MOSCOW --- The production and the delivery of Avangard hypersonic missiles are proceeding according to the schedule and without any delays in Russia, the office of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov reported on Tuesday.
The vice-premier’s office thus commented on US media reports, which claimed that Russia would produce less Avangard missile systems than planned due to difficulties in receiving required components.
"The production and the delivery of Avangard systems with the boost glide vehicle are proceeding according to the schedule and without any delays," the vice-premier’s office said.
The US-based CNBC TV Channel posted material on Monday, which claimed citing American intelligence data that Russia would produce less units of the Avangard hypersonic missile systems than planned over difficulties with getting the necessary components.
The TV Channel cited sources with direct knowledge of a US intelligence report who claimed that Russia was allegedly experiencing a shortage of critical carbon fiber components needed to produce Avangard hypersonic missiles. One source told CNBC that Russia would allegedly make no more than 60 of such hypersonic weapons because "it’s just proving to be too expensive to develop."
In October 2018, CNBC claimed that Moscow had found available fiber components to be insufficiently reliable. As the TV Channel reported, Moscow "has still not been able to find an alternative carbon fiber material." The TV Channel’s report claimed citing American intelligence data that Avangard hypersonic missile systems were likely to achieve their initial operational capability by 2020.
The Avangard is a strategic intercontinental ballistic missile system equipped with a hypersonic glide vehicle. According to open sources, the ‘breakthrough’ weapon was developed by the Research and Production Association of Machine-Building (the town of Reutov, the Moscow Region) and was tested from 2004. The glide vehicle is capable of flying at a hypersonic speed in the dense layers of the atmosphere, maneuvering by its flight path and its altitude and breaching any anti-missile defense.
The new weapon was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1, 2018. According to the data of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force, Avangard hypersonic missile systems will enter combat duty at the Dombarovsky missile division in the Orenburg Region in 2019.
As Russia’s Defense Ministry noted, overall, 31 silo-based launchers of the Yars and Avangard missile systems are expected to assume combat duty this year.