Hypersonics, generally defined as weapons capable of flying at speeds over Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, are at the center of an arms race among the United States, Russia and China.
Yuriy Ignat, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military, confirmed Saturday that Russian forces had hit an underground warehouse in western Ukraine but said the type of missile involved “is yet to be determined.”
The United States has pursued development of this type of weapon since the early 2000s, focusing on two different variants, according to a report released Thursday by the Congressional Research Service.
The first is a “hypersonic glide vehicle” which is launched from a rocket and then separates before gliding to a target, and the second is a faster version of a cruise missile, which could be launched by submarines, ships, airplanes and ground vehicles, the report said. The Pentagon requested $3.8 billion for hypersonic research in fiscal year 2022.
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