Russia must be the first country to use hypersonic weapons

Technology is capable of producing powerful weapons and, it seems, Russia should take the lead and be the first country to use a hypersonic weapon system. So says a military analyst who says the Russian Navy should test its new missile, the Zircon, next year. Russia's new weapon is supposed to fly at over 10, 000 kilometers per hour and could be used to launch rapid attacks on land targets or enemy groups at sea, decimating them within minutes.

Specialist HI Sutton wrote at Forbes about the Zircon missile and said its launch is scheduled for 2020. The test, according to Sutton, will be conducted aboard the K-561 Kazan, Russia's new submarine. For him, Russia is so far ahead in hypersonic missile technology that it will be the first to use operational hypersonic weapons.

Hypersonic guns can fly at high speeds and the Zircon is supposed to have the ability to travel at about 10, 000 kilometers per hour. Assumptions about the power of the new Russian weapon still include the operating mechanisms that allow for high-speed flight. In Zircon's case, he probably uses the scramjet (supersonic combustion jet), which shows that he uses a rocket to get off the submarine and accelerate to the speed that allows the scramjet to take control.

Photo: Russian Ministry of Defense

Sources in Russia also claim that the Zircon is capable of reaching 100, 000 to 130, 000 feet in height (30 to 40 kilometers) and, upon reaching maximum altitude, could fly straight to the target in a dive. At an approximate speed of 10, 000 kilometers per hour, the Russian gun can record 160 kilometers in under a minute. Taking into account the tracking power of the SPY-1 radar and Russia's weapons speed in a possible attack, Americans would have less than two minutes to detect, track, attack and shoot down the Russian missile.

If Zircon goes into a steep dive and then flies low like other missiles, the attack could be fatal to other navies, since if it flies at an altitude of 200 feet (61 meters), a surface ship will detect the missile. at a distance of only 55 kilometers, which would take less than 20 seconds to shoot him down. That is, there would not be enough time even to understand the attack.

There is defense for the Russian missile

Although it seems indestructible, Russia's new missile can be defended. Possible defenses for the hypersonic threat include repositioning the radar at higher altitudes to detect it from a greater distance and automating the ship's defense system using artificial intelligence. In addition, the Zircon is likely to be armed with conventional and nuclear warheads, which can cause it to miss its target, since driving it at such a high speed is no easy task.

Photo: Getty Images

Russia's firepower

Announced in 2018 by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Zircon brings concern to the US government. The fear is that it will be used to conduct the “decapitation attacks, ” which would involve Russian submarines launching a surprise nuclear missile attack that neutralized Washington DC before civilian leaders could organize themselves.

Zircon is just one of six weapons systems announced by the Russian president last year. Putin also said that Russia is working to deploy an intercontinental ballistic missile, a strategic hypersonic weapon, a tactical hypersonic weapon, a nuclear-weapons long-range torpedo and a cruise nuclear missile.