Putin announced during his annual State of the Union address on March 1 that the Avangard HGV (Hypersonic glide vehicle), developed under the secret Project 4202 and codenamed Yu-71, has already entered serial production.
“After the first series of glide vehicles is produced and a controlling launch of a missile with this armament is carried out successfully, the Avangard complex may be accepted for service already in late 2018. At the latest, it will be accepted for operation and placed on high alert in 2019,” he said.
The Russian Defense Ministry had signed a contract for the production of the Avangard strategic missile system.
The ‘breakthrough’ weapon with the hypersonic glide vehicle was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1. Later, Russia’s Strategic Missile Force Commander Sergei Karakayev said the Avangard’s trials had been completed.
The Avangard is a strategic intercontinental ballistic missile system equipped with a hypersonic glide vehicle. According to open sources, the ‘breakthrough’ weapon was developed by the Research and Production Association of Machine-Building.
The HGV is capable of traveling at speeds greater than Mach 20.
Putin claims improved composite materials protect the missile from 2000 degree celsius temperatures.
In 2017, the U.S. intelligence community believes that China’s HGV warhead, the DF-17, will be the first hypersonic glide weapon.