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Hypersonic Weapons Unlikely To Become A Bargaining Chip

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Written by Vladimir Kozin; Originally appeared at Oriental Review

There is a marked unease in US military and defence industry circles regarding advances in high-precision hypersonic weapons that they believe are being actively developed in Russia and the People’s Republic of China.

The debates at various US forums in the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of this one, as well as expert publications on the subject, show that Washington sees the situation as a serious threat both to itself and to its NATO allies.

Hypersonic Weapons Unlikely To Become A Bargaining Chip

In November 2018, the weekly magazine Jane’s Defence Weekly published a detailed and alarmist article entitled “Strategic Impact” about the six new types of Russian strike weapons that Russian president Vladimir Putin announced in his address to the Federal Assembly in March of the same year.

In December 2018, it was expressly stated in the US Government Accountability Office that the United States lacks the defences needed to protect itself against Russian and Chinese hypersonic weapons.

In an article published in early January 2019 in the online edition of The Hill, retired Major General Howard Thompson, a former chief of staff for the US Northern Command, talks about “fourth dimension” weapons, which he believes have already been mastered by Russia and China. He also notes with concern that both countries have long been developing such weapons. By way of example, he referred to the recent flight test of a Russian hypersonic glide vehicle known as the Avangard, which official reports say reached 27 times the speed of sound. This means that the object was moving at a speed of over 30,000 km/hour.

America is also concerned about Beijing’s capabilities in this area. As noted by Howard Thompson, China is also proving itself in its attempts to reach a similar level of high-tech weapons. According to Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Dr Mike Griffin, Beijing has conducted “more tests in the past year than the United States has conducted over the past decade”.

As well as acknowledging the fact that the US is lagging far behind Russia and China in this area and urging the country to catch up, Washington is also thinking about how convenient it would be to force Moscow and Beijing to abandon their success or, at the very least, to slow down the further development of emerging high-precision hypersonic systems.

Various information-based, demonstration, and diplomatic techniques have been used to accomplish this aim.

It was deliberately leaked to the US media that the US Air Force is working on the development of a hypersonic glider that will allegedly be able to travel five times faster than the speed of sound, and that the US Army is planning to adopt a similar platform, called the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, which will have a slightly shorter flight range. As was pointed out, however, these developments are still far from complete.

It is clear that the Pentagon was simply trying to make an impression on China and Russia last year when the US Navy tested around 20 hyper velocity projectiles it is planning to use with both ground and naval artillery systems. American engineers behind the technology were unable to attract even the attention of experts at the US Naval Institute, however, since such projectiles only approach the speed of hypersonic flight or slightly exceed it.

With regard to Russia, there was a naive proposal in 2018 that the United States would scrupulously adhere to the INF Treaty if Russia abandoned its Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle.

It is too late, however, since Moscow will not now give up a system on the development of which America has been lagging behind for decades.

It is too late to try and rectify the complicated situation that the United States now finds itself in, by its own doing, after withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 and beginning an uncontrolled build-up of anti-missile weapons along with the deployment of strike components and surveillance and reporting systems on the borders of Russia and its allies.

It is too late when the US has already decided to completely overhaul and modernise its strategic and tactical nuclear weapons while maintaining its first-strike strategy against Russia and China.

It is too late given that the United States and its NATO allies have unjustifiably started to increase the number of heavy conventional weapons and the number of military exercises and manoeuvres on Russia’s borders.

It is also extremely one-sided, because Washington should simply abide by the INF Treaty in full without any artificial links or unrelated clauses if it still somehow considers the treaty to be important in the sphere of arms control. It is one-sided because Russia’s Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle does not fall under the restrictions of this open-ended treaty, despite America’s vain efforts to try and shoe horn it in. In fact, it will enter into service with the Russian Armed Forces this year.

Hypersonic Weapons Unlikely To Become A Bargaining Chip

In this context, it is worth reminding the US State Department and the US Department of Defense that on 11 December 2018, while testing the effectiveness of its global missile defence system, US naval forces intercepted a medium-range target that is prohibited under the INF Treaty. This test was America’s 96th violation of the treaty in the past 17 years. In 2019, the Pentagon intends to violate the treaty another 12 times. Doesn’t that seem like far too many US violations of a single treaty when Russia has not violated it once?

The above number suggests that America actually withdrew from the treaty a long time, but is brazenly trying to accuse the other party of non-compliance while misleading the entire global community.

The country also withdrew from the treaty politically when, at the UN General Assembly in December 2018, it was unequivocally opposed to the adoption of a draft resolution in support of the INF Treaty.

Given all these circumstances, it is unlikely that Washington will be able to count on certain trade-offs with Moscow in the sphere of hypersonic systems.

Why? Because Moscow will get a whole lot of nothing in return. That’s why any bargaining between Moscow and Washington is simply inappropriate.

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  • John

    Stupidity, when confronted with reality, usually doesn’t morph into smart or logical. Peace would be the cheaper option but, the chances for this are in question. Yet, I hope it wins out in the end. I wish well to all.

    • Bill Rood

      Corruption leads to incompetence. Total corruption leads to total incompetence.

  • Sephy

    Dear southfront,

    Where did you get the following information?

    “With regard to Russia, there was a naive proposal in 2018 that the United States would scrupulously adhere to the INF Treaty if Russia abandoned its Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle.”

    I take that as a lie..

    • jako

      I don’t I have seen it elsewhere (in Russian Sputink I think) and in some independent journalist article as well.
      And I find it very credible.

      This is the site but I don’ remember the name of the article or who wrote it…sorry
      https://www.strategic-culture.org/

      • Sephy

        Sputnik is the same shit as bbc or cnn. They make things up.

        • jako

          I don’t think anything is equal to BBC and CNN propaganda.

  • Jesus

    US does not adhere to any treaty, let them get out of INF, the onus is on them to develop some real efficient weapons and not some white elephants.
    Russia’s hypersonic weapon technology is at least two decades ahead of any US brain storm on the matter.

    • paul ( original )

      I do have misgivings about the wisdom of announcing the existence of these
      weapons to the world. A gap of two decades might seem comforting, but
      still can be closed. An infinite gap would be preferable in my
      estimation. In the past keeping military secrets was a national
      priority. So you did not reveal your strength.

      On the other hand if the purpose of these weapons is entirely political then
      it becomes essential that your enemy does know something of your
      strength – so as to deter.

      I can not decide which approach is the correct one. But as I see a war between
      Russia and America as unavoidable I favour the former.

      • Jesus

        The purpose to reveal these weapons is to provide a true pictureof Russia’s capability in view of the lies end exaggerated claims regarding US prompt global strike capability.
        I am being generous in regards to two decades, considering the US mental decline and disorder prevalent in today’s society, and with an inept MIC, I have a hard time seeing US developing any hypersonic weapons. Their emphasis is that they are not able to defend themselves against such weapons, not deterrence.

    • BMWA1

      Maybe Russia can start calling its new missiles after betrayed US Native (‘Indian’) tribal leaders?

      • Jesus

        Yea, the Sarmat can be renamed Giranomo.

  • Angelo Cinarelli

    What USA have to do with ipersonoc nuclear missile ? They did not kill enaught people from 1947?? The American empire its at its end. Go Russia GO !!

    • jako

      Why 1947?
      What about Hiroshima and Nagasaki (pure war crime) or annihilating endless German cities with no military infrastructure near as excuse?
      If Soviets did that to the Germans that would be understandable but US practically did NOT have had any civilian victims killed by Germans.
      So what was that mass killing civilians all about than?
      US is in business of killing of civilians ever since they started to exist.
      They have almost exterminated Indian tribes and they have killed MILLIONS of civilians ever since

      • BMWA1

        Worse was Korea. See Star Media on Youtube for the interesting 4-part Russian series om that war. It was TOTAL destruction of every village and hut.

        • jako

          Common what could be worse than deliberate bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with only civilians in those 2 cities and US knew that.
          Everybody is only talking about number of killed immediately after the impacts but nobody is talking about number of dead people and deformed fetuses for generations later on !
          I think it is fucking absolutely MONSTROUS thing to do.
          And they are doing it even today with depleted uranium ammunition’s with huge number of dead from cancers and leukemia, deformed fetuses for generations as well… in Iraq and Yugoslavia=Serbia

          • BMWA1

            Interesting series (1/4) on the Korean War here, the bombing campaign targeted ALL North Koran civilian areas:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZvsgzgJHw8

          • jako

            Thanks !

          • Sinbad2

            Don’t forget the US dropped bombs containing Anthrax Bubonic plague and other germs on North Korea and China.

            The world already has all the evidence it needs to execute the USA.

          • jako

            What North Korea they were testing effects of radiation on their own black population after the war by spraying them with radioactive water from airplanes.
            Or many other testing effects of radiation on Bikini Islands as well on the locals…
            Having experiments with deliberate giving syphilis to the whores in Central America and many other fun stuff like that…

      • Sinbad2

        Americans love to kill, it’s the American way.

    • Rob

      If Washington does a little mistake then the entire US population will bear the cost.

  • jako

    The ONLY hyper-sonic weapon US has today is their BIG MOUTH.

    • BMWA1

      No, even this sound is only Mach 1, even if amplitude is great.

  • Sinbad2

    Bargaining, 3 nukes for every American city over 100,000, then bargain with the survivors.

  • RichardD

    I was up in the mountains last night running an ET/ED/non conventional recon op, and working on developing and documenting my experience with alien tech, including weapons tech. There’s a steep learning curve to be able to interact with these elements and to be able to capture it with audio, visual and sensor equipment. It requires a lot of study, field testing, and skill. I have a lot of equipment on order that should be arriving soon to help with this.

    I’m heading back up tonight to an above the snow line LZ to spend some time there tonight and work on equipment. Yesterday I bought 2 6,000 pound 30 foot tow straps, and a long handle straight blade shovel to improve my ability to handle deep snow conditions with my high ground clearance 4×4 Bronco II with oversize all terrain tires, tow chain, vehicle tow grade adjustable ratchet straps, and a 4 ton manual cable winch.

    My hip injury is healing well and I should be able to avoid a joint replacement and be able to resume traveling on foot into the higher activity areas with recording, sensing and security equipment. In addition to my .32 ACP and 9mm pistols and .40 S&W folding carbine. I’ve started bringing my 30-06 semi automatic rifle loaded with black tip armor piercing ammunition to provide additional dangerous life form and some anti aircraft capability if I need it.

  • Spit

    Hypersonic Weapons are the Catalyst for the 2020 Bargain.

    The Russians have the advantage of China and technology and they should Prepare themselves to Use all means at hand against the Americans come Negotiations.
    Hypersonic weapons Created and Produced By Russians can and Should be Used in 2020 IF AMERICAN NIGGERS so much as peep one more time in Russias Direction.
    SMOKE EM IF YOU GOT EM.