23:55 GMT07 May 2021
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    The development comes just a few days after Russia’s Defence Ministry announced it had successfully test-launched a new interceptor missile system in Kazakhstan.

    The US Army will be ready to deploy hypersonic missiles and vehicle-mounted laser weapons in the next four years, Breaking Defense reported, citing Lieutenant General Neil Thurgood.

    READ MORE: Russian Defense Minister Says Army Now Capable of Remote Combat Missions

    Thurgood, who is the head of the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, revealed that the service would put a 50-kilowatt laser on Stryker armoured vehicles by 2021, and is planning to mount a more powerful, 100-plus-kilowatt laser on a heavy truck.

    “The vehicle it’s on is not the limiting factor. Right now we’re just trying to get to higher power [levels]”, he said.

    The lasers are being developed to shoot down enemy drones, missiles and mortars, with the first combat-ready vehicle being expected to enter service by 2022.

    The military official has as well confirmed that the Army will oversee production of the Common Hypersonic Glide Body for all three services, although the Navy will lead the design work.

    Glide bodies were previously successfully flown in the US, and the military is now eyeing mass production and deployment, with Navy-produced rocket boosters.

    “We have the responsibility to build the industrial base in the US. We kind of know how to build these things already; now what I have to do is create a capability to build a lot of them”.

    According to Thurgood, the hypersonic battery’s primary mission is to test out new equipment, tactics, as well as new ways to train soldiers to employ them.

    READ MORE: Germany Orders Development of Hypersonic Missile to Counter Certain 'Threats'

    The revelation follows the footage released by the Russian Defence Ministry via Twitter of its successful test-launch of a modernised interceptor missile from its ABM system at the Sary-Shagan test site in Kazakhstan.

    "After a series of trials, the new interceptor missile confirmed its characteristics and successfully completed the task by striking an assigned target with precision", the Defence Ministry quoted Vladimir Sergiyenko, deputy commander of the missile defence unit, as saying.

    The first hypersonic missile was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his address to Russia’s Federal Assembly in 2018, when he showcased several types of cutting-edge Russian weaponry.

    Those new models included the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, capable of travelling at a speed of 20 Mach and higher, thus unsusceptible to being targeted by existing air defence systems. Avangard is expected to enter service by the end of this year.

    Another hypersonic cruise missile, known as Kinzhal, Russian for “dagger”, was tested aboard the Tu-22M3 strategic bomber in early August 2018. Back in May 2018, the Defence Ministry announced that ten MiG-31 interceptors with Kinzhal missiles were ready for combat use.

    Russia, USA, missile, hypersonic weapons, hypersonic glider, Avangard
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