Vladimir Putin claims the setup makes it invulnerable to U.S. defenses and suggests that it could be operational as early as next year.
There was a test on Wednesday, and he said, “Russia is the first in the world to receive a new type of strategic weapon and this will reliably ensure the security of our state and of our people for decades to come.”
State media in Russia said the Avangard hypersonic system was tested from the Dombarovsky military airbase in southwest Russia.
Again, while details are few, and confirmation not there yet, there have been claims that it can fly as fast as Mach 20, or some 15,000 miles per hour.
Whatever Russia does or doesn’t have, it is the United States that is working on solutions to some of the key problems that would develop with such a system.
For example, at those speeds, the heat that the atmosphere would generate on a wing cutting through the air would be intense.
The federal Department Advance Research Projects Agency described that as “furnace-like.”
And the organization suggests having missiles or aircraft capable of that speech would be a “technical challenge.”