The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced the ongoing rearmament of the Yasnenskaya missile compound to equip it with the new silo-launched Avangard hypersonic missile.
Accompanying this announcement, released footage showcased the intricate loading process of an intercontinental ballistic missile into a shaft launcher using a hydraulic mechanism from a specialized transport-loading unit.
According to the Ministry’s statement, these complex technological operations spanned several hours.
Reportedly, six Avangard units were in active service as of 2022, significantly bolstering Russia’s strategic prowess.
Citing sources within the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Avangard system’s paramount feature lies in its hypersonic capabilities, aimed at effectively outperforming adversary missile defenses. The system boasts a hypersonic-guided warhead, reportedly yielding an explosive power ranging between 800 kilotons to two megatons.
Avangard leverages a UR-100N UTTKh ICBM as the rocket booster to loft the hypersonic boost-glide vehicle to the appropriate altitude and speed. Post-boost, the independently maneuverable weapon veers along a non-ballistic trajectory toward its target. This characteristic distinctly sets hypersonic weapons like Avangard apart from traditional ICBMs, offering less predictable flight paths and signatures post-launch, rendering them harder to spot, track, or engage with missile defense systems.
This unpredictability reduces an opponent’s advance warning and limits opportunities to relocate critical assets or mount a response against an incoming strike.