Hypersonic missiles Australia: What are they, who has them, how do they work and everything to know about the new weapon

In a significant military announcement by Canberra, Australia will now work alongside the US and UK to develop fearsome hypersonic missiles.

Hypersonic missiles are suddenly being talked about after Russia launched the weapons against Ukraine in March, the first known use of hypersonics in combat.

The Pentagon has made developing hypersonic weapons one of its top priorities, particularly as China and Russia have rapidly developed advanced versions. (AP)

Why are hypersonic missiles special?

Travelling at Mach 5 speed (6174 km/h) or faster, hypersonic weapons are difficult to detect and pose a real challenge to missile defence systems.

Hypersonic missiles can travel at a far lower trajectory than high-arcing ballistic missiles, which can be easily detectable.

Hypersonics can also maneuver and evade missile defence systems.

So what’s the Australian deal all about?

The announcement means the US and UK will share hypersonic missile technology with Australia. The US is the easily the most dominant partner in this arrangement.

So the US and UK have hypersonic missiles?

The US does possess hypersonic missiles, the UK currently does not.

A Zircon hypersonic cruise missile is launched by a Russian navy frigate from the White Sea, in the north of Russia
A Zircon hypersonic cruise missile is launched by a Russian navy frigate from the White Sea, in the north of Russia (AP)

How advanced in the US technology?

Surprisingly, and worryingly some military analysts say, the US is lagging behind Russia and China on the hypersonic missile front.

The Pentagon has made developing hypersonic weapons one of its top priorities.

So Russia is the top dog here?

That is the widely held view.

In March Russia launched its hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles against a military ammunitions warehouse in western Ukraine.

The launches were likely intended to test the weapons and send a message to the West about Russian capabilities, analysts said.

In 2018 President Vladimir Putin described one of Russia’s hypersonic weapons as “practically invulnerable” to Western air defences.
A MiG-31 fighter of the Russian air force carries a Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missile.
A MiG-31 fighter of the Russian air force carries a Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missile. (AP)

What other countries have hypersonics?

North Korea, France, Germany, Australia, India and Japan have been working on hypersonics.

Meanwhile, Iran, Israel and South Korea have conducted basic research on the technology.

Reference-www.9news.com.au

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.