Boris Obnosov, director of the state-run Tactical Missiles Corp, told the Russian Rambler news Service that the new hypersonic missile will be capable of penetrating advanced missile defenses and represents a revolutionary advance in military technology.
“It’s obvious that with such speeds—when missiles will be capable of flying through the atmosphere at speeds of seven to 12 times the speed of sound, all [air] defense systems will be weakened considerably,” Obnosov told the Rambler News Service this week.
The missile will be developed in Russia and fly at a speed of 6-7 times the speed of sound.
“In my estimation, the first hypersonic products [Russian hypersonic missile] should appear … in this decade — before 2020. He said the russian hypersonic missile would have speeds of up to six to eight Mach. Achieving higher speeds is a long term perspective,” Obnosov told journalists at the Airshow China-2014 space exhibition.
The hypersonic missiles will be air-launched at first, using the carrier aircraft’s initial velocity to reach the speeds necessary to run a ramjet engine.
Russia’s 3M22 Zircon hypersonic cruise missile is expected to enter into production in 2018. The new weapon—which is capable of speeds of around Mach 5.0-Mach 6.0—is currently in testing.
The Mach 6-8 hypersonic missile version sounds like it would be an upgrade of the short range 3M22 Zircon missile.
Zircon missile mockup
The 3M22 Zircon hypersonic missile-which is a component of the 3K22 Zircon system-will be incorporated into the nuclear-powered Project 11442 Orlan -class battle cruiser Pyotr Veliky When it completes its overhaul in late 2022. Sister ship Admiral Nakhimov -which is currently being modernized-will likely be the first Russian warship equipped with the new missile When it returns to service in 2018.
The new missiles would replace the two battle cruisers’ 390-mile range P-700 Granit supersonic anti-ship missile armament. Zircon while the range will likely be shorter-about 250 miles-its sheer speed will make it extremely kettle to intercept with current missile defense technology.
The Zircon is a domestic version. The Brahmos is an export version that is being developed with India. Brahmos lags the Zircon in capability.
American officials have said current missile defenses are limited to the 30 Ground-Based Midcourse Defense interceptors deployed at Ft. Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The system includes sensors and fire control elements around the world to counter a limited missile strike from North Korea or, in the future, Iran.
The 30 interceptors are not sufficient to counter large salvos of long-range missiles—either ballistic or maneuvering hypersonic—from Russia or China.
SOURCES- Rambler News Service, Freebeacon, National Interest,