Hypersonic weapons discussion from the Ukraine Invasion thread

Currently the military is very concerned, the US & Allies are working on defenses and many feel the answer will probably be the battlefield and ship mounted lasers that are being developed already.

IIRC, the main worry-alleviating thing is that 1) Russia has few of them and 2) Russia has chosen to use them against targets that are militarily unimportant.

The bigger issue would be a future adversary who has more of them and uses them shrewdly.

I’d think it would be much easier for China to supply key parts than a whole weapon systems. A pallet of electronic components is way easier to hide than a 24 foot 8000 pound rocket. Even when Chinese manufactured parts are found in the wreckage, “we would never sell to them, they must have been harvested from washing machines!”

One could view that as a form of weapons testing. A gruesome, nasty, and in my view immoral form of weapons testing, but testing nonetheless.

Presumably the designers of these weapons are taking notes.

The Wikipedia page for the Kinzhal claims 1-meter targeting accuracy, but according to one article I read, the ionization of air at hypersonic speeds makes it impossible to communicate with a hypersonic missile, which would mean it’s unable to use GPS. Is the Kinzhal really as accurate as claimed? If so, how are they achieving that kind of accuracy?

In terms of deterrence, a hypersonic missile has the potential to knock out permanent ground based missile silos before they can fire. However, the other two prongs of the nuclear trident (air and submarine) can still enforce MAD. Doesn’t really change the essential character of the threat.

At this point I am still very skeptical about the claims made regarding Russian hypersonic missiles.

From what I have seen about them, they need lots of other things working properly to be effective, like knowing where enemy radar is. I don’t think that even if the missiles can fly, the Russian military is capable to produce ideal conditions for their use.

They’re also a direct threat to aircraft carriers. This is probably the biggest threat that they pose to the US, because it is a cornerstone of American ability to project force (especially important in the Pacific, but a big issue across the board).

Any future military conflict with the US will likely feature an adversary deploying all types of exotic and next-generation weapons specifically to slip through defenses and sink a US carrier. It would be a huge PR victory, and it would force carriers to withdraw to a safer posture, thus severely limiting the value of a very costly military asset. It would also help level the playing field with military peers and near-peers who don’t have carriers (China, Russia, NK, Iran).

There’s already been documented failures of these missiles when fired in anger at Ukraine

Friendly fire? Russian hypersonic missile reportedly falls on Stavropol - AeroTime

if the last 54 weeks learned us something than THIS !!!

I get the feeling the hypersonic missile is somewhat of russia’s V2 weapon …

somewhat revolutionary (if you have 10s of 1000s of them - the 3000 that the germans fired, did not change the course of the war a bit), but if not and only supported by mediocracy-galore that RU has shown to be - it’s basically just a PR-stunt and (for them) 20 years to early.

And in any case, with respect to the long-range direct threat to the USA, “hypersonic” missiles are slower than regular ICBMs, which have been pointed at the USA since the 1960s, and which also can’t be shot down (probably not at all, but certainly not in the quantities that Russia and China could launch).