Putin claims Russia is the only country that has hypersonic weapons
MOSCOW, - Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his country led the world in hypersonic weapons. He claimed that Russia was the only country in the world that possessed hypersonic weapons.
Speaking at a meeting with military officials, Putin said that for the first time in Russian history it had the advantage of designing a new class of weapons, unlike in the past when pursuing the United States (US).
He said that the first vehicle unit equipped with the Avangard hypersonic missile launcher would go on duty this month, while the Kinzhal hypersonic missile that could be launched in the air had begun operating as quoted by AP on Tuesday (12/24/2019).
Putin first mentioned Avangard and Kinzhal among other prospective weapons systems in his state address in March 2018.
Putin said that Avangard missiles have intercontinental range and can fly in the atmosphere at speeds 20 times the speed of sound. He noted that the weapon's ability to change its direction and height on its way to the target made it immune to interception by the enemy.
Putin further described the Avangard missile as a weapon of the future, capable of penetrating existing and prospective missile defense systems. "
Meanwhile Kinzhal missiles, carried by MiG-31 fighter jets, entered service with the Russian Air Force last year. Putin said that the missile was flying 10 times faster than the speed of sound, had a range of more than 2,000 kilometers and could carry conventional nuclear or warheads. The Russian military said the missile could hit targets on land and ships.
The US itself and a number of other countries have also worked on designing hypersonic weapons, but they have not yet entered the military.