(CNN) — Russia’s new hypersonic missile system, which President Vladimir Putin claims is “invulnerable” to US defenses, will enter service in 2019, the Russian leader said after a test of the missile Wednesday.
“Russia is the first in the world to receive a new type of strategic weapon and this will reliably ensure the security of our state and of our people for decades to come,” Putin said, according to the state-run Tass news service.
“This is a wonderful, excellent gift for the country for the New Year,” Tass quotes Putin as saying.
The Avangard hypersonic system was tested from the Dombarovsky military airbase in southwest Russia, according to Tass.
Earlier reports say the Avangard has intercontinental range and the ability to fly as fast as Mach 20, more than 15,000 miles per hour.