Aviation

Russian fighter jets to demo 7,670mph hypersonic missiles Putin hailed ‘the ideal weapon’

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A Russian MiG-31K jet carrying Kinzhal hypersonic missiles and a Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter plane will display their “capabilities” in a show of air power near the capital later this month.

Bristling with state-of-art weaponry, the war planes will swoop over the International Military Technical Forum, hosted by Russia’s Ministry of Defence, between August 21-23.

The flights, which will take place at the Kubinka airfield, are scheduled to last 10-minutes when the “Army 2018” event is open to the public.

Army 2018 is set to be the first time Russia flaunts the capabilities of its Kinzhal missile-equipped MiG-31K jet in public as it seeks to project its military firepower to adversaries around the world.

Military analysts believe Russia and China are beating Western nations in the race to develop an arsenal of “unstoppable” hypersonic weapons for use in conventional warfare.

Russia successfully test-launched a Kinzhal hypersonic missile that was fired from a MiG-31 fighter jet in March this year.

The Kinzhal has an operating range of over 2,000km and can reach speeds of 7,670 mph, making it “invulnerable to the air defense and anti-ballistic missile systems existing today”, Russian news agency TASS reported.

Footage of the missile, whose name translates to “dagger”, being launched from the fighter jet before leaving a fiery trial in its wake was released by the Russian military.

“The launch went according to plan, the hypersonic missile hit its target,” Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement.

He said it was the “ideal weapon” when unveiling it on March 1.

In his annual call-in show on Russian TV, Putin claimed the Kinzhal missile system could travel at Mach 20 – a staggering 15,345 mph.

“This is an absolute weapon, if we speak about the present day – over Mach 20 – twenty speeds of the sound,” he said during the four-hour TV appearance.

“I don’t think that such weapons will be developed in some other country in the coming years, although they will surely be developed someday.”

Putin said Russia’s army has “specially demonstrated the launches of this missile” and told anyone who doubts that to “watch” the videos.

The Russian president said he started developing the advanced hypersonic missile system in response to the United States withdrawing from the ABM Treaty.

The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was an arms control treaty between the US and the Soviet Union on the limitation of anti-ballistic missile systems.

In June 2002 the US withdrew from the treaty, leading to its termination.

China, another nation pursuing high velocity weapons, conducted the first successful flight of the Starry Sky-2 hypersonic aircraft last week.

During its flight the aircraft maintained speeds above Mach 5 (3,806 mph) for 400 seconds and reached a top speed of Mach 6, or 4,563 mph.

A statement issued by the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA), which oversaw the testing process, said the flight was a “huge success” in a statement on Monday.

By: Daily Star

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