As we have discussed previously, “hypersonic aircraft and missiles are being developed and tested by the United States, Russia, and China at an accelerating pace. While the race for hypersonic technologies has certainly flourished among global superpowers, who realize that the first to possess these technologies will not just revolutionize their civilian and military programs, but will also dictate the future path for civilizations on planet earth.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Undersecretary of Defense for Research Michael Griffin presented last week at the McAleese-Credit Suisse Defense Conference in which he warned, “when the Chinese can deploy tactical or regional hypersonic systems, they hold at risk our carrier battle groups. They hold our entire surface fleet at risk. They hold at risk our forward deployed land-based forces.”
Griffin further stated, “the advantage of hypersonic systems is broadly speaking, irrespective of their range, that they underfly missile defense and they overfly air defense. That’s a niche we haven’t spent much time in recently, and if I had to pick my highest technical priority responding that that, both offensively and defensively, that would be my highest technical priority. If our response is either let them win or go nuclear, that’s a bad place to be. It invites bad behavior on the part of adversaries.”
Russia said today that it successfully launched a hypersonic missile capable carrying a nuclear warhead.
President Vladimir Putin called it 'an ideal weapon' when he unveiled a new array of next-generation arms earlier this month.
The high-speed, high-precision Kinzhal (Dagger) missile - capable of flying at almost 7,700mph across 1,250 miles - was launched from a MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jet that took off from an airfield in the South Military District in Russia's southwest.
'The launch went according to plan, the hypersonic missile hit its target,' the ministry added.
It comes just days after the belligerent Russian leader said he would unleash a 'global catastrophe' if a Third World War were to break out and threaten his country.
The ministry released video footage showing two pilots gearing up for a flight and then running towards a jet with a large missile slung beneath its underbelly.
Set to rousing, patriotic music, the video then shows a missile detaching from the airborne plane and gliding across the dark sky, leaving a fiery trail behind.
Some 250 flights have been conducted in training for day and night launches, and in all weather conditions, it was reported.
The Kinzhal missile was one of an array of new weapons Putin unveiled in his state-of-the-nation address earlier this month, ahead of a presidential election on March 18 that he is all but guaranteed to win.
Putin said the missile flies at 10 times the speed of the sound and can overcome air-defence systems.
The missile has been deployed in the Southern Military District since December 1, he added.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Facebook that work had also been done to modernise the 'unique' MiG-31 supersonic jet that will carry the missile.
Since the start of the year, more than 250 sorties have been carried out by the aircraft to perfect the work of the missile systems, the defence ministry said.
In his speech at the beginning of the month, Putin said Russia had tested an array of new nuclear weapons 'invulnerable to enemy interception.
He said the weapons include a nuclear-powered cruise missile and a nuclear-powered underwater drone.
He also showed video footage of the launch of a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile on big screens.
The video footage also contained a computer-generated sequence showing the potential power and reach of the new rocket, which included bombs raining down over the US state of Florida.
During his speech, Putin said the creation of the new weapons has made NATO's US-led missile defense 'useless,' and means an effective end to what he described as Western efforts to block Russia's military development.
The Kinzhal missile was one of an array of new weapons Putin unveiled in his state-of-the-nation address earlier this month, ahead of a presidential election on March 18 that he is all but guaranteed to win. Pictured: A still from the video released today
'The launch went according to plan, the hypersonic missile hit its target,' the ministry added. Pictured: The missile flying through the sky in the video
Social media users were quick to point out that this computer generated sequence from earlier in the month appears to show missiles raining down on the US state of Florida