The Washington Post is concerned about the United States lagging behind Russia and China in the development of combat-ready hypersonic weapons. In its publication, the newspaper refers to public statements by the Deputy Minister for Research and Development Michael Griffin, recently appointed to this post.
“The United States does not do everything right now to adequately respond to the threats posed by hypersonic missiles,” Griffin said at a congressional hearing. – I did not come to this post in order to be content with parity with opponents. I want to make them worry, thinking about how they will have to catch up with us again. ”
Although the parity with the opponents, Russia and China, speak now extremely recklessly. The States are still growing and growing. Since Russia has not only developed and adopted several hypersonic rockets and one glider, while in the United States only R & D is carried out on this subject. And these works have not progressed enough to prepare for the deployment of ROC.
At the same time, the Pentagon is investing huge amounts of money in hypersonic topics. The Washington Post reports that Lockheed Martin has been allocated a billion dollars to create a hypersonic missile. He does not want to stand aside when he smells of hyper profits, and “Boeing”. This company announced that it intends to make large investments in the British engine building company in order to obtain a hypersonic direct-air jet engine (GRVRD).
But having frightened Kiev along the way, “Grad Sviyazhsk” and “Great Ustyug”, probably from the Black Sea will go to the Baltic.
However, to disperse a missile to five sound velocities (5M) and higher is only part of the problem. The missile must be controlled, that is, to maneuver, and not to fly along a ballistic trajectory. Only in this case its interception becomes practically impossible. And more – the missile should have a communication channel with the command post or with the carrier that launched it. That in the flight condition in the plasma cloud is an extremely complicated scientific and technical problem. And, finally, the rocket should have a homing head based on some new principles.
All this is in Russia. What the military analyst from the Center for Strategic and International Studies Todd Harrison has to agree with about Russian missiles is that “they fly lower, they can maneuver, so this is a different kind of threat.”
The fact that with this threat the United States has no opportunity to fight, says Deputy Defense Minister Griffin: “Today we do not have protection from these systems. If they decide to apply them, we will be in a losing position. For me, one of the highest priorities is to eliminate this backwardness, develop our own systems, provide protection and create a threat to them. ”
I must say that American analysts and generals associate very many of their strategic miscalculations in the field of creating new types of weapons with “tranquility” from the victory in the cold war. It was assumed that from now on and for ever and ever the American army will have to deal with a deliberately weaker enemy. And weak, first of all, in the technological sphere. And why, they say, spend huge money on the creation of weapons, which will have clearly redundant characteristics.
This is only partly true. Because in the United States there have never been any interruptions in attempts to create effective laser weapons. And in the most “good” times, a military satellite group was built up, which in no way can help in the event of war, say, with any North African country. The American military-industrial complex is very voracious, it has a powerful lobby, and in this connection, at any time, it does not suffer from hunger.
Miscalculations with hypersound refer not to the “gentleness” of the Pentagon, but to strategic miscalculations. The same applies to them, and having an extremely low efficiency project to create a fighter-bomber F-35.
Still, in the US there were attempts to create a hypersonic missile. But they, according to The Washington Post, were not persistent.
As an example, the Falcon HTV-2 project, launched in 2003, was implemented by the Agency for Advanced Defense Research and Development (DARPA). The missile could be dispersed to 20 M. True, the launch was not atmospheric, “Falcon” was lifted by a carrier rocket into the near space, from where the rocket rushed down, accelerating to a monstrous speed. However, there is no big news in this – in the same way the “Shuttles” and our “Buran” flew.
After the second test, which took place in 2011 and ended in an explosion, the prospective missile was recognized by the Pentagon m unpromising. But even if the rocket did not collapse, it was of little use to it, because it was, first, practically uncontrollable, and, secondly, it was impossible to establish a connection with it. Now American experts believe that the work had to be continued – maybe, and it would work something workable. The same views are shared by the military.
“We had a few setbacks, so we stopped to analyze the situation, regroup forces and make sure we understand the essence of the technology – what works and what does not work there,” said Air Force General John Hayten, who heads the Strategic Command of the US Armed Forces.
In my opinion, it was just necessary to take into account mistakes, draw conclusions and move forward. Without stopping.
“The Pentagon trusts Boeing more than DARPA. In 2010, testing of the Boeing X-51 missile began, which should develop the speed of 6M-7M and have a range of 500 km. The B-52 bomber raises the launching height. Of the six tests carried out, the test of 2013, when the missile accelerated to a speed of 5.1 M, was partially successful. The rest ended in the destruction of the X-51. Curiously, in 2014, the mood of the US Air Force command was so optimistic that the missile was going to be adopted in 2017. And now it turns out that Boeing was disappointed in the engine of the American company Pratt & Whitney and decided to replace it with the British. All this shows that the US in the hypersonic field is far from even China, which since 2013 is experiencing a hypersonic planning warhead (glider ) WU-14, which is equipped with ballistic missiles. Up to three launches are carried out annually. The claimed speed is actively maneuvering WU-14 – 10 M. Adoption is scheduled for the mid-20-ies. And what does Russia have?
First of all, this is the X-47M2 missile “Dagger”, the carrier of which is the interceptor MiG-31K. Complex “Dagger” since December 1 last year is on duty in the Southern Military District. The Kh-47M2 develops a speed of 10 M and has a range of 2000 km. Taking into account the fact that a heavy MiG-31 fighter capable of carrying 9 tons of rocket-and-bomb load, has a solid combat radius of 720 km, the real range of application of the Dagger is about 2700 km. This means that for an irresistible strike, both for land and sea targets, the aircraft does not need to enter the enemy’s air defense zone, but also to approach it.
The anti-ship hypersonic missile” Zircon “of sea basing completes the tests. Its adoption in service is expected in this decade. The speed of the “Zircon” is 7M-8M, the estimated range is 400 km. This is the killer of aircraft carriers, as the high-ranking British naval officers spoke about last year. They bitterly claim that it is impossible to protect two of their aircraft carrier from Zirkon. It should be noted that the NATO military has chosen a different method of defense: the speaker has recently gained momentum about the fact that hypersonic weapons are so dangerous that it can provoke a third world war. Therefore, its development and production should be limited with the help of international legislation. And, finally, Russia starts producing hypersonic combat equipment (HBO) or the glider Avangard. Simply put, it is a warhead intended for installation on the Sarmat ICBM. It is capable of performing hypersonic flight in dense layers of the atmosphere at speeds up to 22 M, maneuvering in vertical and horizontal planes. Combining hypersonic speed with energetic maneuvering makes Avangard unattainable for any air defense systems, both existing and promising. The warhead is produced in two versions – nuclear and kinetic. At the same time, the kinetic warhead is capable of causing larger disruptions due to a mechanical strike than the notorious Railgun, in which American designers have become entangled.