US intelligence believes Russia will be able to produce up to 60 Avangard hypersonic missiles, CNBC said.
“It is expected that they will not produce more than 60 of these hypersonic weapons, because their development is simply proving to be very expensive,” the anonymous source told CNBC , reportedly familiar with an intelligence report.
Media indicates that last year Moscow was looking for a carbon fiber supplier for that, since the material available at the time could not withstand high temperatures at such a speed.
“According to a US intelligence report a month ago, the Kremlin has not yet been able to find alternative carbon fiber material,” the channel writes.
In the opinion of political scientist Ivan Konovalov, the US has no real numbers on Russian missile production, only speculating.
“This number is invented to show American citizens that the Pentagon and the US secret services are not sleeping.” The amount to be produced will be determined by military leadership and Russia’s policy – maybe less, maybe more. I’m sure the US does not have any real numbers – these are speculative calculations, “says the political scientist.
Konovalov also explains that even if the number suggested by the American report were true, it would still be enough to pursue a policy of nuclear deterrence.
“The presence of such a number of combat platforms as Avangard will cool the ardor of any potential adversary, and this system is sufficiently capable of overcoming missile defense, which is understandably very important,” he said.
Russia produces its components
For Russian analyst Viktor Murakhovsky, the report’s information on the alleged lack of components (such as carbon fiber) for the hypersonic Avangard missiles does not correspond to the truth.
Russia “there is no problem in producing thermal shielding coatings for spacecraft or ballistic missiles and intercontinental interceptors,” explains the expert.
Murakhovsky underlines that the newly tested missile, which flies at hypersonic speed in the dense layers of the atmosphere, proves that there are no problems with the coating of these missiles.
Tests performed successfully
In December 2018, the Russian Ministry of Defense successfully conducted tests of the Avangard system in the Russian region of Orenburg, reaching a target located about six thousand kilometers from the launch site.
The Avangard system is among the weapons whose creation was announced by President Vladimir Putin on March 1, 2018, during his annual address to the Federal Assembly.
The missile is capable of flying in the dense layers of the atmosphere with intercontinental reach, while its speed is 20 times greater than that of sound. Avangard’s serial production was announced in July while its commissioning is expected in the coming months.