Russia | Operational readiness of a new generation of nuclear weapons – VIDEO
Defence Redefined
Published on 18/11/2023 at 13:07

The Russian Army has unveiled an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) system equipped with an Avangard-type hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), with the country’s Ministry of Defence publishing footage of the Russian weapon entering operational service.

Specifically, Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces Command began putting the new generation of nuclear missiles into launch silos in southern Russia, near Kazakhstan. President Vladimir Putin announced the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle in 2018, saying that it is Russia’s answer to other countries’ anti-ballistic systems.

Russia’s TASS news agency claimed that the missile has a range of over 6,000 km and can be launched from the Topol M, YARS, R-36 M2, RS-28, and Bulava missile platforms. The weapon system in question is 5.4 meters long, has an explosive yield of 0.8–2 Mt, and weighs approximately 2,000 kg.

Also read: RTX | How to protect hypersonic vehicles? Make them sweat!

As it approaches its target, the HGV Avangard detaches from the missile and can make steep maneuvers out of the missile’s path at hypersonic speeds, which reach up to Mach 27 (about 34,000 km/h).

This strategic system is part of a new generation of missiles capable, according to Moscow, of hitting a target almost anywhere in the world and penetrating any existing missile shield, such as the system deployed by the United States in Europe.

Also read: Hypersonic weapons: The latest developments – VIDEO

Vladimir Putin had compared Avangard, which was successfully tested in December 2018, to the creation of Earth’s first artificial satellite, a reference to Sputnik, which was launched in 1957 and symbolized the Soviet Union’s technological lead over the United States amid the Cold War.

Also read: USAF | Maiden flight of the new B-21 Raider stealth bomber – VIDEO

The Russian Defence Ministry TV channel ZVEZDA broadcast images of a ballistic missile being carried into a launch silo, slowly rising to a vertical position and then descending into the silo. Russia had deployed the Avangard missile in 2019 at the same facility in the same area.

Hypersonic ballistic weapons are the new trend and the US seems to be tracking the developments for the time being, after some failed attempts at related tests.

Also read: USAF | Selection of Northrop Grumman for Phase 2 of the Stand-in Attack Weapon

Although Russia’s move to load its launch silos with new-generation nuclear missiles is logical and expected, the war in Ukraine and bad bilateral relations with NATO make the above Russian move not go unnoticed and cause concern.

Russia and the United States, by far the largest nuclear powers, have both lamented the collapse of arms control treaties that had slowed the Cold War arms race and reduced the risk of a nuclear war. However, the United States, Russia, and China are developing a range of new weapon systems, including hypersonic ones.

Also read: USA | The new nuclear gravity bomb B61-13




Pin It on Pinterest

Share This