What is Avangard?

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What is Avangard? Blog Image


Russia's rocket forces loaded an intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with the nuclear-capable "Avangard" hypersonic glide vehicle into a launch silo in southern Russia recently.

About Avangard

  • The Avangard is a nuclear-capable, hypersonic boost-glide vehicle (HGV) developed by the Russian Federation.
  • It was developed as part of the top-secret Project 4202 and given the codename Yu-71.
  • It was one of six “next generation” weapons described by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a speech in March 2018.
  • Features:
    • It has a range of over 6,000 km, weighs approximately 2,000 kg, and can carry a nuclear or conventional payload.
    • It is carried on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
    • It has “a short wedge-shaped design” which does not contain a separate propulsion system, relying on gravity and its aerodynamic features to maintain velocity after an initial boost.
  • Working:
    • The HGV is carried to a sub-orbital altitude of around 100 kilometers (62 miles) by the carrier missile before being released.
    • It then enters into a “cruise mode” before re-entering the atmosphere and accelerating to claimed hypersonic speeds of up to Mach 27 (about 32,000 kilometers per hour).
    • It is said to be able to maneuver at these speeds and constantly alter its trajectory, making interception extremely complicated.

Q1) What is an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)?

Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) were first deployed by the United States in 1959 and continue to be a critical weapon in the American nuclear arsenal today. ICBMs have ranges between 6,000 to 9,300 miles, making virtually any target in the world vulnerable. Due to their powerful and deadly nature ICBMs are considered a strategic defensive weapon. To learn more about the different types of ICBMs click on the links below.

Source: Russia loads missile with nuclear-capable glide vehicle into launch silo