In the field of new weapons, China and Russia are racing at hypersonic speeds

In the field of new weapons, China and Russia are racing at hypersonic speeds

Newsweek responded to the video of the Ministry of defense of China, which depicted the test of a promising hypersonic missile. At the same time, the Americans called the video «propaganda».

The purpose of the publication of Newsweek, according to the text, is to tell compatriots how dangerous this new weapon created in the «authoritarian state». But should the Americans panic over the coming adoption of the Chinese super rocket?

Newsweek honestly admits that the field of hypersonic weapons unconditional world leaders are Russia and China. And the once all-powerful US, behind in this field of weapons for several years — in the role of catching up the country.


On the part of the description of such weapons and prospects of opposition to him an article in Newsweek fair, since the author previously talked with two experts. And they reported that low-flying hypersonic cruise missiles and planning ballistic missile combat units are not easy to detect with state-of-the-art radar stations serving the missile defense system. It is possible to detect such targets at a very short distance. As a result — to prepare for the interception may simply not have enough time. But even if it is possible to launch a hypersonic missile or a planning block missile, the probability of a successful interception is extremely low. Of particular concern to the author of the publication is the fact that hypersonic weapons can have both conventional and nuclear equipment.

As an example of what Beijing already has in breakthrough military technologies, Newsweek cites the planning combat unit DF-17, which can be equipped with one of the existing ICBMs in China. The unit, maneuvering in the atmosphere, maintains a speed of 5 M to 10 M. (Recall that the hypersonic speed begins when reaching five times the speed of sound — 5 M). Hypersonic mode combat unit DF-17, which does not have an engine, is able to withstand a distance of 2500 km after separation from the launch vehicle.

China has planned to adopt DF-17 in 2020. According to Newsweek, this will be the first such system in the world to be handed over to the army for operation. That, however, is not entirely true. More precisely, it does not correspond at all: the planning combat unit «Avangard» is already entering the Strategic missile forces of Russia. Last year it began mass production. In the second half of this year, the «Vanguards» will begin combat duty in the RSVN.

Moreover. Blocks that are capable of maneuvering flight at a speed of 27 M, are already equipped with our mine-based ICBMs «Governor», called in the West «Satan». In the future, the same will be installed on almost ready-to-manufacture super-heavy Intercontinental ballistic missiles «Sarmat».

However, overseas experts reassure readers of the magazine, saying that although hypersonic weapons and very dangerous, it is only one element in the chain that allows it to be used effectively. «The application of precision shots on very distant targets depends on the effectiveness of the supporting chain, which includes intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, which is itself vulnerable,» — said the head of the British company JB Associates and an expert in security issues at sea and in the air James Bottini.

However, with these elements of the chain in China, everything is fine. Thanks to significant advances in space. One of the objective indicators is the number of space launches, according to which China (37 launches last year) was ahead of both the US (34) and Russia (18).

The Chinese orbital group today exceeds 150 spacecraft for various purposes. And in three years the number of satellites will come close to two hundred. At the same time, great importance is given to the military segment of the group. There are all types of vehicles — for reconnaissance, communication, navigation, inspection.

Russian grouping in quantitative terms is almost the same — 156 satellites. The United States has more than four hundred orbital vehicles. However, if we compare the military segments, the quantitative difference between the achievements of the Chinese and the Americans is not so high.

At the same time, it should be borne in mind that China is making the greatest efforts in space to build a military space group. And this has already brought significant results. Thanks to the creation of the Yaogan group, which controls the entire water area of the World ocean with the help of radar and optoelectronic devices, as well as electronic reconnaissance satellites, China managed to achieve dominance in the vast coastal zone.

The group «Yaogan» is focused primarily on the creation of the world’s only ballistic anti-ship missile DF-21D. It has a combat unit of very high power and is able to reliably hit the aircraft carrier. Its speed «at the finish» reaches 10 M. Range — 1500 km. Despite the fact that no other anti-ship missile in the world on the flight range does not reach up to 1000 km.

The main problem that the Chinese managed to solve is the firing of a ballistic missile not at a point with specific coordinates, but at a target that is dynamically changing its position in space. Without the orbital group, «Yaogan» such guidance would be impossible. So with the chain on which said expert Bootini in China, everything is fine.

The appearance of the DF-21D missile in the Chinese armed forces was perceived in the Pentagon with great pessimism. A number of extremely simple-minded and Frank statements were made that aircraft carrier groups would no longer be able to carry out missile and bomb attacks in the depths of China. Because aircraft carriers because of the threat from the DF-21D will not risk even closer to the coast than 1500 km.

However, at the same time Newsweek rightly informs readers that in fact, China is building a powerful army and creates for it a unique weapon is not to attack the United States. China intends to «put an end to us military hegemony at least locally or regionally.» And further: «Beijing hopes that hypersonic weapons will be a key element in this subversive strategy.»

That is, note: to establish itself militarily exclusively at home is a «subversive strategy». The United States believes it is not alone Newsweek. But the ending of the publication is served in good style: «the United States has come to China on the heels of». This statement is based on the fact that in the public space there were pictures of the promising American hypersonic AGM-183A Advanced Rapid Response Weapon. In the United States are now carried out her test. «According to some reports, it will be able to reach speeds of up to 20 M.»

Yes, indeed, in mid-June with the California airbase Edwards took to the air strategic bomber B-52, which on the external suspension was installed something similar to the AGM-183A. It wasn’t a rocket, though. And not even her prototype. A dimensional and weight model, which has neither the engine nor the warhead, nor the control system. The model was equipped with sensors that measured wind pressure and vibration.

So in this case we are not talking about the creation of a specific missile, but about conducting scientific research on a given topic. They are engaged in such giants of the American defense industry as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon Agency for advanced military research DARPA. The results (that is — working prototypes) are expected closer to the middle of the next decade.

Last year, the US air force in charge of these works reported that prototypes are being created «to study the possibility of their use in further development and as quickly as possible to promote these technologies to implementation.» So by the middle of the next decade will have to add a few more years. And, accordingly, Newsweek’s optimism about the course of the chase for Russia and China, is still based on very shaky ground.

Dana Tessen

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