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Russian Avangard Hypersonic Boost-glide Nuclear Weapon IOC Imminent

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posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 04:24 PM
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The Russians have been working on a new set of nuclear weapons. These have varied from the more traditional, but enormous SARMAT ICBM and the Borei nuclear ballistic sub[2] launching the Bulava SLBM[3]. However, some of the more wild tech being developed is the Poseidon intercontinental nuclear torpedo/UUV[4] and the absolutely insane Burevestnik[5]. That last having had a major accident[6] in the White Sea this past year. However, there is another nuclear weapon system that is about to have its initial operational capability declared, the hypersonic Avangard.

Avangard is a nuclear weapon launched by ballistic missile, but it is not a traditional ballistic warhead. Avangard is what is referred to as a hypersonic boost-glide warhead[7]. That is to say, it is boosted above the atmosphere and then dips down and the 'skips' its way across the atmosphere to its target. The trajectory is flatter than a traditional ballistic missile and actually faster. What the exact speed of the Avangard warheads is hasn't been disclosed, but it is far in excess of the minimum speed of Mach 5 to be considered hypersonic.

The boost-glide trajectory is extremely hard for current ballistic missile defenses to intercept. And that is the point. It is highly probable the intent is for Avangard to be used to obliterate the missile defenses of the US and allow for more traditional ballistic missiles to be able to sail in unimpeded.

Russia has been testing its new weapons, especially Avangard. Russia is now comfortable enough they are putting the Avangard launchers online for use. IE they are operational. However, they are what we Americans call IOC, or initial operational capability. That means they are minimally useful and able to fulfill a limited mission. When they can do their entire mission, they will be declared as FOC or fully operational capable.

Since Avangard weapons are coming online, the Russians decided the Avangard warheads ought to be considered part of the NEW START nuclear disarmament treaty[8]. This means the weapons must be inspected to verify there are only so many warheads per launcher and the total number of nuclear weapons allowed for the US and Russia. To that end, they allowed American inspectors[9,10] to examine the first two launchers that will be declared IOC next month.

It should be noted the US does not have a hypersonic weapon capability as yet. The soonest, iirc, any weapon will be ready will be 2023 with the US Army's boost-glide missile battery IOC. However, it will not be nuclear in nature. This is also important so as to point out the Russians did NOT build this weapon as a response to nuclear or hypersonic weapons being developed by the US: Bush and Obama both delayed any sort of weapon of that sort as an effort to avoid a new arms race.

Oops.

The new arms race was not caused by the US: these weapons take a LONG time to develop, 10+ years generally, so that would place Russia's start somewhere around 2008/2009 at latest, if not earlier. Interestingly, that happens to coincide with the Russo-Georgian War[11] though. That may be coincidence, but Bush and everyone else in the world heavily criticized the Russians there. It might also stem from the fact the US largely ignored Russia for 20 years after the cold war ended (that's a whole post that's OT for this forum though) and also because the US ABM capability neutered a treasured concept for the Russians, escalating to deescalate[12]. That and their fear of anything echoing SDI combined with all of the above may have convinced the Russians they needed these various new nuclear weapons.

At any rate, the new world is here. The Russians are placing a nuclear armed hypersonic weapon into use. The US does not have an equivalent. This is a first time this has been the case in 30 years. The US has lost the technological lead. Given the screwed up nature of the US development cycle and procurement afterwards, it will not be the last either.



1. en.wikipedia.org...
2. en.wikipedia.org...
3. en.wikipedia.org...
4. en.wikipedia.org...
5. en.wikipedia.org...
6. www.abovetopsecret.com...
7. en.wikipedia.org...
8. en.wikipedia.org...
9. www.reuters.com...
10. www.thedrive.com...
11. en.wikipedia.org...
12. www.armscontrolwonk.com...




posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 04:27 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
It should be noted the US does not have a hypersonic weapon capability as yet.


That you know about.



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 04:32 PM
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Exactly what I was thinking. We don't know how advanced our weapons are, we're probably ten years behind as far as knowledge goes.

And really, what does it matter? If they fire nukes, then we'll fire nukes, it'll be the end of the world!



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 04:37 PM
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a reply to: HalWesten

Rocket launches and hypersonic booms are really, really hard to hide.



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 05:04 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: anzha
It should be noted the US does not have a hypersonic weapon capability as yet.


That you know about.


You can be sure that we're also developing a countermeasure.



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 05:42 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: HalWesten

Rocket launches and hypersonic booms are really, really hard to hide.


Yes, but when you're doing this in protected airspace and guarded land it's much easier to mask them.



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: HalWesten

A rocket launch on the scale of ICBMs is really, really hard to hide in the US. Where would you think something like that could happen in the US?



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 06:17 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: HalWesten

A rocket launch on the scale of ICBMs is really, really hard to hide in the US. Where would you think something like that could happen in the US?


We're not telling.



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

All long range missile launches have associated NOTAMs. Even at WSMR there are aircraft flying through areas the missile might go. And if you're talking hypersonic missiles you need a massive area to accelerate to hypersonic speeds. The only place there's that much room is into the Pacific range.
edit on 11/26/2019 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 07:27 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Excellent Thread!
I do remember hypersonic "craft"
being developed in the early 1990's.

S&F



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 08:08 PM
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Sounds like the US needs to deploy a stratospherically-based defense system.

Only way to intercept what is basically a nuclear-tipped hypersonic “cruise missile”.


(Note that I said “deploy”, as opposed to “develop”
)
edit on 26-11-2019 by Bhadhidar because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 08:25 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: schuyler

The only place there's that much room is into the Pacific range.


Which is not in the US, which was the original question. But what remains is a paradigm question. We're fixated on "rocket ships," which is a very specific technology. This "tit for tat" kind of arms race may be a moot point. Although it has become a cliche, I'm suggesting "thinking outside the box" is in order here.



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 08:34 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

And to launch a hypersonic weapon, there's going to be evidence. There's only so much outside the box thinking that you can do with hypersonic technology. You need room to test them, and you need a way to get them up to speed.
edit on 11/26/2019 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 09:06 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

You guys are a hoot. Clearly, if I were a spy, there would be far, far better sources than this. No offense to ATS, but...geez.

You should dig through my posts and you'll see I am intimately aware of the test ranges, having worked at one and then with two others.

Complacency and overconfidence have been the downfall of many an army. Or nation.



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 09:07 PM
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a reply to: Bhadhidar

The Euros have started developing their own:

www.mbda-systems.com...

Note, the US is scrambling to deal with this. Even Griffin is stating we're behind.



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 10:10 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: schuyler

You guys are a hoot. Clearly, if I were a spy, there would be far, far better sources than this. No offense to ATS, but...geez.

You should dig through my posts and you'll see I am intimately aware of the test ranges, having worked at one and then with two others.

Complacency and overconfidence have been the downfall of many an army. Or nation.
I think he is pointing out that despite your experiences, anyone anon wouldn't know about the full extent of the US Arsenal and quite simply you and the others simply don't hold that kind of weight to declare that and rightfully so.

So, by all means, you can toot your horn all day, but I do have issues with your post, like every single one has to have to some caveat about Americans demise as a result of complacency, blah blah blah, being in the Armed Forces myself, I've talked to quite a few folks myself, even as a member of ATS during my tenure in service, inquiring resulted in the usual responses of compartmentalize information and need to know, but there were a few winks and smiles on future combat systems and that was pure Army, let alone the other branches.



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 10:15 PM
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a reply to: Arnie123

There's a lot you can hide in the military, but hypersonic weapons are going to be extremely difficult to hide. You have to warn people that you're going to fly through a certain area, so they don't fly through there and risk being hit. You need a lot of space to test them, because it takes a lot of distance to get them up to speed. To get a ramjet/scramjet to work, you have to accelerate it to near Mach 3, which means you're firing a ballistic missile, which is going to take time and distance to reach that kind of speed.

No, we don't know everything the military has, which isn't what is being said here. What is being said is that hypersonic missiles in the US aren't flying around being tested, contrary to what is being suggested.



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 10:22 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Extremely difficult, but not impossible. SOP can reflect need to know only, discipline still exist within force.

I don't doubt that we are certainly behind in some projects and not to make this political, but a lot of these deficiencies were result of the previous administrations.

I remember in CBRN, I would be selected to go and review all the latest products from civilian contractors.



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 10:27 PM
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a reply to: Arnie123

It's the next best thing to impossible to hide hypersonic weapons testing. They have to file a NOTAM for the launch area, as well as the area it will travel through, and the area it's expected to land. They can not file it, but if something were to happen, and there was a freak accident and someone got in the way of the missile, there would be hell to pay. Not to mention the booms. Even Russia and China warn people when they're firing missiles.

There are a lot of other systems that they can hide, that are much easier. That's one reason that they've been fairly open about hypersonic weapons and systems testing. It's incredibly hard to hide, so they aren't trying to very hard. You can keep the details hidden very easily, but hiding that you're testing something is quite a bit harder in this case.



posted on Nov, 26 2019 @ 10:43 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: HalWesten

Rocket launches and hypersonic booms are really, really hard to hide.

What is a hypersonic boom?



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