Putin to deploy new hypersonic missile system as arms race escalates

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday his army would deploy a new hypersonic nuclear-capable missile system next year, upping the ante in a high-tech arms race with the U.S. Mr. Putin made the announcement at a Kremlin meeting following tests of the hypersonic system known as Avangard. “The test was completely successful: all technical parameters were verified,” Mr. Putin said, according to Russia’s state-run TASS news agency. “Starting from next year, in 2019, a new intercontinental strategic system Avangard will enter service in the Russian army and the first regiment in the Strategic Missile Troops will be deployed,” Mr. Putin said. The Avangard is a strategic intercontinental ballistic missile system equipped with a gliding hypersonic maneuvering warhead. Hypersonic warheads travel faster than traditional ballistic missiles. They reach speeds of Mach 5 or five times the speed of sound, about one mile per second.

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