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Hypersonic Weapons: Russia becomes the first country to deploy it

  • IASbaba
  • December 25, 2019
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Hypersonic Weapons: Russia becomes the first country to deploy it

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Security, GS-II- International Affairs

In News

  • President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is the only country in the world that has hypersonic weapons- weapons that travel faster than Mach5 (~6174kmph) and have the capability to manoeuvre during the entire flight.
  • The first unit equipped with the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle is set to go on duty by Dec 2019, while that the air-launched Kinzhal hypersonic missiles already have entered service.
  • Avangardhas an intercontinental range and can fly in the atmosphere at a speed 20 times the speed of sound. Its ability to change both its course and its altitude en route to a target makes it immune to interception by the the enemy.
  • The Kinzhal, which is carried by MiG-31 fighter jets, entered service with the Russian air force last year. The missile flies 10 times faster than the speed of sound, has a range of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) and can carry a nuclear or a conventional warhead. It is capable of hitting both land targets and navy ships.

Do You Know?

  • Mach Number is the ratio of the speed of the body to the speed of sound in the undisturbed medium through which the body is traveling. E.g. If the body is flying at Mach 3, then its speed is thrice the speed of sound in air (which is 332 m/s or 1195 km/hr).
  • It is named in honor of Ernst Mach (1838-1916), a physicist from Austria.
  • Types of Aircrafts/missiles based on Mach Number:
    • Subsonic (M < 1)
    • Transonic (M = 1)
    • Supersonic (1 < M < 3)
    • High Supersonic (3 < M < 5)
    • Hypersonic (M > 5)
    • High Hypersonic (M ~ 25) 

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