Russian military’s Avangard nuclear hypersonic glide vehicle entered combat service on Friday, RT reported citing Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.
According to the report, the first regiment of UR-100N (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) armed with Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle is now operational.
Avangard (also called Objekt 4202, Yu-71 and Yu-74) is a hypersonic glide vehicle developed by the Russian Federation using a Scramjet (Supersonic Combustion Ramjet) engine.
The glide vehicle can be carried as an MIRV (Multiple Independently-targetable Reentry Vehicle) payload by UR-100UTTKh (SS-19 Stiletto), RS-26 Rubezh (SS-X-31) and RS-28 Sarmat (SS-X-30) superheavy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and can deliver both nuclear and conventional warheads.
Avangard reaches speed of Mach 20 and is capable of sharp high-speed evasive maneuvers in flight making it “absolutely invulnerable for any missile defense system”.
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Avangard strikes “like a meteorite, like a fireball”. In March 2018, Russia announced that the missile entered series production.