New arms race?: Hypersonic Missiles
Published: June 29, 2015
New arms race?: Hypersonic Missiles, Russia is test-launching a new hypersonic attack aircraft that can carry nuclear warheads and penetrate missile defense systems, US media said citing a report by Jane’s Information Group.
The development of the Yu-71 vehicle took several years, and Russia reportedly conducted the most recent test flight on February 26, with an SS-19 missile trying to deliver the Yu-71 to space. The new hypersonic aircraft is part of Moscow’s plans to modernize its Strategic Missile Forces.
Yu-71, a secret missile program codenamed “Project 4202”, has probable speed of up to 11,200 kmh (7,000 mph) and is extremely maneuverable, which makes it an incredibly dangerous and a hardly targetable weapon.
Thanks to its speed and unpredictable trajectory, Yu-71 can evade an enemy’s missile defense systems.
“This would give Russia the ability to deliver a guaranteed small-scale strike against a target of choice; if coupled with an ability to penetrate missile defenses, Moscow would also retain the option of launching a successful single-missile attack.”
The report’s authors assume that Russia may put into service up to 24 nuclear-capable Yu-71 aircraft between 2020 and 2025. Moreover, by that time Russia may have developed the Sarmat – a new ICBM that will carry the new hypersonic device.
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