Unlike the US and China, who have concentrated on developing boost-glide vehicles, Russia and India are designing the so-called “hypersonic cruise missiles.” While a boost-glide air vehicle first lift to an extreme altitude and then coast down to a target re-entering the atmosphere, cruise missiles travel on a non-ballistic, extremely low altitude trajectory evading early warning radar systems.
A Russia-India joint cruise missile research group will develop the world’s first hypersonic cruise missile by 2023, the company’s CEO was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying Wednesday.
China is testing the the WU-14 hypersonic missile which is able to carry nuclear warheads at a speed above Mach 10, or 12,359 kilometers per hour. A vehicle like the WU-14 could be fitted to various Chinese ballistic missiles, such as the DF-21 medium-range missile and the DF-31 and DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles, extending their ranges from 2,000 km to 3,000 km and 8,000 km to 12,000 km respectively.
SOURCES – Sputnik News, Moscow Times