Russia’s cutting-edge Avangard and Kinzhal hypersonic weapons have been put on combat alert, while other state-of-the-art arms, including the new-generation S-500 Prometheus surface-to-air missile system, are completing trials, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Monday.
On 28 June, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with top graduates of military schools and academies of the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Emergencies, law enforcement agencies, and special services. Addressing the future commanders, the Russian president emphasised that they would have to help their subordinates master the latest military equipment, stressing that Russia is already working out a new state armaments programme with a planning horizon until 2034.
The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (Dagger), the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), and the 3M22 Zircon anti-ship hypersonic missile were unveiled by Russian President Putin during his annual state-of-the-nation address on 1 March 2018. Putin explained at the time that it was the US’ unilateral withdrawal from the ABM Treaty in 2002 that forced Russia to start developing hypersonic weapons.
“We had to create these [hypersonic] weapons in response to the US deployment of a strategic missile defence system, which in the future would be capable of virtually neutralising, zeroing out all our nuclear potential”, the Russian president emphasised in his 1 March 2018 speech.
The Kinzhal, a nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic…