Checkmate: Russia's Hypersonic Missile Ready For War By 2020

Russia’s new weapons for the modern battlefield, including an array of hypersonic missiles and the latest nuclear systems, will secure the country’s security for many decades, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday at a conference with top military officials.

Speaking in Sochi, Putin said the brand-new weapon systems unveiled this year will significantly expand Russia’s military capabilities and “ensure a strategic balance for decades” with the United States.

President Vladimir Putin used his state-of-the-nation speech in March to deliver a stern warning to Washington that Moscow possesses hypersonic weapons that can render NATO’s U.S.-led missile defense system completely “useless.”

Underwater drones, hypersonic warheads, balls of fire, “menacing” ICBMs – the peak of Putin speech at the state-of-the-nation address in March. (Source: Tom Parfitt) 

“Efforts to contain Russia have failed, face it,” Putin announced in a two-hour speech at his annual state of the nation address in Moscow, which included computer simulations of new weapons including hypersonic systems, intercontinental missiles, and underwater drones.

Earlier this week, CNBC validated Putin’s claim of a hypersonic weapon the U.S. is currently unable to defend against, which the report indicates the weapon will be ready for war by 2020, according to sources with vast knowledge of American intelligence reports.

The sources told CNBC that Moscow successfully tested the hypersonic glide vehicle in 2016, which was configured to carry nuclear warheads. Sources said a third test was completed in October 2017 and resulted in a mishap seconds before obliterating its target.

The hypersonic glide vehicle, dubbed “Avangard” (also called ‘Objekt 4202′, Yu-71 and Yu-74), is fastened onto an intercontinental ballistic missile using scramjet engine technology. Once launched, the Avangard reaches speeds of Mach 20 with the capacity to carry both nuclear and conventional payloads.

Avangard video demonstration from Putin’s speech in March.

Sources said it is still unclear whether the hypersonic glide vehicle will carry explosives, due to just Mach 20 capabilities can pack enough force to annihilate targets. In March, Putin said the Avangard strikes “like a meteorite, like a fireball.”

Putin said at Tuesday’s conference that Russia’s hypersonic program to produce the world’s most advanced weapons would remain a high priority. He mentioned in March that the missile entered series production.

“These kinds of boost-glide vehicles attack the gaps in our missile defense system,” Thomas Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told CNBC.

“There’s no time like the present to modify our current missile defense posture,” Karako added, saying it was “unfortunate that we have let Russia come this far.”

Sources familiar with Russia’s hypersonic program asses that the hypersonic glide vehicles equipped with “onboard countermeasures,” can defeat NATO’s U.S.-led missile defenses. The weapon is capable of sharp evasive maneuvers — making it virtually undetectable to radar.

The intelligence reports, which were released for government officials this spring, estimate that Russia’s hypersonic glide vehicles could be on the modern battlefield by 2020, a significant move on the geopolitical chessboard that would surpass Washington and Beijing in their capacity to yield an operational hypersonic weapon on the modern battlefield.

In March, the commander of the United States Strategic Command told the Senate Armed Services Committee that U.S. forces are unable to shield against a hypersonic weapon attack.

“We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us,” Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Both Russia and China are aggressively pursuing hypersonic capabilities,” he added, noting that the U.S. has “watched them test those capabilities.”

Hyten suggested that the U.S. is powerless against hypersonic weapon threats and has to rely on increased deterrence to counter the threat.

Hyten added, “so our response would be our deterrent force which would be the triad and the nuclear capabilities that we have to respond to such a threat.” In other words, if Russia launches a hypersonic missile attack on the U.S., the Pentagon will respond with nuclear war.

On the geopolitical chessboard, it seems as Moscow declared checkmate with Washington via the development and rapid fielding of hypersonic weapons that render NATO’s U.S.-led missile defense system entirely worthless. America’s military-industrial complex recognizes this as a crisis and is willing to bankrupt the United States with unprecedented amounts of military spending to counter this threat. As for now, Russia has the upper hand in hypersonic weapons, which Washington is starting to realize the idea of American Hegemony is beginning to crack.


Pandelis chiburashka Thu, 05/17/2018 - 01:09 Permalink

and “ensure a strategic balance for decades” with the United States.


what about europe?  junker has been pretty clear, he wants his own army, including baltic states, sweeden and belgium ... could a balance be achieved there too ... not so sure about that.  here is an interesting video from the non so recent past.…

In reply to by chiburashka

Bokkenrijder Bulgars Thu, 05/17/2018 - 02:16 Permalink

"Checkmate: Russia's Hypersonic Missile Ready For War By 2020."

"Checkmate?" Doom-porn Russian propaganda site indeed, because ZH is lazily assuming that;

1) all this fancy stuff with cool computer animations actually works, and,

2) the US does not have anything to counter those new weapons

As in any arms race, one side will briefly have the edge over the other side in some particular field but it doesn't mean that the war is won and that the other side is checkmate.

In reply to by Bulgars

Klassenfeind 1 Alabama Thu, 05/17/2018 - 05:58 Permalink

It's really very simple: Russia is luring the US into another arms race.

IMO it will be similar to the 1980's when Reagan's SDI was the final push for the Soviet Union into bankruptcy, but his time the roles will be reversed.

Russia has a budget surplus and is increasing it's gold stockpile, while the US is already heavily in debt. The question is: can the US afford another arms race?

"But it seems that Russia is able to do a lot more for less and in a fraction of the time. Of course, they don't have an MIC to "feed"?"

Politics, finance and things like legal ownership are murky at best in Russia, so much of their defence spending is 'off the books?'

In reply to by 1 Alabama

fx CuttingEdge Thu, 05/17/2018 - 05:21 Permalink

Luckily for the US and the world, Russia has no plans to first strike. So the US can and will develop its own hypersonic weapons, just by a few months or years later.

The problem of course is, that the faster and more advanced all these weapons become, the higher the risk of false alarms that are  leading to the very outcome that these deterrent weapons sought to prevent.


@cutting edge. exactly.


6.5 TRILLION $ of pentagon spending unaccounted for, to this day!

We were told that "the paper trail" was destroyed in the 9/11 attack on the pentagon.

No discs, not electronic backups, we are told! All the bills and accounting docs are claimed to have been stored exactly at the tiny spot of the cast pentagon where the plane allegedly hit.…

In reply to by CuttingEdge

N0TME fx Thu, 05/17/2018 - 06:41 Permalink

Luckily for the US and the world, Russia has no plans to first strike. So the US can and will develop its own hypersonic weapons, just by a few months or years later.


Yes, (our version would probably fail, aka Patriot systems) but remember what Putin said, By that time they will have developed something better.

In reply to by fx

Victor999 Bokkenrijder Thu, 05/17/2018 - 04:34 Permalink

1)  Russia does not have a history of bluffing.  These weapons are real and are either already deployed or under final phases of testing.


2)  The US seriously has nothing either already deployed, under testing, or even theoretical at this point that can challenge these weapons.  Russia has maneuvered itself into a position in which it does not matter what offensive weapons, or defensive for that matter, that the US develops for the foreseeable future.  The US now knows that whatever it throws at Russia will come back to them as an angel of destruction - and they won't be able to defend themselves.


The arms race is over. 

In reply to by Bokkenrijder

fx 52821740 Thu, 05/17/2018 - 05:23 Permalink

The crucial difference is, Russia has no desire to first strike the Us anyway. Therefore, the US was, is and will be safe as long os stupid warhawks in D:C. and Lang!ey do not start doing very stupid things.

Unfortunately, it is crystal clear that the same cannot be said the other way around. If and when the US acquires sufficient weapons capability to potentially eradicate Rusia with a first strike, they will go for it.

In reply to by 52821740

52821740 fx Thu, 05/17/2018 - 05:51 Permalink

can't agree that the US will eradicate Russia when they have the Opportunity.  They have already had the opportunity in the past and haven't done so.  You may be correct that Russia doesn't want to strike the US first maybe for various reasons amongst them the biggest being M.A.D but that doesnt mean they have a clean record either as they have evidenced by supporting bad state players and stealing territory that only it's allies recognise as it's own.  Putin is a smart guy but also the head of a corrupt criminal oligarchy that can't be trusted.  There. that should get plenty of downvotes on a Russian agitprop site!

In reply to by fx

Victor999 52821740 Thu, 05/17/2018 - 07:22 Permalink

The Russian hypersonic weapons operate within a plasma cone that not only helps them speedwise but offers high resistance to lasers, not allowing the laser to burn through in time before impact of target.  So again, outside of lasers, the US has nothing that will protect themselves from these weapons.

In reply to by 52821740

RationalLuddite Victor999 Thu, 05/17/2018 - 07:58 Permalink

That is my assessment too. Post-Soviet Russia tends to underpromise and over-deliver, be it bridges, pipelines to the pacific, artic stations, nuclear icebreakers  ... or weapons systems  (although they are a little behind on delivery time but that is minor compared to NATO systems). These in all likelihood are futher advanced than they claim, based upon the last 12 years of behavior. 

Also i would encourage those with technical knowledge to read US versus Russian scientific research papers (even in English) in things like materials Science,  etc thst imponge upon military tech ... Astonishing difference, seriously, it is as obvious as grafe school versus advanced  PHD ... real red pill moment for me that. A recent french assessment that was leaked out suggests it will take 20 years of intense work to even hope to catch up to Russian rocket,  microwave and nuclear tech in several key areas...

In reply to by Victor999

SybilDefense Bokkenrijder Thu, 05/17/2018 - 08:11 Permalink

Isn't hypersonic glider an oximoron? 

I've seen this movie.  Luke blows up the Death Star...(so the "Good guys" can bilk their own populus so they can build their own mega super "peace star" ... Albeit with the same or sufficiently deathier weapons and greater degree of destruction).

Unfortunately, no one will be around to see the 3-quel... "The World Disintegrates". 

Where are the smart Ancient Aliens when we need them, to come down to tell us to be cool about all this.  Unfortunately, if they did ever visit...

You guessed it.  We'd blow them up too.

The word Earth means 'self-culled' in alien.

In reply to by Bokkenrijder

oldone TBT or not TBT Thu, 05/17/2018 - 07:53 Permalink

maybe you understand, someday,  the difference between hypersonic MANEUVERABLE WARHEAD and conventional hypersonic warhead. AND, second, put one more cell-brain at work and look at the size  of an ICBM 50-100 tones !) and the size of this new russian toy, small enough to ride on the belly of a Mig fighter....

And at least, THE most important attribute, ignored by many here, is the USA has a lot of resources at its disposal, but preventing a sea skimming nuclear missile which can approach from any vector and avoid AA defense from reaching the US mainland is completely impossible.

In reply to by TBT or not TBT

AGuy chiburashka Thu, 05/17/2018 - 01:18 Permalink

More US/NATo Miltary spending. Here comes Military keynesium. Prop up debt laden economies with lots Military spending. The last time the world tried this, it ended up with WW1.

Parallels between Now and the early 20th century:
1. Imperialism: Western nations control Resource rich nations and exploit cheap labor.
2. Major nations complete for global dominance: Financial, Industrial, Foriegn resources & cheap foriegn labor.
3. Nations go in big Military budgets: Huge new navies, better projectile weapons.
4. Proxy wars.

In reply to by chiburashka

Juggernaut x2 AGuy Thu, 05/17/2018 - 01:28 Permalink

Maybe Putin is just hyping up a bunch of non-existent super weapons to get the US to bankrupt itself coming up with weapons to counter the non-existent weapons. As dumb as the brass at the Pentagon it isn't that far-fetched. Destroy the Dollar and the US is powerless- of course Trump will probably do that without Putin's help, anyway.

In reply to by AGuy