Russia’s Avangard nuclear boost-glide vehicle ICBM system.
Image Credit: Defense Ministry/ TASS
The Russian Strategic Missile forces have in possession a hypersonic weapon that could pose a problem for the Western World. The Avangard Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which was deployed last year, is considered to be one of the most advanced ICBM systems in the World. It was deployed in the Dombarovsky division of the Russian strategic forces in December 2019, and was put in combat duty.
The Avangard is one of a kind ICBM system, which was developed by Research and Production Association of Machine-building in the Reutov region in Moscow. Testing has been ongoing since 2004. The Avangard boost-glide vehicle has the capability to fly 27 times faster than the speed of sound in the dense layers of the atmosphere. It is also believed to be able to breach any anti-missile defense, but this has not been tested in combat. The boost-glide vehicle is mounted on top of an ICBM, and can also carry nukes up to two megatones. The ICBM system has the capability to hit targets 6,000 kilometres away, as it was demonstrated back in December 2018 during target practice.
Russia also have a Sarmat ICBM system in progress. It shall become operational in 2022. The rapid modernisation of the Russian army is similiar to other countries’ rapid modernization of their armies.