Architect of Russia's Avangard gliding vehicle receives highest honors

Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed the name of the main architect of the Avangard hypersonic complex. Russia's state-of-the-art hypersonic gliding vehicle Avangard was developed by Herbert Efremov - a designer of missile, rocket and space equipment.

On September 19, Putin congratulated Herbert Efremov on the Day of the Armourer and signed a decree awarding him the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called with swords for "outstanding services in the development of the rocket and space industry, and for strengthening the defensive capability of the country." This is the highest honour of the Russian Federation.

"The results of your work can hardly be overestimated. Not only did not stand at the origins of this technological idea, but it was you who authored it. In modern conditions, the embodiment of your idea for our country, without any doubt, can be compared to the implementation of nuclear and missile projects by outstanding scientists Kurchatov and Korolev during the times of the Soviet Union," Putin told Efremov while presenting the award to the scientist.

During the conversation, Putin noted that Russia "constantly had to be one of those that was catching up" in the field of atomic and nuclear weapons for decades, and then in the field of long-range strategic aviation and intercontinental missile technology.

"All that always put the country in a very difficult, even dangerous situation. In fact, there were moments when we were threatened, but we had nothing to respond with," the president said.

Nowadays, Russia "possesses state-of-the-art types of weapons, which are many times superior in strength, power, speed, and, most importantly, in precision, to all other arms systems that existed and exist today." According to Putin, "no one else in the world has such a weapon, at least not yet."

In his congratulations on the Day of the Armourer, the President pointed out engineers and scientists, developers and manufacturers of the Peresvet laser complex, the Kinzhal (Dagger) aviation hypersonic missile, the Poseidon nuclear-powered submarine robotic vehicle, the Burevestnik cruise missile of unlimited range, the Zircon sea-based hypersonic missile and other types of weapons.

The Avangard system takes a very special place in this series, Putin said, having stressed out that its maneuvering hypersonic unit is capable of moving at a speed 27 times higher than the speed of sound, and the system itself can change direction both in height and horizontally. The Avangard is not just a new system - this is a new type of strategic weapon," the president stated.

He also said that Russia was forced to develop a new hypersonic weapon against the background of USA's withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002. 

"We were forced to create these weapons in response to the deployment of the US strategic missile defense system, which in the future would be able to actually neutralize, zero all our nuclear potential. Dear Herbert Alexandrovich, thanks to you, your colleagues, that did not happen," Putin said.
In 2004, large-scale activities were launched to implement Efremov's ideas. In December 2018, the final launch was carried out. In December 2019, the first missile regiment armed with the Avangard complex, was put on alert.

Efremov, in response to congratulations, said that Putin the man, who presented the new technology to the whole world.

"It was only because of you, it was you, who presented all this to the world, who showed the world that this was not science fiction, but reality - this is your skill, which, in my opinion, no one else has," said the designer.

Trump: Putin stole super-duper missile from USA

On September 18, speaking to his supporters in Minnesota, US President Donald Trump said that Russia received information about hypersonic weapons from the administration of the 44th President Barack Obama and used it in its own developments. According to Trump, Russia "stole" this information.

"You know, they have a rocket, super duper hypersonic. I call it super duper because it is five times faster than a conventional rocket. We have a rocket that develops much higher speed," said the American President.

According to him, the United States has created "the most powerful weapon known to mankind." The new weapon, Trump said, was so advanced that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin "envy" the USA.