Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that Russia had a leading position in the field of new weapons, becoming the only country in the world to deploy hypersonic weapons. Mr Putin said the first launch vehicle equipped with the new hypersonic missile, avant-garde, would enter service this month, while the air-launched Kinzhal hypersonic missile was already equipped.
According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Avangar can fly at Mach 27 (27 times the speed of sound) and uses a new synthetic material that can withstand temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Celsius and can carry a nuclear warhead of up to 2 million tons of equivalent. Avangard will represent a technological breakthrough. The Pentagon is also developing U.S. hypersonic missiles, but it could take another year or two to deploy them.