Avangard (hypersonic glide vehicle)

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Hypersonic rocket complex Avangard.jpg
The UR-100UTTKh ICBM launched from the Dombarovsky Air Base.
Type Boost-glide vehicle
Place of origin Russia
Service history
In service In production[1]
Used by Russian Strategic Missile Troops
Production history
Designer Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology
Manufacturer Votkinsk Machine Building Plant
Produced 2018
Weight ~ 40–50 tons[2]
Length 5.4 m

Engine Scramjet
Propellant Solid-fuel
10000 km
Speed M=27[3]

The Avangard (also known as Objekt 4202, Yu-71 and Yu-74) is a hypersonic glider, developed by Russia, that can be carried as a MIRV payload by the UR-100UTTKh,[4][5] R-36M2 and RS-28 Sarmat heavy ICBMs. It can deliver both nuclear and conventional payloads.[6][7][8][9] The system entered service in March 2018, and was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin as one of the six new Russian strategic weapons.[8]


The Avangard (then called Yu-71 and Yu-74) was reportedly tested during a series of flight tests between February 2015 and June 2016 on board the UR-100UTTKh ICBMs launched from the Dombarovsky ICBM site during which the glider reached a speed of 11,200 kilometres per hour (7,000 mph; 3,100 m/s) and successfully hit its targets at the Kura Missile Test Range.[10][11]

Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces Vladimir Putin watching the launch of the Avangard missile complex carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle at the National Centre for State Defence Control in Moscow. December 26, 2018.

Another flight test was carried out in October 2016 with use of the R-36M2 heavy ICBM launched from Dombarovsky ICBM site, hitting a target at the Kura Missile Test Range. This was reportedly the first fully successful test of the glide vehicle.[12][13]

On 1 March 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin in his presidential address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow announced that testing of the weapon is now complete and that the missile has entered serial production.[14][15][16][17][8] This was also confirmed by the commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, Colonel General Sergei Karakayev.[18][19]

The latest flight test occurred on 26 December 2018 when the glider was launched on board a UR-100UTTKh ICBM from the Dombarovsky missile base in the Ural Mountains and subsequently hit a target at the Kura Missile Test Range.[20] The Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Yury Borisov stated a day later on a Russian TV channel that the missile flew at 27 times the speed of sound, thus making it invulnerable to interception.[20]


The Avangard has been demonstrated to operate at up to Mach 27 during the latest flight test.[3] When approaching a target, the glider is capable of sharp high speed horizontal and vertical evasive maneuvers in flight, making it "absolutely invulnerable for any missile defence system," according to Russian officials.[21][22][23][24][25] According to Russian President Putin, Avangard strikes "like a meteorite, like a fireball".[26] The blast yield of a nuclear warhead carried by the Avangard is reportedly more than 2 megatons TNT.[27]



See also


  1. ^ "В России запустили серийное производство гиперзвуковой ракеты «Авангард»". РБК.
  2. ^ "Комплекс РС-26 Рубеж / Авангард - KY-26 / SS-X-31 - MilitaryRussia.Ru — отечественная военная техника (после 1945г.)". militaryrussia.ru.
  3. ^ a b "Борисов: испытания комплекса "Авангард" доказали его способность разгоняться до 27 Махов". TASS. 27 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  4. ^ Majumdar, Dave. "We Now Know How Russia's New Avangard Hypersonic Boost-Glide Weapon Will Launch". The National Interest.
  5. ^ "Russia to use SS-19 ICBMs as carriers for Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles — source".
  6. ^ Trevithick, Joseph. "Here's The Six Super Weapons Putin Unveiled During Fiery Address". Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Russia's New Avangard Hypersonic Missile System To Enter Service By 2019". www.defenseworld.net. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Sputnik. "Russia's Avangard Hypersonic Glider Warhead Enters Production – Source". sputniknews.com. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Introducing 'Avangard' and 'Sarmat': Putin shows off new hypersonic, nuclear missiles". 1 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Secret Russian Hypersonic Nuke Glider Can Pierce Any Missile Defense". Sputnik (news agency). 28 July 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Russian Top Secret Hypersonic Glider Can Penetrate Any Missile Defense". Sputnik (news agency). 11 July 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Эксперт об "изделии 4202": теперь США будут меньше бряцать оружием". ria.ru. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  13. ^ "'Object 4202': New Russian Hypersonic Warhead to Be Coupled With Sarmat ICBM". Sputnik (news agency). 29 October 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Russia begins serial production of new cutting-edge glide vehicle".
  15. ^ "Russia's Avangard strategic systems enter series production – source".
  16. ^ "Russia's Defense Ministry signs production contract for Avangard hypersonic systems".
  17. ^ "Russia's Avangard hypersonic missile system".
  18. ^ "New missile Putin mentioned in annual address successfully tested — top brass".
  19. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / Траектория полета ракеты "Авангард" проходит на высоте десятков километров". www.armstrade.org.
  20. ^ a b "Official reveals Avanguard's Hypersonic missile speed". Sputnik. 28 December 2018. Retrieved 28 Dec 2018.
  21. ^ https://www.janes.com/article/85511/russia-announces-successful-flight-test-of-avangard-hypersonic-glide-vehicle
  22. ^ "Юрий Борисов: испытания «Авангарда» подтвердили, что он может развить скорость в 27М". www.armstrade.org (in Russian). 27 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  23. ^ "Putin boasts new strategic weapons will make US missile defense "useless"". Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  24. ^ Macias, Amanda (26 December 2018). "The Kremlin says it conducted another successful test of a hypersonic weapon". www.cnbc.com.
  25. ^ "Putin says Russia ready to deploy new hypersonic nuclear missile". NBC News.
  26. ^ "Russia touts 'unstoppable' nuclear missile".
  27. ^ "Источник: первыми носителями гиперзвуковых блоков "Авангард" станут ракеты УР-100Н УТТХ". TASS. 20 March 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
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