Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday his country will deploy its first hypersonic nuclear-capable missile system in 2019.
The Avangard missiles are designed to fly faster and at higher altitude to avoid missile defense systems. Russia just completed testing with "complete success," Putin said.
The missile launched in southwest Russia and destroyed a target in the Far East. State media reported that all technical parameters were verified.
"From next year, 2019, Russia's armed forces will get the new intercontinental strategic system Avangard," Putin said. "It's a big moment in the life of the armed forces and in the life of the country. Russia has obtained a new type of strategic weapon."
The weapon travels in the dense layer of the atmosphere, much higher than other ballistic missiles, and uses a maneuvering glider warhead.