Friday, December 22, 2017

The Sound Of Hypersonic Missiles.

As Blog BMPD (in Russian) reports, two new cruise missiles are slated to go into production soon within the framework of the newest 2018-2027 State Program of Armament (GPV). One, as was expected, is a "shrunk" version of now world-renown X-101 and is called X-50. It is subsonic, stealth, air-launched cruise missile with a range of 1500+ kilometers. It seems that this one is designed specifically for TU-22M3s, albeit all other bombers are also capable of carrying it. 

The other one, however, is even more interesting: it is hyper-sonic M=6+, 1500+ kilometers range (high altitude profile, at lower altitude the range shortens), air-launched anti-shipping missile known as GZUR (Giperzvukovaya Upravlyaemaya Raketa), with passive-active radar seeker. The rate of production for this missile will be 50 per year. Considering the size of this missile: length-6 meters and the weight-1500 kilograms, it is reasonable to assume that it is also air-launched missile and it could be carried by such platforms as Su-34 or Su-30SM, as an example. I could be wrong, of course, but that is what it seems now. As I already stated many times before, I will repeat again: hyper-sonic weapons are here and they are changing naval warfare as we know it. Operational and strategic ramifications of that are immense. To put it in simple words--Eurasian A2/AD system becomes impenetrable. NO navy in the world would be able to deal with salvo of those weapons. Combined with air-launched X-32, and ship and submarine launched 3M22 Zircon, Russia's littoral and near sea zone (and even remote sea zone in some scenarios) become untouchable. This also explains why Russia is building new, completely updated, TU-160M2 long-range bombers. All this is an immensely effective and relatively inexpensive solution for a security of Russia's shores. The counter power-projection technological reality revealed itself.  I will not try to be unreasonably, and thus falsely, humble, but thanks to internet many of my thoughts from 15+ (and later) years ago on the fate of expensive carrier-centric navies and predictions I made (some of them were met with sarcasm) on a revolutionary change in warfare came true, they are also recorded. The moment a key parameter--the ranges of carrier aviation and of the anti-shipping missile--became relatively comparable, the game was up for carriers. From now on we may only expect further increase in ranges for ASCMs thus confirming their status as new stand-off weapon of choice for anyone who does not want to be "democratized" by the Empire of Good. Those who didn't see this coming--I can only say... too bad.   

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