Putin Oversees Successful Test of Hypersonic Missile System, Russia Media Reports

Putin remotely observed the test, which took place in the Russian Far East, from a Russian defense ministry building in Moscow

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (5th L) oversees test of a new Russian hypersonic missile system called Avangard, in Moscow, December 26, 2018

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday oversaw the successful test of a new Russian hypersonic missile system called Avangard which can carry nuclear and conventional warheads, the RIA news agency cited the Kremlin as saying.

In Wednesday's test, the weapon was launched from the Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Ural Mountains. The Kremlin says it successfully hit a designated practice target on the Kura shooting range on Kamchatka, 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) away.

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Putin remotely observed the test from a Russian defense ministry building in Moscow.

"This test, which has just finished, ended with complete success," Putin told a government meeting.

"From next year, 2019, Russia's armed forces will get the new intercontinental strategic system Avangard ... It's a big moment in the life of the armed forces and in the life of the country. Russia has obtained a new type of strategic weapon."  

Putin announced an array of new weapons in March, including the Avangard, in one of his most bellicose speeches in years, saying they could hit almost any point in the world and evade a U.S.-built missile shield.

Putin said the Avangard would fly to targets at a speed 20 times the speed of sound and strike "like a meteorite, like a fireball."

Putin said that the weapon is capable of performing sharp maneuvers on its way to targets, making it "absolutely invulnerable for any missile defense system."