a new hypersonic glide vehicle

The Avangard was among the array of new nuclear weapons that Putin presented in March, saying that Russia had to develop them in response to the development of the U.S. missile defense system that could erode Russia's nuclear deterrent.

In Wednesday's test, the weapon was launched from the Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Ural Mountains. The Kremlin said it successfully hit a designated practice target on the Kura shooting range on Kamchatka, 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) away.

"The Avangard is invulnerable to intercept by any existing and prospective missile defense means of the potential adversary," Putin said after the test, adding that the new weapon will enter service next year with the military's Strategic Missile Forces.

When first presenting the Avangard in March, the Russian leader said the new system has an intercontinental range and can fly in the atmosphere at 20 times the speed of sound, bypassing the enemy's missile defense.

He emphasized that no other country currently has hypersonic weapons.

Putin has said that Avangard is designed using new composite materials to withstand temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Celsius (3,632 degrees Fahrenheit) that come from a flight through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds.

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