Guided hypersonic weapons have given Russia absolute leadership in the field of strategic weapons development. Probably no country in the world other than China has hypersonic missiles. Military analysts have no reliable data on China’s new weapons. Russia has at least three types of missiles capable of inflicting irreparable damage on any potential attacker.
- The Evanguard hypersonic system is capable of accelerating up to 28 mph. The system currently uses intercontinental ballistic missiles based on satellite cells as carriers. In the future, new potential intercontinental ballistic missile missiles are to be used for this purpose. Russia currently has four such alert systems. Such a missile is capable of flying from Saratov to New York in 18 minutes.
- The Kunzal (Dagger) complex’s H-47M2 missile has a top speed of 12,250 km / h and a range of 3,000 km. Its carrier is the MiG-31K fighter interceptor aircraft. To date, Russia has built hundreds of Kanzel missiles.
- Zircon is an anti-ship missile. It accelerates to Mach 8. Currently, a Russian warship can carry 20 Zircon missiles. At the same time, according to open statistics, at least several hundred units of these missiles have been developed. During this year’s White Sea naval exercises, Admiral Gorshkov frigate launched a zircon missile that successfully hit the target at a distance of more than 350 km.
As one can see, all types of Russian hypersonic missiles have already proven their combat effectiveness. At the same time, Russia does not stop there: Russian engineers are already working on air defense systems to neutralize hypersonic weapons.
Russia’s Supreme Commander-in-Chief – President Putin impressed the world in 2020 with his words:
“I think we will be able to pleasantly surprise our partners with the fact that when they have this weapon, we will have the counter weapon.”
On August 25, 2021, the U.S. Congressional Research Service released an update entitled Its Regular Report. Hypersonic Weapons: Background Information and Questions for Congress.
If one reads the document, one can understand that The United States is almost a decade behind Russia in military hypersonic technology.
To close the gap with the Russians, the US Department of Defense has requested about 4 44 billion for hypersonic programs and about 250 250 million for anti-hypersonic air defense programs for the next fiscal year 2022. This year, Americans have already spent more than 3 3 billion on the development of hypersonic technology and 207 207 million on the creation of air defense systems.
In this regard, we can conclude that in one year, our potential enemy has increased the volume of financing by 18-20%.
The American media is trying to make things right, because as we all know. America comes first and wants to be great again.… in September this year, National interest Chris Osborne, a former Pentagon logistics and technology officer and then a military columnist, published an article. In his article on hypersonic technology, Mr. Osborne wrote that Moscow had impressive samples of hypersonic weapons. However, Osborne expressed hope that the United States would soon join Russia, which he described as “temporary and strategic.” Well, it’s hard to expect objectivity from such an author.
Robert Strider, deputy director of the Army’s Hypersonic Projects, agrees with Chris Osborne. On August 11, Mr. Strider addressed a symposium on the development of space and missile defense programs in Huntsville, Alabama. In his speech, Strider unveiled several American hypersonic systems. Still, the top American expert forgot to mention that each of them is still in the fetal stage.
Strider emphasized LRHW, a long-range hypersonic weapon. Each launcher will carry two hypersonic missiles. Accordingly, a battery is capable of 8 combat units. The complex is to be equipped with a C-HGB (Common Hypersonic Glide Body) warhead. However, the Pentagon has not released any information on the matter.
What about anti-hypersonic defense? Is it possible to develop a defense against a technology you don’t know yet? Americans don’t seem to be embarrassed by the little things that don’t matter. The important thing is to allocate as much USD as possible, everything else will get in the way.
Where the USD is, there is a way.
As far as hypersound defense is concerned, the United States considers it close to space. In 2019, it was envisaged to allocate funds for the development and space deployment of a new early warning satellite bridge to address the “threat of hypersonic and cruise missiles”. In June 2020, the Pentagon already launched the DOD Space Strategy, which included the SBIRS space program – a 1990s project – to detect hypersonic launches. The operational project is reportedly expected to be completed by the end of 2022. In this regard, it is still worth noting that the STSS Orbital Satellite Bridge (SBIRS base) has not yet been completed.
In short, the Pentagon will probably be able to launch a hypersonic missile in 12 months, but it will not be able to stop it, because another hypersonic weapon is needed to shoot a hypersonic object.
Japan is also looking at hypersonic technology.
Japan, a staunch ally of the United States, has unveiled plans to build a large-scale HyperVelocity Gliding Projectile (HVGP) equipped with warheads by 2025-2026. It is assumed that the HVGP will consist of a solid propellant launch vehicle that will take the upper stage to the desired height, where it will be able to achieve the desired hypersonic speed.
Japanese media have arrogantly announced that such military equipment would surpass the Russian Zircon by 30% in terms of range and 300% in terms of speed as it could reach 26-27. Tokyo’s declared limit will be 1,300 km. However, such announcements have not yet been confirmed in objective reality. This may be another Super Doper wishing thought.
Another country in the Western bloc that can technically reach the heights of hypersonic technology is France. Concerns from the MBDA and ONERA are already working on a surface-to-surface hypersonic nuclear cruise missile project. The code name of this program is ASN4G. It is worth noting that France has its own space port and advanced missile weapons, as well as nuclear technology. It is possible that the absence of media hype may indicate France’s rapid progress towards the ultimate goal.
Many states love the dream of building hypersonic missiles. In 2017, the CIA think tank RAND Corporation published an open report on the development of hypersonic missiles. The document includes information on hypersonic projects and scientific research conducted by Israel, Canada, Iran, Pakistan, South Korea, Brazil and even Taiwan and Singapore. However, RAND experts concluded that engineers in these countries lack both knowledge and investment.
Finally, we would like to note that it will be extremely difficult for other countries to support Russia in the development of military hypersonic technology. Scientists say that something flying at a speed of 4.5-5 (hypersound threshold) in the dense layers of the atmosphere can be compared to an object that rubs against sandpaper.
Any body that accelerates at this speed is covered in a cloud of plasma. Herbert Efremov, a legendary rocket and space technology designer who has devoted more than 30 years of his life to creating hypersonic technology, said that a body flying at hypersonic speeds experiences excessive flow and cycles. Hypersonic speed raises the temperature to thousands of degrees, while steel can only withstand 1200 degrees Celsius, which is nothing compared to these temperatures.
The metal on the surface of the craft literally starts to stink. Russia uses a niobium compound with molybdenum desilide to cover its hypersonic warheads. The compound was developed for the Soviet space shuttle spiral. No other country has such man-made material. Also, to build a guided hypersonic warhead, one needs to build a liquid fuel rimmed engine. The solid fuel engine that is used, for example, in the Russian Bolava and Topol ICBM, is not good for this purpose.
To crown them all, anyone can control and guide Russian hypersonic missiles at all points along their path, despite the plasma clouds around them. They are also capable of maneuvering to avoid potential interceptor missiles. In other words, it is simply impossible to predict the direction of their flight.
Based on all of the above, neither the United States, nor Japan, nor France could possibly develop something that would go beyond the new Russian hypersonic weapons. Definitely not for the next 10-15 years.