In the last three years, there has been a rise in the number of countries capable of building hypersonic missiles, with Russia in particular overtaking and surprising its peers when Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced to the world, more than two hypersonic missiles with the launch of a hypersonic launch system.
Having built hypersonic missiles, Russia also created a system of bringing them down. In an announcement in Radio Sputnik, Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko said, Russia’s defense industry was already testing a system capable of shooting down enemy hypersonic missiles.
He said, Russia’s S-300B4 system has the capability and has managed to bring down a hypersonic missiles in testing. The system has shown the capability to intercept and shoot down hypersonic missiles, including “foreign” ones, which are in the final stages of testing and development.
Countries including Russia, the United States, the European Union, Japan, India and China have developed this capability.
According to Korotchenko, the S-300B4 has been developed with the capability to handle complex tasks with a newly developed ammunition which has a range of up to 400 km.
“The potential enemy has no chance” said the former commander of the anti-missile forces of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant General Aiteh Bijev, with reference to the S-300B4’s capability to bring down hypersonic missiles.
He went on to add, the S-300B4 has been presented at Army 2020 exhibition, which took place this year in Russia earlier this year. Moscow has also developed an export version which is called Abakan.
Given the higher price points of the the S-400, the S-300B4 has an advantage in the international arms market. Since the latter can be more readily produced as compared to the S-400, countries that urgently require robust air defense systems will be potential clients.
U.S. Hypersonic Missiles
According to Korotchenko, Washington has lagged behind in this segment. Its development of a hypersonic rocket is facing headwinds following the failure of its prototype towards the end of 2019 and earlier this year.
According to officials from the Pentagon, the United States is looking at developing a hypersonic missile in 2023. According to Robert O’Brien, an adviser to the U.S. President Donald Trump, the army and the navy will be the first to get the capability.
According to the American edition of Defense News, Virginia and Zamwolt class submarines will be the first vessels of the navy to be equipped with the missiles.
Earlier this year on April, 15, U.S. Space Forces said, Russia had tested an anti-satellite missile.
“The US space command is aware and tracks Russian anti-satellite missile tests on April 15,” reads the report.
“Russia’s test of the direct interceptor anti-satellite missile (DA-ASAT) is yet another example of the fact that threats to US space systems and allied systems are real and growing,” said U.S. General John Raymond, commander of the US Space Forces while noting that Russia’s capability is capable of destroying satellites in low Earth orbit.
In a report, Chinese news portal Sina said, the Russian tests took Beijing by surprise. The authors of the article noted that Russian complexes are extremely dangerous for the enemy, their flight range is more than ten thousand kilometers.
“The Avangard missile is capable of reaching Washington in 15 minutes. During this time, the Americans will not even have time to drink a cup of coffee, and even more so they will not be able to repel the Russian rocket,” states the article.
China, which is increasingly trying to counter U.S. global influence and in recent years is showing signs of growing belligerence and aggression towards its neighbours as it tries to lend credence to its belief that it is a super power, the Chinese authors of the new portal appear to be convinced that American air defenses will not have the time to intercept Russia’s Avangard hypersonic missile attacks and that U.S. coastal areas will be helpless defenseless against a potential Russian onslaught.
The Chinese journalist termed the Russian missile as “a masterpiece of the Russian army” while adding, that it is “an even more terrifying weapon than a nuclear bomb”.