New Arms Race Prompted By Hypersonic Missiles Development?

Tara Dodrill

New arms race fears have been prompted by the hypersonic missile currently being developed in Russia. The missiles can reportedly transport nuclear warheads and "breach existing missile defense systems," according to military experts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to modernize and enhance his military force earlier this year. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Putin announced plans boost its weaponry by adding more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its arsenal in 2015. After the statement by the Russian president, one of his defense officials said that NATO is provoking the former Soviet Union into a "new arms race."

All three of the world superpowers -- America, Russia, and China -- are reportedly in a tight race to develop hypersonic missiles. To be classified as hypersonic, aircraft and missiles must be capable of traveling at Mach 5 -- approximately 3,800 mph. The X-51 WaveRider is launched from beneath the wing of a B-52 bomber and may be able to hit Mach 5 for 230 nautical miles, according to ongoing test of the aircraft's capabilities. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base scientists reportedly believe the the U.S. could posses a "fully functioning" hypersonic aircraft around 2040.

The Tomahawk cruise missile is believed to be the most accurate missile currently in use by the United States Military. The Tomahawk missile can travel up to 550 mph. The F-22 Raptor is one of the fastest aircraft, with military experts suggesting it can hit Mach 2 speed.

Hypersonic missiles are reportedly designed to have an "erratic flight path" so they can avert the fixed trajectory U.S. missile defense system. China has reportedly conducted four flight tests of the Wu-14 aircraft, which can travel up to 7,000 mph.

Russia is believed to have conducted four flight tests on its Yu-71 aircraft as a part of its Project 4202 defense program. The Russian Yu-71 can allegedly reach Mach 10 speeds (7,000 mph), as well.

"This would give Russia the ability to deliver a guaranteed small-scale strike against a target of choice; if coupled with an ability to penetrate missile defenses, Moscow would also retain the option of launching a successful single-missile attack," the Jane's Intelligence Review report said.

A Sputnik News report maintains that Russia could deploy up to 24 nuclear-capable Yu-71 payloads between 2020 and 2025. Putin is also reportedly expected to develop the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, which could be capable of carrying hypersonic devices, during the same time frame.

Do you think the new arms race involving hypersonic missiles could lead to World War 3?

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