Russia had to start developing hypersonic weapons after the U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, said Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with the honorary general director, honorary general designer of the NPO Mashinostroyenia ,Herbert Yefremov.
"We had to create these weapons in response to the deployment of the U.S. strategic missile defense system, which in the long term would be able to actually neutralize all our nuclear capabilities, Putin added. The president also noted that this did not happen thanks to Yefremov and his colleagues.
According to Putin, Yefremov is the creator of the hypersonic combat unit Avanguard.
In early March, 2020, Putin noted that Russian hypersonic weapons allow to maintain a strategic balance in the world, thanks to which after the Second World War there were no major armed conflicts.
Putin said in his message to the Federal Assembly in March 2018 that Russia was developing the latest hypersonic weapons, in particular Sarmat and Avanguard missile systems, cruise missiles with nuclear power plants and Kinzhal hypersonic missile. However, the Pentagon called the U.S. defense against Russian hypersonic weapons undeniable. "Our deterrence capability remains unquestionable, capable of dominating and responding to any threat," said the head of the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. John Hyten. Mike Mattis, then U.S. Defense Secretary, called the Strategy of the Russian President "an arms race within itself."