10:07 GMT17 January 2021
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    Russia’s hypersonic missiles have won big kudos from UK military experts, who say that Britain would not be able to develop such a weapon any time soon. In an interview with Sputnik, military expert Alexei Leonkov said that these unique weapons can penetrate all missile defense systems currently existing in the world.

    "We watch what Russia is doing, absolutely. […] The UK wouldn’t be able to do anything like that. So, we wouldn't be able to develop that sort of system ourselves," Commodore Paul Burke, the UK's Head of Nuclear Operations, said on the sidelines of the STRATCOM Deterrence Symposium in Nebraska on Wednesday.

    He added, however, that any hypersonic weapons “should actually commit to some international norms and some regulations, absolutely."

    In an interview with Sputnik, Alexei Leonkov, a military expert with Arsenal of the Motherland journal, said that Russia was developing both ballistic and drone-type hypersonic weapons, and that considerable progress had already been achieved on both these tracks.

    “The Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missile, which is now being tested in Russia, has already reached eight times the speed of sound and is designed for speeds of up to 12 times the speed of sound. We have also successfully tested the warheads for the RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile,” Leonkov said.

    He added that these unique weapons can penetrate all missile defense systems currently existing in the world.

    "The existing air and missile defense systems are generally unable to intercept [hypersonic weapons.] Our Western opponents have yet to come up with hypersonic air-defense or anti-missiles. They are still working on them. The Americans have made some headway, but all they have done so far is just a couple of experimental launches, which could be described as almost successful,” Alexei Leonkov noted.

    Even though high-precision hypersonic weapons are widely considered as instruments of WWIII, in a conventional form they could be used in regional conflicts to take out enemy strategic installations with their sheer kinetic force.

    This means that hypersonic weapons are pushing back the prospect of a nuclear Armageddon. 

    In keeping with a decree on Russia’s naval policy until 2030, signed by President Vladimir Putin earlier this month, hypersonic missiles and multipurpose robotic systems will start entering service with the Russian Navy after 2025.


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    successful tests, hypersonic weapons, missiles, development, drones, Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, Sarmat ballistic missile, Russian Armed Forces, Paul Burke, Alexei Leonkov, Vladimir Putin, Russia
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