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Russia tests new hypersonic weapon on Putin’s orders

Russian President Vladimir Putin is to chair a meeting to discuss preparation for the occasion of the anniversary of the allied victory in the second world War, in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.
(AP)

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw a test Wednesday of a new hypersonic glide vehicle, to certify that the weapon is impossible to intercept and will ensure that the safety of Russia for the coming decades.

Speaking to the Russian top military brass after watching the live feed of the launch of the Avangard vehicle of the Ministry of Defence is the audit chamber, Putin said the successful test was a “big success” and an “excellent New Year, a gift of the nation.”

The test comes amid bitter tensions in Russia-U.S. relations, which have sunk to their lowest level since the Cold War times about the conflict in the Ukraine, the war in Syria and the accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Putin hopes to repair ties with Washington under President Donald Trump are cooled down amid investigations into allegations of Trump’s campaign ties with Russia, and tensions escalated as the government in the U.S. hit Russia with new waves of sanctions.

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The Avangard was among the array of new nuclear weapons that Putin presented in March, saying that Russia had to develop them in response to the development of the AMERICAN missile defense system that can erode the Russian nuclear deterrent.

On Wednesday’s test, the weapon was launched from Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Urals. The Kremlin said that the success of a designated practice target on the Kura firing range on Kamchatka, more than 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) away.

“The Avangard is invulnerable to interception by all existing and future missile defense means of the potential enemy,” Putin said after the test to add that the new weapon will go next year with the military Strategic Missile Forces.

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At the first presentation of the Avangard in March, the Russian leader said that the new system has an intercontinental range and can fly in the atmosphere at 20 times the speed of sound, evade the enemy missile defense.

He stressed that no other country currently has hypersonic weapons.

Putin has said that Avangard is designed with the use of new composite materials can withstand temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Celsius (3,632 degrees Celsius) coming from a flight through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds.

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