In recent years, the United States, the world’s largest and most technologically advanced military, has lost its advantage over Russia and China. Both exploited its political decline and the politico-economic contradictions which had an impact on its military advantage to catch up with its delay which radically altered the military balance.
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Hypersonic missiles are a category lacking in Washington, where one of the prototypes failed in a July 28 test. It was an AGM-183A Air Launcher Rapid Response (ARRW) weapon. The United States finally got a breakthrough, just recently.
Russia and China have installed fully operational hypersonic systems, the former with three blazingly fast missiles that can fly near Mach 9 (nine times the speed of sound).
Today, the Russian nuclear submarine Project 885 Yasen Severodvinsk carried out the first-ever underwater launch of the Zircon hypersonic missile, the Defense Ministry said. Previously, Severodvinsk had made the very first shot from the surface.
“The crew of the Severodvinsk nuclear powered missile cruiser submarine successfully completed the second test launch of the Zircon hypersonic missile. The second test firing was carried out by the Severodvinsk crew from a submerged position for the first time, at a depth of 40 meters [131 feet] in the waters of the White Sea, on a conditional target in the Barents Sea, ”the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
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The Avangard surface-launched missile, Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic cruise missile and Tsirkon 3M22 anti-ship hypersonic missile took the world by storm when revealed in 2018 and the recent test only adds to its stature.
Videos of their tests and confessions by American experts and military leaders themselves of their complete superiority over any American or Western missile defense system have left the American defense establishment in a daze.
China has also been reported to have a Absolut advantage in the South China Sea (SCS) with its ultra-long range YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missiles (540 km), the PL-15 Beyond Visual Range missile (300 km) which exceeds all American missiles in the class .
This is also the totally unorthodox DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). Its DF-17 medium-range ballistic missile revealed in October 2019 also releases the DF-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle.
AI-enabled command and control system
Russia has launched the operationalization of an automated command and control system for its Tsirkon missile (also spelled Zircon) which is considered Moscow’s own version of a networked battlespace.
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The evolution of network-centric warfare has been marked by China with its “Smart war”. However, details emerging from a test of the Tsirkon carried out on August 27 by the Northern Fleet revealed the use of the unique Avtomatizirovannoy Systemi Upravleniya (ASU).
The Tsirkon flies at nearly 10,000 km / h, at distances of nearly one hundred kilometers, at altitudes of 30 to 40 kilometers from sea level where air resistance is low and carries 450 kg warhead.
The test involved the the integration of this command and control (C&C), the naval ASU and the Tsirkon hypersonic missile. The ASU combined aeronautical and maritime resources, including the nuclear submarine Orel, the cruiser Marshal Ustinov and the frigate Admiral of the Fleet Kasatanov, two crews of the Tu-142 reconnaissance aircraft and anti-submarine planes . They passed data to the C&C which used Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) with the ASU, which “independently identified” the “most important” target, acquired the target and executed the strike.
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In addition to planes, ASU also received data from radars, satellites and drones on the ground, where this improvement in decision-making speed would have been achieved by artificial intelligence (AI).
Russia’s first active radar reconnaissance satellite Pion-NKS of the Liana system launched on June 25 this year observes military and civilian ships throughout the day in all weather conditions. The Lotos-C1 satellites, which are also part of the Liana system, monitor the radio signals of warships.
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This ASU can also be merged with other precision strike systems like the Kalibr, Vulkan, Yakhont, P-800 Onyx, the Tsirkon being capable of the same launchers as the Kalibr and Onyx. These missiles can be launched from smaller missile ships like the Buyan-M and Karakrut, making them even capable of firing the Tsirkon “aircraft carrier destroyer” hypersonic missile.
Rapid reaction and deciding on enemy resources, at distances of hundreds of kilometers using the speed and range of the missile from a variety of existing platforms, is the hallmark of the system and the missile according to officials. of the Russian Defense Ministry.
The United States has recognized the Russian capability
In mid-August, US Strategic Command Chief Charles Richard, speaking at the annual Space Defense Symposium, acknowledged that Russian hypersonic technology will provide the Russian Navy with a clear advantage.
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“Our current system of sensors on the ground and in space may not be able to detect and track these missiles. I have to admit that Russia is the first country in the world in hypersonic technology. And if the companies in our defense industry cannot find a way to resist them in the short term, the ships of the fleets of NATO countries will become vulnerable.“said Richard.
Russia is even planning to go further, from single launches at coastal distances to salvo fire. The fact that the test was conducted ahead of subsequent Zapad 2021 exercises with Belarus between September 10 and September 16 (also referred to as “combined strategic exercises”) gave context to the military maneuvers.
Russia is now planning to develop a fourth hypersonic missile called the Kh-95 that will be launched from the Tupolev Tu-22 M3M long-range strategic bomber, as was the case. reported by EurAsian Times. It will now have the largest range of hypersonic missiles with the greatest flexibility and refined technical-industrial systems to support them.