After the use of "Kinzhal" in Ukraine, this terrifying technology is behind hypersonic missiles

Russia used a hypersonic missile (Hypersonice) against a Ukrainian arms depot in the western part of the country on March 18, 2022. This may sound frightening, but the technology the Russians used was not particularly advanced. However, the next generation of hypersonic missiles being developed by Russia, China and the United States poses a major threat to global security.

In an article on the Interesting Engineering website , Lane Boyd , an aerospace engineer who studies space and defense systems, including hypersonic systems, says, "These new systems pose an important challenge due to their ability to maneuver along their path. And because their flight paths can change. While they are traveling, these missiles must be tracked throughout their journey.”

"The second important challenge stems from the fact that they operate in a different region of the atmosphere compared to other threats. The new hypersonic weapons fly much higher than the previous generation of those missiles, but fly at a much lower altitude than ICBMs. Nor The United States and its allies have good tracking coverage of this intra-region, and the same goes for Russia and China.”

Destabilizing effect
Russia has claimed that some of its hypersonic weapons can carry a nuclear warhead. This statement alone is cause for concern whether it is true or not.

If Moscow ever operates this system against an enemy, that country will have to decide whether the weapon is conventional or nuclear.

In the case of the United States, if it is determined that the weapon was nuclear, there is a very high probability that it will consider this a first-strike attack and respond by discharging its nuclear weapons on Russia.

The speed of these new weapons makes the situation even more dangerous because the time required for any last-minute diplomatic solution will be sharply reduced.


After the use of "Kinzhal" in Ukraine, this terrifying technology is behind hypersonic missiles  Russia used a hypersonic missile (Hypersonice) against a Ukrainian arms depot in the western part of the country on March 18, 2022. This may sound frightening, but the technology the Russians used was not particularly advanced. However, the next generation of hypersonic missiles being developed by Russia, China and the United States poses a major threat to global security.  In an article on the Interesting Engineering website , Lane Boyd , an aerospace engineer who studies space and defense systems, including hypersonic systems, says, "These new systems pose an important challenge due to their ability to maneuver along their path. And because their flight paths can change. While they are traveling, these missiles must be tracked throughout their journey.”  "The second important challenge stems from the fact that they operate in a different region of the atmosphere compared to other threats. The new hypersonic weapons fly much higher than the previous generation of those missiles, but fly at a much lower altitude than ICBMs. Nor The United States and its allies have good tracking coverage of this intra-region, and the same goes for Russia and China.”   Destabilizing effect Russia has claimed that some of its hypersonic weapons can carry a nuclear warhead. This statement alone is cause for concern whether it is true or not.   If Moscow ever operates this system against an enemy, that country will have to decide whether the weapon is conventional or nuclear.  In the case of the United States, if it is determined that the weapon was nuclear, there is a very high probability that it will consider this a first-strike attack and respond by discharging its nuclear weapons on Russia.  The speed of these new weapons makes the situation even more dangerous because the time required for any last-minute diplomatic solution will be sharply reduced.  The writer believes that Washington and its allies should deploy their hypersonic weapons to bring other countries such as Russia and China to the negotiating table, and develop a diplomatic approach to managing these weapons.  What does supersonic speed mean? Describing the car as supersonic means that it flies much faster than the speed of sound, which is 1,225 kilometers per hour at sea level and 1,067 kilometers per hour at 35,000 feet (10,668 metres) where passenger planes fly.   Passenger aircraft travel at just under 600 mph (966 km/h) while hypersonic systems operate at 3,500 mph (5,633 km/h) and higher.  Ultrasound systems have been in use for decades. When John Glenn returned to Earth in 1962 from the first American manned flight around the Earth, his capsule entered the atmosphere at supersonic speed.  All ICBMs in global nuclear arsenals are hypersonic, reaching a maximum speed of 15,000 miles per hour (24,140 km/h) or about 4 miles (6.4 km) per second at their top speed.  Technology used ICBMs are launched on large rockets, then fly in a predictable trajectory until they are expelled from the atmosphere into space, and then back into the atmosphere again.   New generation hypersonic missiles fly very fast, but not as fast as ICBMs. They are launched on smaller rockets that keep them in the upper reaches of the atmosphere.  Types of hypersonic missiles There are 3 different types of hypersonic non-ballistic ICBMs: ballistic aircraft, glide vehicles, and cruise missiles.  A hypersonic ballistic vehicle is dropped from an aircraft, accelerated to hypersonic speed with a missile, and then follows a ballistic trajectory, i.e. a non-motorized trajectory.   The system that Russian forces used to attack Ukraine called “Kinzhal” is an air ballistic missile, with an old technology that has been around since about 1980, in which a hypersonic gliding vehicle is propelled from a missile to a high altitude and then slides towards its target, maneuvering along The Road.  An example of a hypersonic glide vehicle is the Chinese Dongfeng-17 and the Russian Avangard, the US Navy's conventional rapid-strike system.  US officials have expressed concern that China's hypersonic glide technology is more advanced than the US system.  On the other hand, a hypersonic cruise missile is boosted by a missile until it reaches supersonic speed and then a scramjet is used to maintain this speed.   Because they absorb air in their engines, hypersonic cruise missiles require smaller launchers than hypersonic glide vehicles, which means they can cost less and can be launched from more places.  Hypersonic cruise missiles are under development by China and the United States. Washington reportedly conducted a test flight of a hypersonic Scramjet missile in March 2020.  The difficulty of confrontation The main reason countries develop the next generation of hypersonic weapons is how difficult it is to defend against them because of their speed, maneuverability, and flight path.  The United States has begun to develop a multi-layered approach to defense against hypersonic weapons, which includes an array of sensors in space and close cooperation with key allies. This approach is likely to be very expensive and take many years to implement.   With all this activity on hypersonic and counter-weapons, it is important to assess the threat they pose to national security.  High-speed missiles with conventional and non-nuclear warheads are primarily useful against high-value targets, such as an aircraft carrier, and the ability to neutralize such a target can have a significant impact on the outcome of a major conflict.  However, hypersonic missiles are expensive and therefore not likely to be mass-produced. As we have seen in recent use by Russia, hypersonic weapons are not necessarily a conflict-ending silver bullet.


The writer believes that Washington and its allies should deploy their hypersonic weapons to bring other countries such as Russia and China to the negotiating table, and develop a diplomatic approach to managing these weapons.

What does supersonic speed mean?
Describing the car as supersonic means that it flies much faster than the speed of sound, which is 1,225 kilometers per hour at sea level and 1,067 kilometers per hour at 35,000 feet (10,668 metres) where passenger planes fly.

Passenger aircraft travel at just under 600 mph (966 km/h) while hypersonic systems operate at 3,500 mph (5,633 km/h) and higher.

Ultrasound systems have been in use for decades. When John Glenn returned to Earth in 1962 from the first American manned flight around the Earth, his capsule entered the atmosphere at supersonic speed.

All ICBMs in global nuclear arsenals are hypersonic, reaching a maximum speed of 15,000 miles per hour (24,140 km/h) or about 4 miles (6.4 km) per second at their top speed.

Technology used
ICBMs are launched on large rockets, then fly in a predictable trajectory until they are expelled from the atmosphere into space, and then back into the atmosphere again.

New generation hypersonic missiles fly very fast, but not as fast as ICBMs. They are launched on smaller rockets that keep them in the upper reaches of the atmosphere.

Types of hypersonic missiles
There are 3 different types of hypersonic non-ballistic ICBMs: ballistic aircraft, glide vehicles, and cruise missiles.

A hypersonic ballistic vehicle is dropped from an aircraft, accelerated to hypersonic speed with a missile, and then follows a ballistic trajectory, i.e. a non-motorized trajectory.

The system that Russian forces used to attack Ukraine called “Kinzhal” is an air ballistic missile, with an old technology that has been around since about 1980, in which a hypersonic gliding vehicle is propelled from a missile to a high altitude and then slides towards its target, maneuvering along The Road.

An example of a hypersonic glide vehicle is the Chinese Dongfeng-17 and the Russian Avangard, the US Navy's conventional rapid-strike system.

US officials have expressed concern that China's hypersonic glide technology is more advanced than the US system.

On the other hand, a hypersonic cruise missile is boosted by a missile until it reaches supersonic speed and then a scramjet is used to maintain this speed.

Because they absorb air in their engines, hypersonic cruise missiles require smaller launchers than hypersonic glide vehicles, which means they can cost less and can be launched from more places.

Hypersonic cruise missiles are under development by China and the United States. Washington reportedly conducted a test flight of a hypersonic Scramjet missile in March 2020.

The difficulty of confrontation
The main reason countries develop the next generation of hypersonic weapons is how difficult it is to defend against them because of their speed, maneuverability, and flight path.

The United States has begun to develop a multi-layered approach to defense against hypersonic weapons, which includes an array of sensors in space and close cooperation with key allies. This approach is likely to be very expensive and take many years to implement.

With all this activity on hypersonic and counter-weapons, it is important to assess the threat they pose to national security.

High-speed missiles with conventional and non-nuclear warheads are primarily useful against high-value targets, such as an aircraft carrier, and the ability to neutralize such a target can have a significant impact on the outcome of a major conflict.

However, hypersonic missiles are expensive and therefore not likely to be mass-produced. As we have seen in recent use by Russia, hypersonic weapons are not necessarily a conflict-ending silver bullet.
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