Air Force Doubles Down on Hypersonic Weapons Development with 2nd Contract

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High Speed Strike Weapon (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

 

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a second contract to develop a new hypersonic weapon that would move five times the speed of sound.

The service on Monday awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a contract — not to exceed $480 million — to begin designing a second hypersonic prototype, according to a release.

“We are going to go fast and leverage the best technology available to get hypersonic capability to the warfighter as soon as possible,” said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. Continue reading

Russia hypersonic weapon likely ready for war by 2020: US intel

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In this video grab provided by RU-RTR Russian television via AP television on Thursday, March 1, 2018, a computer simulation shows the Avangard hypersonic vehicle en route to target. (RU-RTR Russian Television via AP)

 

  • Russia has successfully tested a hypersonic weapon the United States is currently unable to defend against, according to sources with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence reports.
  • The Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle is expected to enter Russia’s arsenal by 2020.
  • The weapon could be outfitted with a nuclear warhead but would be able to create destruction even without explosives.

A Russian weapon the U.S. is currently unable to defend against will be ready for war by 2020, according to sources with direct knowledge of American intelligence reports.

The sources, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity, said Russia successfully tested the weapon, which could carry a nuclear warhead, twice in 2016. The third known test of the device, called a hypersonic glide vehicle, was carried out in October 2017 and resulted in a failure when the platform crashed seconds before striking its target.

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Russia’s Monster Battlecruisers Are Getting Hypersonic Anti-Ship Missiles

The Russian Navy is set to upgrade its nuclear-powered Project 11442 Kirov-class battlecruiser Pyotr Veliky with a new hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile. The new Mach 5.0-capable 3M22 Zircon missiles would replace the ship’s existing 390-mile range P-700 Granit supersonic anti-ship missiles.

“The Pyotr Veliky will start repairs in the third or fourth quarter of 2019. Repairs and upgrade are due for completion in late 2022, the ship to be equipped with Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missiles,” a Russian defense industry source told the TASS news agency on February 19. “The missile is undergoing development testing and will enter service if it passes,” he added. Continue reading

China’s progress in developing hypersonic weapons unsettles Pentagon

Although Beijing has repeatedly stated that its efforts to modernize its military are aimed strictly at boosting China’s defense capabilities, US military officials never miss an opportunity to present these developments as an alarming trend. Continue reading

Russia pursues hypersonic weapon research

Russia is developing a hypersonic weapon program. It involves more than 60 companies and is scheduled for completion this summer. Launched in the former USSR, hypersonic weapon research was resumed in post-Soviet Russia in 2009 under the umbrella of the state-owned Tactical Missiles Corporation.

Hypersonic missiles can travel at a speed surpassing that of sound (1,200 km/h) by ten or more times and are capable of penetrating any missile defense, says Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy head of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis in Moscow. Continue reading