Official: Russian Weapon 27 Times Faster than Speed of Sound

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Chief of General Staff of Russia Valery Gerasimov oversee the test launch of the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle from the Defense Ministry's control room in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Chief of General Staff of Russia Valery Gerasimov oversee the test launch of the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle from the Defense Ministry's control room in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW — A top Russian official says the nation's new strategic weapon has made any missile defenses useless.

Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told Russian state television Thursday that the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle flies 27 times faster than the speed of sound, making it impossible to intercept. He added that the new weapon "essentially makes missile defenses useless."

Borisov spoke a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw the Avangard's reportedly successful test and hailed it as a reliable guarantee of Russia's security for decades to come.

In Wednesday's test, the weapon was launched from the Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Ural Mountains. The Kremlin said it successfully hit a practice target on the Kura shooting range on Kamchatka, 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) away.

The test comes amid bitter tensions in Russia-U.S. relations.

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