When it comes to military hardware technology, Russia is highly secretive. Unlike its competitors in the West, who openly boast about the latest military hardware they have, Russia has been careful on how it discloses such information publicly.
If you doubt the West boasts about its military capabilities, watch the video below of President Trump speaking to the Fox Business Network after he launched the Syria Strike.
Over the years, Russia has made indisputable progress in advancing its military technology. Russia’s military is increasingly becoming automated. The Russian government has tried very hard to conceal the progress made.
Nevertheless, Russian media have been able to dig into the military secrets to report on the latest developments. In October 2016, the Russian military became the first in the world to acquire a para-drop air defense complex to protect troops during fighting. The para-drop air defense complex is an air-droppable missile defense system for airborne forces. It ensures that after landing, troops have the means to secure the skies and prevent inbound airstrikes. With this weapon, Russia’s airborne troops will have the means to effectively establish local no-fly zones.
Currently, Russian media are reporting that the country has built a new hypersonic missile capable of destroying any aircraft carrier currently in operation with just a single hit. The Zircon missile is said to travel between 3,800mph and 4,600mph – five to six times the speed of sound.
Experts familiar with the projectile have labeled it “unstoppable.” Recently, the UK Navy unveiled new aircraft carriers – the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, valued at £6.2 billion. The anti-missile defense systems installed in these carriers can only shoot down projectiles traveling at 2,300mph. This means these carriers are now rendered useless against the Zircon missile.
According to the description, the Zircon missile can be fired from land, sea or submarine. It carries payloads ranging from high explosive to nuclear. The missile uses Scramjet technology – mixing fuel with air. The subsequent reaction from the fuel and air mixture allows the projectile to burn at hypersonic speeds. It uses no fans. The weapon has no rotating turbines or moving parts. It only has an inlet where air is compressed and a combustor where the air is mixed with fuel.
Experts say the weapon has few moving parts, and this ensures less chance of mechanical failure, making it a very reliable military hardware for the Russians. The missile could travel at hypersonic speeds, covering 155 miles in just 2.5 minutes. This is faster than a sniper’s bullet.
According to Russian state media reports, the weapon was tested by the military earlier this year at a secret location. Russian defense officials are even hoping that the missile can be fitted to the nuclear-powered cruiser Pyotr Velikiy as early as next year.
In fact, the Russians want to put the weapon capable of destroying the world’s most advanced warships and aircraft carriers into full use by 2020. If fully completed, the Zircon missile will have a radar target seeker and an optical-electronic complex that can trace and detect targets at its hypersonic speed course.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military is concerned about the weapon the Russians have created. A high ranking source in the Pentagon has admitted on condition of anonymity that the Zircon would render the country’s anti-aircraft defense systems completely obsolete.
Some defense commentators have also admitted Russia is now leaps and bounds ahead of the West, including the U.S., in military hardware development.
“It will greatly reduce the reaction time that [Western military units] have to deploy their own defenses and counter-measures. In the public domain, the West seems to be quite a long way behind,” Tim Ripley, who covers defense issues for Jane’s Defence Weekly told the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle. Ripley also added that the U.S., through its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is also stepping up efforts to create a similar weapon.
Russian and Chinese military have become highly sophisticated with their technological advancements. In 2016, China tested a ballistic nuclear weapon capable of hitting any target in the world in just 30 minutes. Last year, the Pentagon admitted that a conventional global conflict in the near future will be extremely lethal and fast, and that humans will not own the stopwatch, as many weapons will be automated.
The military developments are a threat to humanity. We can only hope that these countries will restrain themselves from engaging with each other in any armed conflict in the future.