Russia and China Are Ahead of US in Hypersonic Missile Technology. Here’s Why
Russia and China are ahead of the US in developing and testing hypersonic missile technology, especially when it comes to building wind tunnels. CNN’s Kristin Fisher has the details.
Here’s what others had to say:
I find it hard to believe that America who has a bigger defense budget than the next 10 countries combined is lagging behind on anything military wise.
The problem with hypersonic weapons is they’re also hyper expensive. It ultimately comes down to the question of what kind of targets justify the cost of these missiles.
Australia has Hypersonics wind tunnels and is one of the leaders in scramjet tech. Why all the Hishot and Hycause Hifire tests were done in Australia using Australian scramjet engines.
Does anyone here remember the X15, a hypersonic (mach 6.7) manned plane that flew in 1967. We have had hypersonic missile and plane data decades before anyone. The Stealth fighter was flying over a decade before the war in the mid east revealed the existence of the plane. I remember of 10 years ago a DARPA talk about testing hypersonic missiles and that is what they revealed to the public. If you think we don’t have them because we aren’t talking about having them you have never paid attention to Cold War and beyond military history.
I imagine the bulk of the testing and design is done at a fraction of the time with supercomputers. With the levels of forces, exotic materials and fuels required, hypersonic tech would take a lifetime with wind tunnels. Let’s not overstate the importance of wind tunnels. Important but not the only variable
What CNN won’t tell you is that ICBM’s(Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) have always been “hypersonic”. The difference with the new technology is that they can now steer in different directions. The ability to steer a ICBM makes them harder to shoot down.
I have my doubts about exactly how functional the Chinese and Russian “hypersonic” missiles actually are,
The Russians slap an old ballistic missile (all ballistic missiles are by definition also hypersonic) to a MiG and then toot their own horns like a bunch of first grader savants.
The Chinese deploy a hypersonic glide vehicle which may or may not actually function. I’m a skeptic so telling your hardware is fantastic is not enough. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.”
In my mind we’re not behind anyone on research for anything except a bunch of overblown hyperbolic here say and dubious claims.
For that reason this story, and others like it that keep popping up, are also overblown. We have so many OTHER national US priorities that need way more attention cough Ukraine cough mass shootings cough inflation cough
America also has the ability to make everyone including its citizens think they are behind in this technology.
What Russia and China refer to as hypersonic is just a 2 stage glide missile, similar to the retired NASA space shuttle which had a mach 7 speed during it’s reentry.
I see alot of people in the comments are triggered and emotional, none of these countries (US, Russia, China) have shown all of their advanced weapons or capability.
US has weapons they didn’t use in Afghanistan, Russia has weapons they aren’t going to use in Ukraine, and China has weapons that they probably wouldn’t use in a war with Taiwan because those weapons are meant for an actual WW3 scenario against peer level opponents.
No one should trust any of these countries, all 3 countries I named (especially US/Russia) have spent the last half decade invading smaller weaker countries, fighting proxy wars, and haven’t fought any peer level threat since WW2. If they went to war against each other, you will see weapons that have been hidden in the dark.
As far as technology is concerned, I wouldn’t worry about the Russians. They may be ahead in hypersonic missiles, but that’s just one technology. China, on the other hand, has tremendous capacity to innovate in pretty much every area of technology.
There is a difference between building a wind tunnel every 6 months and completing one every 6 months. At a minimum of 5 years to build that means China has at least 10 under construction at any given time time.
The “hypersonic” missiles Russia has used in Ukraine are likely all Kinzhals, which are just a modified version of the Iskander-M 9M723-series ballistic missile launched from an aircraft. The Tsirkon is the more relevant hypersonic missile to watch but it is still in testing.