By the end of this year, Moscow will test its newest ballistic missile, the RS-26 Rubezh equipped with hypersonic manoeuvring units. As Colonel General Vladimir Zarudnitsky, chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, said to Vladimir Putin, this system will significantly expand the ability of Russian strategic nuclear forces to overcome missile defense systems.
It seems to have some ability to take evasive movements and change direction at hypersonic speeds. Typical ICBMs have a top speed of 15,000 mph (mach 24).
Back in 1997, then Chief of General Staff Yury Baluyevsky announced proudly that Russia had developed a hypersonic cruise vehicle (HCV). Its flight path is non-classical, meaning it doesn’t follow the classic parabola like a modern nuclear warhead, but can arbitrarily change directions. HCVs can enter outer space, and then re-enter the earth’s atmosphere. A conventional nuclear warhead enters the dense layers of the atmosphere at a speed of 5,000 metres per second. The speed of the HCV is twice as high. This makes it very hard to detect with radar missile defence systems. In addition, as military personnel note, the HCV can be retargeted throughout its entire flight, unlike conventional warheads.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.