Russia's 'unstoppable' hypersonic nuclear missile will go into service in 2019
* The Kremlin say their nuclear weapons are 'invincible' to US defense systems
* The projectile is capable of circling around the Earth in just over an hour
* It is thought the weapon can fly over the North Pole to circumvent US defenses
* Announcement comes as Trump said he is pulling out of historic missile treaty
By Ross Ibbetson For Mailonline
Published: 14:34, 9 November 2018
The Kremlin say their hypersonic nuclear missiles, capable of moving through any missile defense system, will be operational in 2019. Russia has been showcasing their new missiles since Vladimir Putin unveiled the Avanguard hypersonic glide vehicle in March. The ferocious missile delivery system can travel at 20 times the speed of sound and can launch missiles from the north and south poles within minutes. The Russians report they tested it twice in 2016 and currently the US is unable to defend itself against the new technology.
The Avangard glide vehicle is designed to sit atop an intercontinental ballistic missile. Once launched, it uses aerodynamics to sail on top of the atmosphere. It is loaded with advanced countermeasure systems that allow it to skirt around missile defense systems. The gliders are also highly unpredictable thanks to their exceptional maneuverability, making them almost impossible to track.
Each weapon could be loaded with a nuclear warhead but experts say the sheer speed of the vehicles means they would do damage even without an explosive payload.
Putin described his hypersonic arsenal as 'invincible' during a state-of-the-nation address in March. He claimed Avangard strikes 'like a meteorite, like a fireball' and was capable of reaching targets at 20 times the speed of sound. At this speed the weapon could circle the Earth in just over half an hour.
The new RS-28 Samrat liquid-fueled superheavy thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missiles can carry up to 24 Avangards and were also unveiled in March. They were developed to replace the old SS-18 Satan missile.
In July the Kremlin showcased the new missile and Russia's Strategic Missile Forces Commander, Colonel General Sergei Karatayev said Samrat, 'allows the use of all types of individually targeted warheads, including those still on the drawing board.'
The massive firepower means that a single missile would have the ability to wipe out 24 London-sized cities with one shot. The news comes as President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw from a landmark missile treaty with the Russians. Trump claims the Kremlin has repeatedly violated the terms of the deal which was struck by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan in 1987.
A generation ago Russia was virtually bankrupt as it emerged from the Soviet Union, but now Putin seeks to put pressure back on the Americans.
Last Edit by Humphrey