The Zvezda TV channel, the official media outlet of the Russian Defence Ministry, has published a new video of the test launch of the hypersonic missile Avangard, depicting it from the launch command centre. It shows how Russian President Vladimir Putin closely watched the launch and first stage of Avangard's flight towards the Kura range on Kamchatka around 6,000 kilometres away. The missile system is expected to be commissioned in 2019.
The missile was first presented by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March along with the hypersonic air-to-ground missile Kh-47M2 Kinzhal and the Peresvet laser system. According to the Russian president, Avangard is capable of changing course mid-flight, thereby avoiding being tracked and intercepted. He noted that the speed of the missile was in excess of Mach 20 and that it is capable of penetrating any existing missile defence system.