Russian Hypersonic Missiles Superior to Anything NATO’s Got, French Media Says

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    Russia and China became the first countries to field strategic hypersonic weapons systems, with Moscow putting the Kinzhal (‘Dagger’) missile into operation in late 2017, and the People’s Liberation Army following suit by unveiling the DF-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle in 2019. The US expects delivery of its first hypersonic weapons in 2023.

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    Russian hypersonic missile systems are more advanced than anything being fielded by the North Atlantic Alliance today, France’s Le Figaro has reported, echoing sentiments expressed by Russia’s president in a speech last week.
    The French newspaper characterized Russia’s hypersonic weaponry as its main strategic asset, capable of flying at incredible speeds and maneuvering while in flight. It pointed specifically to the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle – a weapon deployable as a part of a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) payload aboard Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles.
    “In this specific area, Russia is indeed one step ahead of its NATO adversaries,” the Gaullist newspaper conceded. The paper added that Russia and China proceeded to develop hypersonic missiles in response to NATO’s efforts to construct a missile defense shield.
    “Russia undoubtedly has more modern weapons than the NATO countries. The United States has lagged behind in the field of hypersonic missiles, and Moscow’s nuclear arsenal is being replenished with more powerful and destructive projectiles,” Igor Delanoe, deputy director of the Moscow-based Franco-Russian Observatory, said.
    Boeing's X-51 hypersonic cruise missile - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.09.2022

    In his speech announcing partial mobilization last month, Vladimir Putin accused Western officials of discussing “the possibility and admissibility of using weapons mass destruction – nuclear weapons – against Russia.”
    “I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff,” Putin said.
    The Russian president unveiled five new strategic weapons in a speech to lawmakers in 2018, among them the Kinzhal and the Avangard, plus the Poseidon nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed drone submarine, and the 9M730 Burevestnik (‘Petrel’) nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed cruise missile.
    The Chinese military also possesses hypersonic weapons. In August, Russian-Indian defense joint venture BrahMos announced that it may create a hypersonic missile by 2027 or 2028. North and South Korea, France, Japan, Australia and India are also researching the cutting-edge class of weaponry.

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