Russia has reportedly placed the first ‘Avangard’ hypersonic missiles into service, according to state media.

Avangard is a hypersonic glide vehicle designed to be carried as a payload by the UR-100UTTKh, RS-26 Rubezh and RS-28 Sarmat super-heavy ICBM. Avangard can presumably reach speeds up to Mach 20 and can be used to deliver nuclear and conventional payloads.

“The first missile regiment equipped with latest strategic missiles with the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle entered service at 10 am Moscow time on December 27”, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told a meeting in televised remarks.

Defence officials had earlier said that the first Avangard regiment was placed in the Orenburg region in the Urals.

“This is the first intercontinental ballistic missile with the hypersonic glide vehicle in the world,” Vasily Kashin, a senior research fellow at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, told press.

When approaching a target, the glider is capable of sharp high speed horizontal and vertical evasive maneuvers in flight, which Russian officials claim makes it “invulnerable to any missile defence system.”

Arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis of the Institute of International Studies expressed scepticism towards Avangard’s ability to evade missile defences, stating that “gliding results in slower speeds than traditional re-entry.”

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Highly manoeuvrable… at mach 20… and can carry nuclear payloads… and is invulnerable to any missile defence system… and and and…
Total bull if you ask me. Propaganda much?
However, I’d rather see the results for myself to know for sure. Can anyone point me to any evidence of such a device operating in the conditions they say it can achieve?
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With you on that analysis!


Does certainly seem to defy the laws of physics as we know them, ‘highly manoeuvrable Mach 20 performance’ in the atmosphere in particular seems beyond comprehension though destroying nuclear warheads once they re enter the atmosphere was something I thought incredibly difficult anyway from what I have read which is why I thought the priority was in trying to destroy missiles as soon after launch as possible.


There is very little solid information even on Russian sites, they say much the same as here so maybe propaganda, maybe not, who knows, but as these are only designed to be nuclear warheads at the moment I would be happier not seeing how effective it is

Steve Martin

Agree whole heartedly.

Daniele Mandelli

My thoughts exactly Ulya!


Wow I actually agree with you for wants.


The country that builds lada and rusty old ships with little defence budget


After the ammo dump and carrier ‘incidents’ I can’t help think this is for morale/propaganda purposes. If it isn’t then its the status quo – the MAD principle has always relied on neither side being able to defend against ICBMs so this is nothing new.


Is this re-entry speed? I note that Challengers re-entry speed was M25 but I guess that was just on a glidepath. I just don’t see how you could manoeuvre anything at that speed and still have control of the object. Obviously they have something superior to what else is out there, but if they can over exaggerate its capabilities then why not.


I guess the parallel should be how difficult it would have been to hit a Space Shuttle on re-entry?

Speeds and manoeuvrability are all relative. A manoeuvring warhead will be more difficult to hit than one falling ballistically. Perhaps Avangard is supposed to be a tech-step against recent developments in exoatmospheric intercepts.


Simon, avangard is direct result of US pulling out of ABM treaty and missile defence in Romania and soon Poland. These facts are often dismissed in western sites but are important to us


Obviously someone benefits from Russia pulling out of the INF treaty and the USA pulling out of the ABM treaty. Certainly isn’t the rest of us.

A new cold war will only allow China to rise faster.

Seems self-defeating to me, but then again, I’m no geo-strategic politician.


I won’t bother with the argument about the INF treaty, we will have different views and what’s done is done, but you are right, the whole situation has become rather self defeating unfortunately


As if China, Iran or Russia would have honoured these treaties. They are a waste of paper. Money and perceived threat is the only thing that prevent WMD from being developed. Do people learn nothing from history. If you honestly think a treat prevents weapons being developed your an idiot the only way to prevent them is to reduce the need for them and make sure that anyone who does still want them knows the consequences of using them will be so severe they will never use them.


True, is not as if Russia honors international law with the use and development of chemical weapons.


They can’t even build a decent washing machine in Russia … More fake propaganda


Once launched the accompanying “tug” missile needs to try to keep up!

Peter Crisp

Am I wrong in thinking if they do have this ability it just means that any opposing country that feels like they may be under imminent threat is going to go for an all out preemptive strike now as they know that if they wait they’ll be obliterated by unstoppable super nukes?