Putin says Russia is ready to deploy new hypersonic nuclear missile

MOSCOW, Dec 26 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would deploy its first regiment of hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles next year, saying the move meant his country now had a new type of strategic weapon.

Putin was speaking after overseeing what the Kremlin said was a pre-deployment test of the new missile system, called Avangard.

"This test, which has just finished, ended with complete success," Putin told a government meeting.

"From next year, 2019, Russia's armed forces will get the new intercontinental strategic system Avangard ... 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."

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Russia displays latest weapons at International Military Technical Forum
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Russia displays latest weapons at International Military Technical Forum
A visitor passes a model of a guided robot-style system presented by the Concern Kalashnikov during the International Military Technical Forum Army-2018 in Alabino, outside Moscow, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Russia has displayed its latest weapons at a military show aimed at attracting more foreign customers. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, second right, and the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation on the Issues of Environmental Activities, Environment and Transport Sergei Ivanov, left, walk during the International Military Technical Forum Army-2018 in Alabino, outside Moscow, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Russia has displayed its latest weapons at a military show aimed at attracting more foreign customers. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Russian heavy flamethrower system TOS-1 fires during the International Military Technical Forum Army-2018 in Alabino, outside Moscow, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Russia has displayed its latest weapons at a military show aimed at attracting more foreign customers. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
A participant holds a rifle during the annual international military-technical forum "ARMY" at Patriot Expocentre in Moscow Region, Russia August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
A man, left, wears a working sample of a passive exoskeleton combat gear, next to a mannequin dressed in a prototype of an active exoskeleton combat gear presented by the Russian Rostec company during the International Military Technical Forum Army-2018 in Alabino, outside Moscow, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Russia has displayed its latest weapons at a military show aimed at attracting more foreign customers. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
New "Izh Pulsar" electric motorcycles are on display presented by the Concern Kalashnikov during the International Military Technical Forum Army-2018 in Alabino, outside Moscow, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Russia has displayed its latest weapons at a military show aimed at attracting more foreign customers. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Foreign military visitors observe the International Military Technical Forum Army-2018 in Alabino, outside Moscow, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Russia has displayed its latest weapons at a military show aimed at attracting more foreign customers. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (C) attends the annual international military-technical forum "ARMY" at Patriot Expocentre in Moscow Region, Russia August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
An AK-308 rifle is on display during the annual international military-technical forum "ARMY" at Patriot Expocentre in Moscow Region, Russia August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov attends the annual international military-technical forum "ARMY" at Patriot Expocentre in Moscow Region, Russia August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
Participants attend the annual international military-technical forum "ARMY" at Patriot Expocentre in Moscow Region, Russia August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu speaks during the opening ceremony of the International Military Technical Forum Army-2018 in Alabino, outside Moscow, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Russia has displayed its latest weapons at a military show aimed at attracting more foreign customers. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov (2nd L, front) speaks with top military officers during the annual international military-technical forum "ARMY" at Patriot Expocentre in Moscow Region, Russia August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (2nd R, front) and Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergei Ivanov (R, front) attend the annual international military-technical forum "ARMY" at Patriot Expocentre in Moscow Region, Russia August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - AUGUST 21, 2018: A ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled, radar guided anti-aircraft weapon system during a dynamic exposition at the Army 2018 International Military and Technical Forum, in Patriot Park. Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Tereshchenko\TASS via Getty Images)
A foreign military visitor holds an AK-202 assault rifle presented by the Concern Kalashnikov during the International Military Technical Forum Army-2018 in Alabino, outside Moscow Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Russia has displayed its latest weapons at a military show aimed at attracting more foreign customers. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Foreign military visitors observe the International Military Technical Forum Army-2018 in Alabino, outside Moscow, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Russia has displayed its latest weapons at a military show aimed at attracting more foreign customers. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu speaks during the opening ceremony of the International Military Technical Forum Army-2018 in Alabino, outside Moscow, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Sergei Shoigu emphasized that most new weapons at the show have proven their worth during the Syrian campaign. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
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Russia has said the new missile system, one of several new weapons Putin announced in March, is highly maneuverable, allowing it to easily evade missile defense systems.

Putin remotely observed Wednesday's test from a Russian defense ministry building in Moscow. The Kremlin described the test in a statement, saying that an Avangard missile, launched from a location in south-west Russia, had successfully hit and destroyed a target in the Russian Far East.

Putin announced an array of new weapons in March, including the Avangard, in one of his most bellicose speeches in years, saying they could hit almost any point in the world and evade a U.S.-built missile shield. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Polina Nikolskaya Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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