WASHINGTON, (BM) – A request to develop a hypersonic nuclear glider appeared on the Web, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing PolitInfo. It was deployed by the United States Air Force. After a while, information about this was deleted.
The Pentagon’s request relates to the technologies used to create an intercontinental-range hypersonic glider. The open publication, according to Defense News, appeared by accident. This is the fault of the service responsible for the secrecy of information. Therefore, the request was quickly deleted.
The Pentagon is currently in need of hypersonic weapons development. We are talking, among other things, about ballistic and cruise missiles. The creation of hypersonic tactical missiles and a special glider belongs to a separate area.
The United States has accelerated its work in this segment. The Americans want to get ahead of the creation of similar systems in Russia and China.
US hypersonic missile was destroyed during tests
As we reported on June 10 a prototype test missile of the American hypersonic program, developed by order of the Pentagon, was destroyed in the United States during the tests.
According American sources, the incident occurred with a missile, allegedly developed by Lockheed Martin Corporation under the program of a hypersonic ramjet engine, initiated by the Office of promising research projects of the US Department of Defense.
The Aviation Week magazine notes that the implementation of the program, in which Lockheed Martin and Raytheon develop hypersonic missiles, is several months behind the plan.
According to Aviation Week, the rocket sample was separated from the B-52 bomber, which was not provided for in the test plan. The bomber is part of the 419th squadron of flight tests of the US Air Force Edwards Air Force Base in California. According to the magazine, the missile’s separation occurred over land, although, according to the sources of the publication, the tests were planned to be conducted over the Pacific Ocean.
The magazine emphasizes that the management of promising research projects do not comment on the incident, citing the fact that the details of such tests are classified. According to Aviation Week, an investigation is underway.
Lockheed Martin and Raytheon participate in a tender by the U.S. Air Force for the development of the HAWC (Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, a concept of hypersonic airborne weapons). It involves the development of a hypersonic aircraft missile to launch from several types of fighters, including the F-35.
US is preparing to repulse hypersonic missiles
The U.S. Space Development Agency will deploy an orbiting constellation of satellites in near space by 2022 that are expected to protect against the impact of hypersonic missiles, Spacenews.com reported earlier this year.
The idea of placing a group of spacecraft in low Earth orbits in recent months has been very popular in the United States. Representatives of the Pentagon have long put forward the idea of using the cosmic sensor layer in low Earth orbit.
As previously reported by Gazeta.Ru, this group is also considered as a way of detecting and tracking hypersonic cruise missiles of a potential enemy, which may miss existing missile attack warning systems.
In June, information appeared that the United States Space Development Agency was inviting the country’s defense industry to participate in a tender for the integration of a sensor for detecting and tracking hypersonic rockets in a spacecraft. The launch of such a satellite into low Earth orbit is expected by the end of 2021.
On June 5, 2020, the United States filed an application for a “phenomenology tracking experiment” to develop sensory algorithms for a future spacecraft network to detect hypersonic rockets in outer space. Offers are accepted until July 6th.
This experiment is an initial step in the plans of the U.S. Space Development Agency to deploy a large orbital constellation of low-orbit satellites in 2022 to detect and escort maneuvering hypersonic cruise missiles (GZKR), which, according to Pentagon forecasts, will be adopted by China and Russia in the near future.
According to the agency, the experiment on tracking the missile defense system is central to the development of sensors that can accurately distinguish signals from enemy missiles in the presence of organized interference and background noise.
“During the experiment, the conditions for observing from the satellite will be determined, then the algorithms will be optimized, the concepts of the corresponding operations will be worked out, and the wave ranges for extended detection and tracking of hypersonic missiles will be determined,” the request of June 5 said.
Russia is already well ahead of the United States in developing hypersonic weapons
Russia attaches great importance to the development of hypersonic weapons and currently has three types of hypersonic missiles. Hypersonic missiles “Avangard”, which are in service with the Strategic Missile Forces, carry out strategic strike missions.
The “Dagger” hypersonic missile system, used by aerospace forces, is installed on the MiG-31M “Fox Hound” interceptors and performs operational and tactical missions.
Various surface ships and submarines of the navy can act as carriers of the 3M22 Zircon missile, which is mainly designed to destroy surface and ground targets at a remote distance.
Zircon missiles can be deployed on all Russian ships equipped with the 3C-14 vertical launch system, the head of the Russian United Shipbuilding Corporation said earlier.
This means that missiles can be launched both on a 4000-ton frigate of project 22350, and on a small missile ship with a displacement of less than 1000 tons, if a vertical launch system is installed on it. In addition, upgraded Kirov-class nuclear-powered cruisers, large Udaloy-type anti-submarine ships, and Oscar II-class nuclear submarines could theoretically deploy Zircon missiles after refitting launchers.
This suggests that this type of missile will become a key weapon in the tactical strike system of the Russian Navy and will receive an operational advantage over the American aircraft carrier strike group.
According to Western media, the Zircon rocket will become a “killer” for US aircraft carriers. If the missile’s flight speed of Mach 9 is true, this means that the Aegis missile system, including Standard SM-3 Standard series missiles to intercept high-range medium-range ballistic missiles and Standard SM-6 missiles to intercept anti-ship missiles in sea will be significantly inferior to Russian missiles.
If the Zircon breaks through the enemy’s medium and long range intercept system and rushes over the horizon at high speed, the enemy’s defensive system of warships may not even have enough time for one shot. If this is true, then the successful development and adoption of Zircon missiles will have a serious impact on future naval battles.
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