Russia's Kinzhal hypersonic missile flies during a test in southern Russia on March 11, 2018, shown in this image made from footage taken from the Russian Defense Ministry. The Russian military says it has run a successful test of the Kinzhal missile. Missiles that spit out warheads traveling up to 20 times the speed of sound and with the ability to perform elusive acrobatics may be too much for U.S. defenses to block. That's according to the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, who testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday (March 20). When asked by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., what kind of defenses the U.S. has against hypersonic weapons, Hyten replied: "We have a very difficult -- well, our defense is our deterrent capability.
Russia's hypersonic Zircon missile is expected to go into production in 2018, Tass news agency reported Tuesday, citing an unidentified source. The report comes after Russia began testing the missiles last month. "State tests of Zircon are scheduled for completion in 2017 in accordance with the contract, and the missile's serial production is planned to be launched next year," the source told Tass. Russia's nuclear-powered missile cruisers Admiral Nakhimov and Pyotr Veliky will be installed with the Zircon missiles, another source told Tass. Pyotr Veliky will reportedly be upgraded in 2018, while Admiral Nakhimov is being refitted and is expected to join the Russian navy the same year.
Chinese state media has revealed the country's first ever images of a model of its hypersonic glide vehicle, a nuclear weapons expert has claimed. The secretive missile delivery craft, known as the DF-ZF, could travel at up to ten times the speed of sound (7,680 mph/12,360 kph) according to some estimates. Its speed will ensure the country's nuclear threat can reliably breach the United States' ballistic missile defence shield, which fires incoming strikes out of the air. The model was briefly shown during a State-run TV special covering the country's JF-12 hypersonic wind tunnel. The innovative setup is the largest of its kind in the world and is capable of testing missiles and aircraft up to 6,900mph (11,100kph).
A top nuclear commander warned that the US should add more nuclear weapons to its arsenal because Russia and China are actively developing a new high-speed hypersonic weapon. US Air Force general John Hyten, commander of the US Strategic Command, said Tuesday that Russia and China are'aggressively pursuing' hypersonic weapons, a type of nuclear missile that flies a a very high speed. According to Hyten, the US doesn't have any type of nuclear weapon that can defend against a hypersonic missile so he suggests the country get to work. Hyten said both Russia and China are'aggressively pursuing' hypersonic nuclear weapons, which can travel faster than the speed of sound. 'We don't have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us,' he told the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to CNBC.
The US and its allies are determined to be first out of the gate with hypersonic weapons, and they've just taken a big stride forward in that regard... not that they're saying much about it. Both the US and Australia have confirmed that they recently completed a series of mysterious hypersonic missile tests. All the countries will say is that the flights were successful, and that they represented "significant milestones" in testing everything from the design assembly to the control mechanisms. They won't even say which vehicles were used or how quickly they traveled, although past tests have usually relied on Terrier Orion rockets (above) and have reached speeds as high as Mach 8. The tests are part of the long-running HIFiRE (Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation) program, whose first launch took place way back in 2009.