The attack that Russia started on February 24 against Ukrainian territory, keeps the whole world worried, since since the beginning of the Cold War, the Russian army It has been developing high-tech weapons that it could use in this conflict. One of them are the hypersonic missilesa type of weapon that travels faster than sound.
days before the start of the Russian attack on Ukrainethe Russian armed forces did large military exercises which included the firing of powerful hypersonic missiles; Therefore, while the conflict continues, the possibility of using such weapons increases
What are hypersonic missiles?
The hypersonic missiles They are that can fly at least five times the speed of sound. If we take into account that in the atmosphere and at a temperature of 20°C, sound travels at 1,235 kilometers per hour, then for a missile to be considered hypersonic it must fly at more than 6,125 kilometers per hour.
Furthermore, unlike the ballistic missile, which takes a high arcing trajectory, the hypersonic travels low in the atmosphere, reaching the target in less time. It can also be maneuvered like the slowest cruise missile, making it harder to track and intercept.
Why is it worrying that Russia has them at its disposal?
In the midst of the armed conflict that is taking place in Ukraine, it is worrying that Russia has hypersonic missiles at its disposal because they are truly dangerous weapons in military operations, since they have the possibility of being able to maneuver or change their course, reaching high levels of precision at more than 10,000 kilometers away.
In addition, the hypersonic missiles they can be used to deliver conventional warheads faster and more accurately than with other missiles, even are capable of launching nuclear weaponsso its existence may increase the risk of a nuclear conflict.
The threat also increases because they are very difficult weapons to detect. Countries like Japan and the United States They have recently worked on new satellite systems to shield themselves from attacks from this new technology, but the ability to track and intercept a hypersonic missile remains unknown.
Apart from Russia, what other countries possess hypersonic missiles?
China, the United States and North Korea have launched test hypersonic missiles. France, Germany, Australia, India and Japan are working on the issue, and Iran, Israel and South Korea have conducted basic research on the technology, according to a recent report by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS). .
As to Russia, On November 18, the Russian defense minister informed the Vladimir Putin about the resounding Successful launch of a Zircon hypersonic missile (Tsirkon, in Russian) in the White Sea. Only nine days later it became known that Russia had started mass production of the missile.
“Serial production of Zircon missiles is underway at NPO Mashinostroyenia [la empresa pública encargada del misil hipersónico]although surface launch tests of this product will continue,” the Russian news agency TASS reported.