Saturday 18 August 2018

Russia leaps ahead of rivals to showcase 'hypersonic' missile

A painting depicting Russian president Vladimir Putin at the
A painting depicting Russian president Vladimir Putin at the "SUPERPUTIN" exhibition at UMAM museum in Moscow. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Matthew Bodner in Moscow

Russia has published a video showing the launch of a new missile in its latest move in a high-tech arms race to develop and field guided weapons capable of hypersonic speeds.

In a follow-up to President Vladimir Putin's unveiling of several new nuclear super weapons last week, the Russian Defence Ministry unveiled a video clip showing a jet launching the 'Kinzhal'.

Russia is racing against China and the United States to develop hypersonic - highly supersonic - missiles. The majority of these efforts focus on a technique known as boost-glide weapons that use intercontinental ballistic missiles to propel gliders to hypersonic speeds.

China and the United States were previously thought to lead Russia in this area. But 'Kinzhal', or 'Dagger', is making a claim to early leadership in the hypersonic race.

The video shows one of the missiles mounted below an MiG-31 as it takes flight. Close shots of the missile's engines were blurred out. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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