According to Alexey Leonkov, a former employee of the 30 Central Research Institute of Russia's Aerospace Force, the newest hypersonic missile that Russian President Vladimir Putin presented today makes US missile defense systems completely useless.
According to Leonkov, the anti-ballistic missiles the US uses for defense can only travel at a speed of Mach 5, or just under 4,000 mph.
"I think that this is an answer to the Americans on the missile defense systems they deploy in Europe. American interceptors, including the Aegis, can only travel at Mach 5. In order to catch up with a missile traveling at Mach 10, one must have an interceptor running at Mach 15. Americans don't have such a missile; they are helpless here," Leonkov told Sputnik.
The expert explained that the Russian hypersonic missile has a speed comparable to the first cosmic speed, also called orbital velocity. The weapon is also extremely precise, he said.
"Mach 20 is roughly the first cosmic speed, or 6 km per second. That being said, the missile can maneuver with a high degree of precision, which is unrivaled anywhere in the world yet. No missile defense system can intercept it," Leonkov concluded.