What is a hypersonic missile?

HYPERSONIC weapons travel faster than the speed of sound and can typically travel between one and five miles per second.

On Friday, March 18, Russian military officials announced that the country had used a hypersonic missile in an attack against Ukraine.

Hypersonic missiles move faster than the speed of sound


Hypersonic missiles move faster than the speed of sound

What is a hypersonic missile?

A hypersonic missile is a missile capable of traveling at 5 to 25 times the speed of sound.

Due to their ferocious speed – known as Mach 5 – rockets are extremely difficult to control, track and target.

Countries reported to be developing hypersonic missiles include USA, North Korea, Russiaand China.

Hypersonic missiles have proven to be more dangerous than subsonic or hypersonic weapons, as there are currently no missile defense systems capable of intercepting them.

Current developments of hypersonic missiles are said to be capable of traveling at speeds of Mach 10 and distances up to 1200 miles.

There are two types of hypersonic missiles: cruise missiles and glide vehicles.

What is a cruise missile?

A supersonic cruise missile is a non-ballistic weapon using a high-speed jet engine with a capacity exceeding Mach 5.

Normally, missiles are ballistic and use gravity to reach their intended target.

What is a glider?

Supersonic gliders use re-entry vehicles to travel through the atmosphere.

The rocket is launched into space on a dome, with warheads attached to gliders being launched at supersonic speeds.

An unexploded hypersonic missile was found in Ukraine


An unexploded hypersonic missile was found in UkraineCredit: Reuters

Does the Russian military use hypersonic missiles?

Dubbed Kinzhal – which means dagger in Russian – the hypersonic missile, which is believed to have launched on March 18, 2022, was sent to strike a large underground warehouse, according to reports. Bloomberg News.

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The authorities added that the statement from the Russian military has yet to be verified.

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