The launching of the European missile defense system (Aegis) by the United States in May has repeatedly been criticized by Russia as an attempt by the US to take away first mover advantage in the event that the US ever decided to attack.
While Russia has already indicated that the deployment of of Iskander missile systems would be one certain response to neutralize the anti-ballistic missile defense system, Russia has wasted no time in developing future responses.
Russia’s new Yu-74 ultra-maneuverable hypersonic glide vehicles may be the next response that will be unveiled. Russia has been developing hypersonic weapons during the past few years, and as Sputnik reports, those weapons would have a speed between 3,840 mph (Mach 5), and 7,680 mph (Mach 10). The system uses sophisticated technologies for maneuvering against a wide range of missile defense systems, and allows precise and rapid delivery of warheads.
Although the system specifications are top secret, reports say that the gliders are developed to be loaded onto onto Russia’s RS-28 Sarmat, the state of the art heavy liquid propelled ICBM which is currently being developed for the Russian Army. The RS-28, which has been given the codename “Satan” by NATO, has been in development since 2009 and is alleged to render all current missile defense systems obsolete.
Designed to carry up to 24 nuclear-loaded Yu-74 gliders, each Sarmat ballistic missile will be able to hit any target located within a 6.2 thousand mile radius in one hour. Each glider can be equipped with a nuclear warhead, electronic warfare (EW) applications (disruption of communication systems), or false target simulators.
“These features guarantee penetration of any existing and prospective missile defense system of a potential adversary. By adopting such systems, Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces will significantly increase their efficiency” said one analyst.
Last year, Russia conducted a series of tests of the Yu-71 hypersonic attack aircraft. The Yu-71 is part of a secret missile program codenamed “Project 4202″, and the during the tests the glider was said to reach speeds of up to 7,000 mph. Furthermore, Russia has reportedly successfully tested the Yu-74 as well. The glider was launched from the Dombarovsky missile base in the Orengburg region and hit a target located at Kura Missile Test Range in northern Kamchatka region, the Russian far east.
French journalist Victor Ayoli noted that Russia is taking NATO’s saber rattling in Eastern Europe very seriously and will do whatever it takes to secure Russia’s borders.
“Russians are ordinary people. They are afraid of war and they really want to avoid it. The last one cost [the Soviets] more than twenty-eight million lives. But once lured into war, they fight it to the bitter end. This unique trait of the Russian national character the West has misunderstood countless times in the last 1,000 years,” Ayoli emphasized.
* * *