When Vladimir Putin, then in the midst of an election campaign for his own succession, announced the entry into service of the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal airborne hypersonic missile in March 2018, Western staffs were stunned to say the least. Not only had they not anticipated Russia's advance in this area, but it was then a relatively neglected area so far in the United States as in Europe, and no one had any alternative. valid to be proposed in the short term to counter the new Russian missile, whether it is an anti-missile system or an equivalent system. The same thing happened a year later, when Moscow announced that the glider had returned to atmospheric hypersonic Avangard was also in the process of entering service, giving Russian ballistic missiles the ability to maneuver enough to avoid American anti-missile systems like the THAAD, SM3 or GBI.
In 2019, Moscow also presented the 3M22 Tzirkon program, a hypersonic anti-ship missile with an announced range of over 1000 km and a speed of around Mach 8. Western HQs initially doubted the veracity of this announcement, just as they had doubted for several years. the proclaimed effectiveness of the Chinese ballistic missiles DF21D and DF26 against moving targets, in this case the aircraft carriers and American assault helicopters. According to a very widespread idea then, the thermal stresses and the plasma which forms around a hypersonic missile did not allow the use of a seeker capable of guiding the missile towards its target in its final phase.
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