Why Russia & China Spending so Much So Urgently on Hypersonic Has Always Been Debated -This New Report Published Today Proposes Interesting Reasons...
HYPERSONIC WEAPONS: TACTICAL USES AND STRATEGIC GOALS
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November 12, 2019 - by ALAN CUMMINGS for warontherocks.com
Hypersonic flight is not new. The V-2 rocket and the vast majority of the ballistic missiles that it inspired achieved hypersonic speeds (i.e., speeds faster than the speed of sound or Mach 5+) as they fell from the sky, as did crewed aircraft like the rocket-powered X-15.
Rather than speed, today's renewed attention to hypersonic weapons owes to developments that enable controlled flight.
These new systems have two sub-varieties: hypersonic glide vehicles and hypersonic cruise missiles. Glide vehicles are the cousins of ballistic warheads: they are lofted on high velocity boosters, separate, then use momentum and control surfaces to skip and glide through the upper atmosphere before crashing onto their targets.
The cruise missiles use an advanced propulsion system (a SCRAMJET) for powered flight. While the descriptions are straightforward, the engineering needed to accomplish the guidance and maneuvering (not to mention survivability) of these weapons is far from clear.
Russia: Imposing Costs to Discredit NATO
Russian hypersonic weapon capabilities are addressed principally to two audiences: the West (especially NATO) and Russia's peripheral nations like Finland, the Baltics, Ukraine, and Georgia. Living under the hypersonic gun makes locations in western Europe as vulnerable to strikes initiated from within Russian territory as the Baltics, Ukraine, and Georgia have been in the sub-sonic age.
Consider that Russia's...
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