|Source: "Russia’s Hypersonic Weapons: Dismantles the |
Myth of the American Navy’s Invincibility"
The Diplomat magazine has an article discussing Russia's latest nuclear missile tests. The significance is not the missile system--the RS-18 intercontinental ballistic missile--but the warhead. It is somewhat of a misnomer to characterize the missile as a ballistic missile because, in fact, the warhead is a new hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), the YU-71, also known as Project 4202. The warhead is touted as capable of defeating any anti-missile defense system because, as the article explains:
Once it reaches near space and is ejected from the missile booster, the YU-71 HGV begins to glide in a relatively flat trajectory by executing a pull-up maneuver and accelerating to up to ten times the speed of sound, or around 7,680 miles per hour.
The gliding phase enables the YU-71 HGV not only to maneuver aerodynamically – performing “extreme maneuvers” and evading interception – but also extends the range of the missile.Further:
[U]nlike conventional reentry vehicles, which descend through the atmosphere on a predictable ballistic trajectory, hypersonic glider vehicles are almost impossible to intercept by conventional missile defense systems, which track incoming objects via satellite sensors and ground and sea radar.