The Russian General Staff announces the imminent alert of a second regiment equipped with the hypersonic weapon Avangard – Zone Militaire
Published on 7.6.2022 by Laurent Lagneau
According to American intelligence, Russian forces fired more than 1,100 missiles into Ukraine in two months of war… But with a failure rate estimated at 60%. And this because of technical problems [deux sur dix ont connu des « ratés » en vol], a lack of precision or the effectiveness of the Ukrainian air defense. And the Kh-47M2 Kinjal hypersonic aeroballistic missiles, implemented by MiG-31K fighters, did not give the full measure of their capacity.
The Russians have “had problems with some of their hypersonic missiles in terms of accuracy,” said General Glen VanHerck, commander of US North Command. [USNORTHCOM]during a recent parliamentary hearing.
However, on March 19, Moscow indicated that it had targeted an underground military depot located in western Ukraine with a Kh-47M2 Kinjal, thus marking the operational debut of this weapon described as “invincible” by Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, in March 2018. That being the case, and apart, no doubt, from its psychological impact, its use will not have had a decisive influence on the rest of the operations… And probably it would have been better suited to another job , such as anti-ship warfare.
Precisely, for this, Russia has the Zircon hypersonic missile, intended to arm surface ships and nuclear attack submarines. [SNA] of the Russian Navy as well as the coastal defense batteries. On May 28, this machine underwent a final – successful – qualification test before being declared operational, reaching a target located more than 1,000 km from the Admiral Gorchkov frigate, which was then sailing at sea. of Barents.
Developed by NPO Mashinostroyenia Corporation, the Avangard system is another weapon described as “invincible” by Moscow. Already in service, it consists of an RS-18/SS-19 intercontinental missile and a hypersonic glider [HGV pour Hypersonic Glide Vehicle]. Once launched, it “hovers” over the upper layers of the atmosphere, which allows it to have a less predictable trajectory than that of a ballistic device… and therefore to be less vulnerable to air defenses.
In December 2019, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the “commissioning of the first regiment equipped with the new Avangard hypersonic strategic systems”. And a second should be soon.
“The second intercontinental ballistic missile regiment equipped with the Avangard hypersonic system is about to be declared operational,” General Sergei Karakyev, the commander of the Strategic Missile Force, declared on June 5 on Zvezda TV, Russian Ministry of Defense TV channel.
This “second regiment is preparing to go on combat alert” and “in view of the current anti-missile defenses, there is no way to counter the Avangard”, he insisted.
According to Moscow, this hypersonic glider could fly at the speed of Mach 27. As for its warhead, it can be conventional or nuclear [avec une puissance de 2 mégatonnes]. It is likely that in the future, the RS-18/SS-19 will be replaced in the future by the powerful RS-28 Sarmat missile, which was successfully tested last April. With a mass of 200 tons, it can carry up to 15 mirvated nuclear warheads or 24 HGVs.