While the United States, Russia and China are all stepping up the development of hypersonic weapons, President Putin said Russia has already achieved a leading position. Putin compared Russia’s achievements in high-sounding weapons to the first artificial satellite launched by the Soviet Union.
Putin said on December 24, 2019 that Russia has taken the lead in the field of new weapons, making it the only country in the world to deploy hypersonic weapons. Putin said in a meeting with senior military officers that this is the first time in history that Russia has now achieved a world leading position in developing new weapons, whereas Russia has been catching up with the United States in the past.
Putin said that during the Cold War, the Soviet Union lagged behind the United States in designing atomic bombs and manufacturing strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles. He said: “Now we are in a unique period in modern history and other countries are trying to catch up with us. No country has hypersonic weapons, let alone those with intercontinental range. ”
The Dagger hypersonic missile carried by the MiG -31 fighter has been in service since 2018. Putin said the missile can fly at 10 times the speed of sound with a range of 2,000 kilometers and has the capability to carry nuclear warheads.
More than 20 times the speed of sound
Putin said that Russia’s first batch of ground mobile launching equipment for hypersonic missiles is about to enter formal service. He said that the first “avant-garde” launch vehicle equipped with a new type of hypersonic missile would be in service in the near future, while the air-launched “dagger” hypersonic missile was already equipped with troops. These two advanced weapons were first mentioned by Putin in his State of the Union address in 2018. At that time Putin said that “avant-garde” hypersonic missiles can fly at 20 times the speed of sound in the atmosphere. He also said that the missile could change its trajectory and altitude and break through any existing missile defense system to hit the target.
The Dagger hypersonic missile carried by the MiG -31 fighter has been in service since 2018. Putin said the missile can fly at 10 times the speed of sound with a range of 2,000 kilometers and has the capability to carry nuclear warheads. The Russian military said the missile could be used to strike ground targets and surface ships.
The United States focuses on different things.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in August 2019 that the United States would need several years to deploy the weapon. He said the development of new types of long-range firepower is a top priority for the military.
NBC Business Channel reported that although defense officials expressed concern that the United States would lag behind Russia and China in the development of hypersonic weapons, U.S. experts said it was a misunderstanding to say that the United States was lagging behind just because Russia and China tested hypersonic weapons more frequently. James acton, a nuclear policy expert at the Carnegie Institute for International Peace, said that the United States has its own focus on developing hypersonic weapons, that is, it is more interested in carrying conventional warheads with hypersonic missiles, while Russia and China both focus on developing hypersonic weapons carrying nuclear warheads.
U.S. officials mentioned deploying a layer of sensors in space so as to detect enemy missiles more quickly, especially this new type of hypersonic missile. The U.S. government also plans to study ways to deploy interceptors in space to enable the U.S. to intercept enemy missiles at the initial launch stage.