Talking about new Russian armaments, V. Putin said that a real technological breakthrough was the creation of a new strategic missile system, which has fundamentally new combat equipment. The base rocket carries the planning winged block. According to the head of state, the tests of the latter have already been completed with success.
V. Putin recalled the events of recent years, which took place both in the international arena and at Russian test sites. In the past, the Russian side has repeatedly told its European and American partners about its intention to take measures to neutralize the threats associated with the construction of foreign missile defense. Back in 2004, Russian specialists conducted the first tests of a fundamentally new weaponsintended for breakthrough missile defense. Shortly thereafter, V. Putin made another statement on the development of strategic systems, taking into account current threats.
As the President recalled, he said then that in the conditions of quantitative and qualitative growth of the military potential of third countries, Russia needs the emergence of fundamentally new systems. In addition, he pointed out that the latest tests of new developments allowed the strategic nuclear forces to count on the emergence and receipt of a completely new weapon. At that time, they talked about a technical complex capable of reaching a target area at intercontinental depth with hypersonic speed and high accuracy. In addition, a promising product should have been distinguished by high maneuverability. In 2004, it was noted that similar weapons from foreign countries at that time were absent.
The head of state, referring to the Federal Assembly, noted that Russia did not make a secret of its plans and openly declared the development of strategic weapons in order to call on foreign countries for negotiations. In addition, V. Putin recalled the country's economic problems that existed in the middle of the last decade. Nevertheless, despite all the difficulties, the country found an opportunity to preserve the status of the largest nuclear power. Earlier, as the president pointed out, nobody wanted to take into account with Russia, but now he urges to listen to her.
The newest model of combat equipment for the missile system differs from other systems of its class in flight characteristics. He is able to fly in the dense layers of the atmosphere at the intercontinental range, developing a speed of the order of M = 20. Moving to the target, such a combat unit can perform deep maneuvering in height and course. Side maneuver can provide deviation from the original course for thousands of kilometers to the side. Maneuverability and speed make combat equipment invulnerable to existing anti-aircraft and missile defense systems.
The president spoke about some of the design features of the combat unit. At its construction new composite materials are used, with the help of which the problem of a long controlled flight with the highest speed is solved. During such a flight, a plasma layer is formed around the body of the product, and its surface is heated to 1600-2000 ° C. Despite this, the combat unit retains the desired controllability and continues to solve the assigned tasks.
As in the case with other topics, V. Putin’s speech was accompanied by a demo video. The President noted that, for obvious reasons, the appearance of the promising military equipment cannot yet be demonstrated. However, products exist and “work well”. Now, having overcome certain stages of the project, embarks on new works.
The Russian president said that, to date, the defense industry has launched mass production of new warheads. The product received the official name "Avangard". V. Putin did not mention other designations of the complex as a whole and its individual systems.
The report of the president was accompanied by videos showing the main features and principles of the promising weapons. The Avangard system was shown in a video titled “Strategic Missile System with a Hypersonic Planning Unit”. With the help of real-life shooting and computer graphics, the main stages of the Avangard flight to the target were shown.
The video begins with frames taken in the workshop of one of the defense enterprises. The items shown on the stocks could be elements of a promising combat unit, but this cannot be said with confidence. Then they showed the launch of the rocket with the Avangard product. From the silo launcher a rocket came out with a distinctive elongated pointed head fairing. Further, using the graphics, the authors of the video showed the rocket reaching a high altitude and separating the first stages with the subsequent dumping of the combat equipment.
Freed from the carrier systems, the Avangard combat unit headed for the target. The apparatus moving with the highest speed was shown surrounded by a cloud of heated gas. During the flight, the product performed several energetic maneuvers with a turn at high angles.
Also, the video clearly showed the main advantages of maneuvering military equipment. The product, having started from a launcher on one mainland, had to pass over the ocean and hit the target at a great distance. At the same time, there was a shipboard connection of the enemy with missile defense systems in the ocean, on land — a ground-based antimissile system, and in orbit — satellites of a missile attack warning system. The satellites managed to detect the passage of the Avangard through their observation zones, but the success of the enemy ended there. The warhead flew around the responsibility of the ship group, and then rounded the area of ground-based missile defense. Such a flight was shown both in the general scheme and “from the point of view” of a hypersonic device. Having passed by dangerous areas, the product continued flight to the specified purpose.
The video showed the approximate appearance of the Avant-garde product, but, as the president noted, it was a conditional image that was far from fully corresponding to reality. The painted warhead had a triangular shape with a slightly curved bottom, which serves as a bearing surface. The upper surface of such a “flying wing” was distinguished by a greater curvature, providing sufficient internal volumes. In the tail section, a pair of carinae spread outwardly. The bottom, nose and leading edges of the keels differed in color, which indicated the application of thermal protection.
2 in March V. Putin took part in the Vth Media Forum of the All-Russian Popular Front in Kaliningrad, where he again raised the topic of promising strategic weapons. Commenting on the latest developments, he said that dozens of Russian enterprises and thousands of specialists participated in the creation of the Avangard project. All this, according to the president, shows that the country has a developed research and production complex that generates the final product.
The first information about the project with the Avangard cipher appeared quite a long time ago, but so far the main information about it is classified. The available information is not particularly complete, and the estimates and projections are often contradictory or not combined with official data. The new information on the activities of the Russian defense industry in recent years has recently been announced long ago by Vladimir Putin and seriously altered the already existing picture.
The name of the Avangard missile complex was first sounded in 2011 year in an interview with Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. The head of the military department told about the plans for the development of the Strategic Missile Forces, and at that time the troops planned to supply new systems called Avangard. The specific situation with open data led to the fact that the Avangard project was often identified with the Rubezh mobile RS-26 rocket project. The latest data from official sources do not confirm this information, but they do not refute it in full.
According to V. Putin, the tests of the future Avangard started back in 2004, but at that time information about the project was not disclosed. Over the next few years, the system appears to have been tested and refined. These works took a lot of time, but still led to the desired results. The launch of serial production of Avangard products has already been announced. Probably, such weapons are now being delivered to the troops or preparing for this.
Old assumptions about the use of the Avangard combat unit on the Rubezh rocket are now in doubt. The demonstration video prepared by the Ministry of Defense showed the launch of a liquid-engine rocket, probably UR-100UTTH. The mobile soil complex PC-26 was estimated to be equipped with a solid-propellant rocket. How this fact relates to the future practical use of hypersonic weapons is unknown.
However, it can be assumed that the liquid-propellant rocket was used only as a platform for testing. In this case, after carrying out all the necessary checks, the Avangard battle block was to be incorporated into the Rubezh mobile complex missile. There is no exact information on this.
Within the framework of the Address to the Federal Assembly, for the first time, specific characteristics of a prospective hypersonic combat unit were heard. V. Putin said that the Avangard product during flight planning can reach speeds up to M = 20 and fly at a distance of at least 5500 km. The possibility of a lateral maneuver with a departure from the original trajectory for thousands of kilometers is also provided. The combat part of the product is special, having an optimum ratio of dimensions and power.
Known data on the Avangard project allows us to imagine exactly how such weapons will be used. With the help of a modified intercontinental ballistic missile, combat equipment should be displayed at a given height with acceleration to the required speed. Next, a reset is performed, and the hypersonic device proceeds to high-speed gliding flight. Moving along the most convenient trajectory, the glider is able to bypass the danger zones and thereby overcome air defense or missile defense. Maximum flight speed 20 times the speed of sound. Probably, its apparatus should develop on a descending part of the trajectory, already at the time of falling on the target.
Hypersonic speed in combination with a large flight altitude gives the product known advantages. Firstly, it is able to fly over areas without enemy air defense or missile defense or over sectors with less powerful protection. At the same time, it is possible to break through the enemy’s defense systems. A maneuvering glider moving along an unpredictable trajectory cannot be hit by modern missile defense systems. High flight speed, in turn, increases the speed requirements for air defense, sharply reducing the chance of successful interception. Even if the enemy’s defense systems prove to be on the Avangard path, their interception capability is unlikely to be high enough.
According to known data, intercontinental missiles of several main domestic complexes of the present time are equipped with monoblock combat units, which increases the risks associated with the enemy's missile defense system. Replacing the “traditional” combat unit with a hypersonic maneuvering glider with a similar warhead provides clear advantages. The rocket will still carry only one special charge, but now the probability of successfully hitting a target will increase significantly.
Vladimir Putin announced the start of mass production of Avangard products, but, as expected, did not disclose details of this process. It can be assumed that already in the very near future, a certain number of hypersonic missile-equipped missiles will be on duty as part of the strategic missile forces. Apparently, promising types of weapons will be operated in parallel with the existing combat units of the traditional type. Whether the full transition of the ICBMs to hypersonic gliders will take place in the distant future - we can only guess. The most likely is the joint work of combat equipment of different types with different characteristics and capabilities.
Many years ago, faced with a threat in the form of foreign missile defense, the Russian command decided to resort to an asymmetric response. It was proposed to counter the missile defense system under construction with the help of special weapons with high potential. One of the samples of such a shock system was first tested in the 2004 year, and by now, after all the checks, has been put into series. In the near future, the Avangard complex, which includes a hypersonic maneuvering combat unit, will have to have the most noticeable impact on the capabilities of Russian strategic nuclear forces and, as a result, on the country's security.