Russia conducted a hypersonic weapons test today, and Vladimir Putin is clearly excited about it. Speaking from a defense ministry control room after watching a live feed of the demonstration, the Russian president boasted to his military leaders that the intercontinental, nuclear-capable weapon is “invulnerable to intercept by any existing and prospective missile defense means of the potential adversary.”
What’s more, the Avangard system, as it’s called, will be deployed to Russia’s armed forces in 2019. “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,” Putin said.
Hypersonic weapons are highly maneuverable, allowing them to easily evade missile defense systems. US military leaders have conceded the point. In late March, John Hyten, commander of US Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us.”
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