03:40 GMT04 March 2021
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    An enemy will have about 20 seconds to take down the radar-invisible hypersonic fireball travelling at 10,000 km/h, specialists say.

    Russian aviation-centered media Avia.pro reported, citing an unnamed source, that Russia’s hypersonic 3M22 “Zircon” missile will be invisible to radar, but will “inspire awe” in those unlucky to see it with their own eyes.

    According to the source, the missile will be made of a unique composite material that includes carbon and carbon fiber, making the weapon much lighter and also rendering it almost invisible to radar.

    Avia.pro speculates that Zircon’s composite material will be similar to KIMF, used in the 3M37 Skiff submarine-based ballistic missile. Produced by the Chelyabinsk UMATEX plant, KIMF is a lightweight but sturdy material, which provides good thermal protection.

    The source, cited by Avia.pro, notes that a Zircon, travelling at 10,000 km/h, will be so hot that it would look like a giant fireball dashing across the sky.

    “The enemy will not be able to see the missile on their radar, but will be able to see it careering from the horizon. It will literally inspire awe,” an unnamed specialist said.

    Earlier in September, Popular Mechanics reported that US missile defense at its current level of technology will only have about 20 seconds to shoot down a hypersonic projectile.

    “That’s hardly enough time for the defending ship commander to process what is happening, let alone launch missiles to shoot the incoming hypersonic missile down,” Popular Mechanics reported.

    If February, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially presented the missile and disclosed that it can travel at Mach 9 (approximately 11,000 km/h) with a range of 1000 kilometers.


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    composite materials, hypersonic missiles, 3M22 Zircon
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