A new report reveals that Russia has completed five successful flights of a hypersonic jet that is capable of destroying an aircraft carrier with a single impact, putting Russia “half a decade” ahead of the U.S.
The Zircon cruise missile travels five to six times the speed of sound—between 3,800 mph and 4,600 mph—making it faster than any anti-missile system that exists or is expected to be developed in the next twenty years.
Russian military analyst Vladimir Tuchkov told Russian state media outlet Sputnik, “In Russia, the testing of actual weapons is already underway. It is expected to be added into Russia’s arsenal between 2018 and 2020. A speed of Mach 6 is more than enough of a guarantee to overcome any anti-missile system.”
“This includes not only systems that exist today, but those expected to appear over the next two decades,” Tuchkov said. “The results that the Americans reached in 2013 were achieved, and even exceeded, by the Soviet Union a long time ago.”
Even though the U.S. has the most powerful military in the world backed by a nearly $600 billion annual defense budget, its 19 aircraft carriers would be powerless against Zircon cruise missiles, said the report.
The threat of the Zircon cruise missiles would force aircraft carriers to anchor outside of their estimated 500-mile range, making it impossible for targets to be reached by the carrier’s jets and helicopters without them running out of fuel—rendering them mostly useless.
Russian state media reported that the Zircon cruise missile could be fitted to nuclear-powered cruiser Pyotr Velikiy as soon as 2018.
“American scientists and engineers will have to strain every nerve just to avoid lagging too far behind Russia in this area,” Tuchkov said.
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