Putin oversees testing of new hypersonic missile system: report

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Russia’s Vladimir Putin appeared Wednesday at a weapons test for his country’s new hypersonic missiles, where the Russian leader predicted that the weapons would be impervious to rival missile defense systems.

The Associated Press and Reuters report that Putin oversaw Wednesday’s test of Russia’s Avangard missile system, which Russia previously said could fly at 20 times the speed of sound, too fast for missile defense systems to intercept.

{mosads}On Wednesday, Russian forces reportedly used the system to hit a target 3,700 miles from its initial firing location at a missile base in the Ural Mountains.

“This test, which has just finished, ended with complete success,” Putin told Russia’s top military commanders following the test.

“From next year, 2019, Russia’s armed forces will get the new intercontinental strategic system Avangard,” he continued. “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.”

The missiles, which Putin went on to call an “excellent New Year’s gift to the nation,” are set to enter service with the Russian military next year.

“The Avangard is invulnerable to intercept by any existing and prospective missile defense means of the potential adversary,” Putin boasted Wednesday, while adding that no other country possessed hypersonic weapons.

Putin’s presence at the missile tests comes just weeks after the Russian leader vowed to continue production of weapons that violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty if the U.S. does the same.

Tags hypersonic missiles INF Treaty Russia weapons test

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