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Hypersonic Missiles

Russia, on Monday, said that it has successfully test-fired its Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile. As per the Defence Ministry of Russia, the Admiral Gorshkov warship launched the Tsirkon missile at a target in the Barents Sea at a range of 400KM and successfully hit the target.

Russia's latest Tsirkon test came after Western reports that a Chinese hypersonic glider test flight in July culminated in the mid-flight firing of a missile at more than five times the speed of sound over the South China Sea. China, however, denied the report, saying it was a routine test of a reusable space vehicle.

The United States in late September had already test-fired an air-breathing hypersonic weapon. An air-breathing hypersonic vehicle sustains flight on its own through the atmosphere like a cruise missile. The US test was followed by a North Korean firing of a newly developed hypersonic missile referred to as a strategic weapon. Some South Korean experts, though, described the test as a failure.

Thus, a new arms race has begun among the militarily advanced nations to develop missile systems capable to reach unprecedented speed. Those in the race are Russia, the United States, France, and the People’s Republic of China.

This fact sheet describes the concept of missiles systems in general and the nuances of Hypersonic missiles in particular. Before that, a general overview of Missile Systems will be helpful for the readers.

Download from the link below

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