Russia’s Orenburg troops are rearming with hypersonic Avangard

MOSCOW ($1=60.85 Russian Rubles) — The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation re-armed missile troops with Avangard hypersonic missile systems. It is about the army of the Central Military District of the Russian Federation, Orenburg Region in the Volga Federal District. The Ministry of Defense confirmed the news in a statement.

Russia's Orenburg missile troops rearm with hypersonic Avangard
Photo credit: Russian MoD

According to the Russian Ministry, the resulting complex is of the silo launcher type. This is the next regiment of missile troops to receive this missile system. However, it is not clear from the ministry’s announcement whether this is the first regiment in the Orenburg region.

Immediately after the delivery of the Avangard, the system was brought into full combat readiness, says Russian media Izvestia. The system has taken combat duty, adds Izvestiya. The usual statement from the Russian ministry also states that with the new hypersonic missile, Russian troops are increasing their combat capability. The strategic nuclear forces have also increased their combat capability when performing strategic deterrence tasks, the ministry added.

New hypersonic missile

Sergey Karakaev, Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces announced that Russia is currently developing a new hypersonic missile system. It will replace Vanguard in the future when the US “finds a way to counter them,” the commander says.

Avangard is a Russian hypersonic glide vehicle [HGV]. It’s a Russian-designed missile system, one of the few weapon systems not associated with outdated Soviet designs. It was developed at the end of this decade, and in 2019 the first operationally ready Avangard system was delivered to the Russian missile forces.

At this time, the characteristics of the Vanguard system are still in the realm of speculation. The missile flew at speeds between Mach 20 and Mach 27, Russia said. According to some, the warhead carried by the Vanguard was over 2 megatons of TNT. Correlating the ratio of speed to weight [which is 2,000 kg] it is assumed that the kinetic energy of the rocket is equivalent to 17.5 tons of TNT.


The glider is said to be capable of sharp horizontal and vertical flight movements. This suggests that the glider is capable of maneuvering and avoiding anti-aircraft missiles in an interception attempt. Russian officials say it is currently invulnerable to any known anti-aircraft missile system in the world.

The Russia's Avangard Hypersonic Missile Systems Will Go on Experimental Combat Duty
Photo credit: MoD of Russian Federation

However, there are counter-comments about the Vanguard’s capabilities, especially the missile’s ability to evade anti-ship defenses. According to Mr. Jeffrey Lewis, an arms control expert, namely “gliding results in slower speeds than traditional re-entry.”

In 2018, Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, announced that Russia has three hypersonic weapons. In addition to Avangard, this category includes Dagger air-to-surface cruise missiles and Tsircon [or Zircon] anti-ship missiles. Since the start of the war, Russia has been most strongly alleged to have used several Kinzhal [Dagger in English] missiles on Ukrainian targets.


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