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US 155mm Paladin howitzer shot down a ‘Russian cruise missile’

WASHINGTON, (BM) – The US Air Force has conducted exercises simulating a military conflict with Russia. According to Breaking Defense, the shooting took place on September 3 at the White Sands training ground in New Mexico, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

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“Tanks that shoot down cruise missiles are fantastic video game-like fun,” said Air Force Purchasing Director Will Roper.

An adapted 155mm M109 Paladin howitzer, under the control of the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS), shot down a “Russian cruise missile” – a simulated BQM-167 Skeeter air target.

The howitzer fired a super-high-speed charge at a flying target. In total, six “skeeters” were involved in the exercises, and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles were also used to defeat them – they were launched from an F-16 fighter and an MQ-9 drone.

The head of the Northern Command of the US Armed Forces, General Glen Van Herk, said the exercises convinced him of the ability of artificial intelligence to make effective recommendations for organizing hostilities with Russia and China.

Russian howitzers are also gaining media attention – in September 2018, The National Interest magazine published an article that spoke about the modernization of artillery that had begun in Russia.

“Russian cannons are capable of firing nuclear projectiles, and NATO would have learned their power through bitter experience if the cold war turned into a hot one,” the article says.

The Pentagon’s “defensive” research is directly related to the development of hypersonic weapons in the Russian Federation. In early August, the United States showed the launch and flight of a rocket with the Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) hypersonic gliding unit. President Donald Trump previously stated that the target was hit 36 ​​cm from the center of the target. The Pentagon previously admitted that the United States is defenseless against Russia’s latest weapons.

Thus, the head of research and engineering programs of the US Department of Defense Mark Lewis and his deputy for hypersonic systems, Michael White, said that Russia and China were ahead of the United States in developing hypersonic weapons.

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Russia’s superiority is due to the use of developments from the Cold War period, Lewis said. He added that China has achieved results in this area through significant investments, despite the late start of work.

“We have always caught up with our, well, let’s say, competitors in strategic weapons,” Vladimir Putin noted in early spring 2020, stressing that now for the first time in Russia such systems of offensive strike weapons have been created that are not found in the world, in particular, hypersonic strike systems, including intercontinental range. “Now they are catching up with us,” he added.

The presentation of weapons by Putin caused a huge resonance in Russia and the world, and the US military admitted that they did not have protection against hypersonic weapons at the moment. At the same time, a year later, on February 20, 2019, Putin announced in his message about the newest Zircon hypersonic missile. Subsequently, in the shortest possible time, successful tests of this rocket were carried out.

In February, the US Missile Defense Agwncy (MDA), in its 2021 budget request, unveiled plans for a more tiered United States missile defense system.

The plan will include the creation of several layers of defense based on the Aegis Weapon System, especially the SM-3 Block IIA missiles used in this system, and the Aegis Ashore system, which is expected to be deployed in the near future in Hawaii.

In addition, in an effort to “protect” from Chinese and Russian missiles, the United States intends to deploy a large grouping of low-orbit satellites to detect and track maneuvering hypersonic cruise missiles (GZKR), which, according to the Pentagon’s forecasts, will be adopted by the PRC and the Russian Federation in the near future.

It should be added that the Russian authorities have repeatedly stressed that Moscow will never strike first. Russia’s military doctrine only provides for a response to an attack using weapons of mass destruction.

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