MOSCOW, May 14. /TASS/. Some defense capabilities against hypersonic weapons are in service with the Russian Army already today while new defense systems, such as the S-500 surface-to-air missile complex, will come into operation in coming years, Editor-in-Chief of the Arsenal of the Fatherland military journal Viktor Murakhovsky told TASS on Tuesday.
The expert thus commented on a statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting on the development of the Armed Forces and the defense industry that Russia should develop capabilities against hypersonic weapons earlier than other countries.
"Some elements of this defense are already in service: we have already deployed air defense systems of the Moscow Industrial Region and put them on combat alert. As for the S-500 system, it has been stated this year that its trials are at the final stage. Now the experimental design work on these weapons has to be completed and subsequently, possibly, next year, this work will be completed, the systems will undergo state trials and enter into service," Murakhovsky said.
The expert also highlighted the Nudol missile defense complex, the upgrade of the existing stationary air defense system, in particular, the modernization of 53T6 missile interceptors, and also the Vityaz mobile vital infrastructure defense system with no analogues in the world as the promising capabilities against hypersonic weapons.
"As for the Nudol mobile system, no specific timeframe for completing its development has been given. This is also a weapon that can operate against hypersonic targets, such as the warheads of intercontinental ballistic missiles," the expert explained.
The country’s entire territory cannot be protected from one position only and that is why the Nudol mobile system being developed can move and deploy in positioning districts in the areas, from which a threat may come, the expert pointed out.
In the expert’s estimate, the United States and China may need 5-7 years to create offensive guided hypersonic weapons.
"If we speak about hypersonic guided weapons … Several projects in this area are underway in the United States at present. They are trying to combine these projects into one program but I believe that at least 5-7 years will pass before the US Army can get something real," Murakhovsky noted.
China is developing hypersonic guided weapons quite actively but the country lacks the scientific and technical potential, which Russia possessed when it was developing such weapons, the expert pointed out.