US, Russia Resume Hypersonic Race – OpEd


By Ilya Kramnik

The US carries on its hypersonic projects in a bid to create hypersonic weapons. The US Air Force’s experimental X-51A Waverider could someday lead to weapons that would be able to strike targets anywhere in the world in as little time as one hour.

The research is part of the Prompt Global Strike (PGS) program. But the Pentagon is not alone – Russia doesn’t stop its hypersonic military efforts either and has already implemented some of them.

Russia - United States Relations
Russia – United States Relations

It should be noted, that new warheads are quite heavy and large, thus a ballistic missile is capable of carrying a single warhead only. This means greater anti-missile shield penetrating chances but a less efficient strike.

Russia believes anti-missile penetrators to be more efficient, thus hypersonic boost-glide missiles can possibly be used but not commonly, as the US anti-missile defense system has rather limited capacities.

Russia’s efforts to upgrade penetrators will allow the country to timely respond to any changes in the US defense if it potentially threatens the current strategic balance, for example deploys its Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System near Russia’s strategic missile carriers in the North and The Pacific.

So let’s wait and soon we’ll see whether this scenario turns into practice.


VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

One thought on “US, Russia Resume Hypersonic Race – OpEd

  • August 19, 2012 at 4:22 am

    Some nations in South America are marvelling over the Sukhoi fighters which Venezuela has aquired from Russia, and are coming to realize, that not only the U.S. and NATO-EU are in the hyperflight development, …and export.


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