Russian President Vladimir Putin touted Moscow’s advancements in weapons technology Tuesday, saying Russia was the only nation worldwide to deploy hypersonic weapons, according to The Associated Press.
Putin told a meeting of top military officials that the development represented a reversal from the international order of years past, marking the first time Russia was at the forefront of weapons development rather than playing catch-up with the U.S.
“Now we have a situation that is unique in modern history when they are trying to catch up to us,” Putin said, according to the AP. “Not a single country has hypersonic weapons, let alone hypersonic weapons of intercontinental range.”
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in August that it’s “probably a matter of a couple of years” before the U.S. is able to develop similar weapons, and U.S. defense officials have warned Congress about the possible difficulties of tracking such technology if Russia and China are able to develop it.
Putin said Russia will deploy the first unit with the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle this month and added that the country has already deployed Kinzhal hypersonic missiles.
The Avangard is “a weapon of the future, capable of penetrating both existing and prospective missile defense systems,” Putin said Tuesday, according to the AP. He also noted that the weapon is impossible to intercept due to its capacity to change course and altitude midway through its trajectory.