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Russia's successful test of its Avangard hypersonic glide missile will almost certainly ignite a full-on arms race panic in the US, according to German newspaper Die Welt. As we noted earlier this week, the missile was launched from a base in the southern Ural Mountains on Wednesday and successfully hit a practice target on Kamchatka 3,700 miles away.

The test launch will likely alarm US intelligence analysts and "provoke a panic" among Pentagon officials because the US has nothing to defend against the missile, the newspaper said, despite the fact that Russia has been working on the weapon since 2002 when the US withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and began developing anti-ballistic defenses. Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin teased that the weapon would be ready to deploy within "months".

 

The test, according to the paper, is proof of "saber rattling" between the US and Russia as tensions between the two super powers climb to their most intense level since the fall of the Soviet Union.

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Category: Science