MOSCOW, (BM) – Russia has not seen much progress in developing the US LRHW hypersonic missile. Russian military expert Alexei Leonkov expressed a similar opinion in an interview with the Russian newspaper Vzglyad. According to Leonkov, titanium alloys are essential for protecting the electronics in the warhead and question the US capabilities for their production.
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“But the question is, how will the electronics in the warhead behave when heated to certain temperatures?” Do they have the technology to produce titanium alloys that can withstand high temperatures and overloads? So far, nothing has been heard about it,” said the military expert.
However, Leonkov did not mention in his interview the participation of entrepreneur Ellen Musk. BulgarianMilitary.com wrote in March this year that Musk and his company were rewarded with an $ 8.5 million contract from the Pentagon. The company’s task is to find suitable alloys and materials or develop new technologies to deal with the high temperature during the launch and flight of the hypersonic rocket.
Leonkov also referred to a GAO report estimating the costs of the hypersonic missile program. He quoted a statement in which the GAO said that “the United States does not have breakthrough technology.” In this way, Washington cannot reach the level of controlled hypersonic, Leonkov added. “There is virtually no such technology,” he said.
The S-400 and S-500 will intercept the American LRHW missile
These are Leonkov’s statements in the same article. According to him, even if Washington finds a way to complete the prototype and conduct its tests planned for 2023, Russia already has the technology to intercept LRHW.
According to Leonkov, the American missile will develop a speed range of 5 to 8 Mach. Currently, the missiles of the S-400 and S-500 air defense systems are moving at a rate of almost 7 Mach and lower targets that have reached a maximum speed of 14 Mach.
“Overall, the LRHW warhead is a conical product with four control planes. The speed of the sliding warhead will be in the range of five to eight Mach numbers. We have the S-400 complex. Its missiles fly at a speed of 2.5 km per second, approximately 7.3 numbers from Mach. At the same time, they can download targets at a rate of almost 14 numbers from Mach, which also applies to similar LRHW. In addition to the S-400, we also have the S-500, whose missiles will be even faster and more maneuverable. “
What is the LRHW hypersonic rocket expected to be?
There is still no concrete and clear idea of the hypersonic missile that the Americans are currently developing. There are various publications in the American media. According to one of them, Kyle Mizokami in Popular Mechanics, LRHW will be a long-range missile and will hit targets at a distance of up to 2,800 km. The idea of the Americans is for the hypersonic rocket to be launched from a heavy vehicle equipped with launch sliders.
As mentioned above, 2023 is the year in which the United States must have developed and produced the prototype, whose tests must begin the same year or a year later. Initially, the missile will not be fired from a heavy vehicle but a ground launcher.
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