The Popular Mechanics rag is called popular, because it is not designed for reading by people who have serious technical education (background). Generally, anyone who employs Kyle Mizokami has to have the remnants of one's credibility removed. Now another clown, Darren Orf, with degree in, and you have guessed it, journalism ejaculates: Turns Out Russia Is Overselling Its 'Unstoppable' Hypersonic Missile.
In fact, just this week, Vladimir Putin announced imminent plans to test his frigate-launched Zircon hypersonic missile, which can supposedly reach speeds of Mach 9. The embattled Russian leader took part in the farewell ceremony (albeit remotely) of the Admiral Gorshkov frigate back in January, and the ship will launch the missile during a training exercise with South Africa and China navies later this month. Russia says it’ll be “the first-ever [launch] during an event of this kind,” though the launch is likely a show of force to the West more than anything. While an “unstoppable” Russian missile would certainly be a problem for the U.S. (along with most of Europe), Putin might be overselling the weapon’s capabilities. In 2021, Nikolai Yevmenov, commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, told a Russian news site that the weapon still had problems—and some of those problems are likely highlighted in a new report by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. While the 72-page report did find that hypersonic missiles “have the speed to be useful in the early stages of a conflict,” the report also threw some cold water on the red-hot hype surrounding hypersonic technology. The biggest dose of reality is that the technology still hasn’t found a way to manage the immense amount of heat produced by a system traveling in excess of Mach 5.
Poor boy, obviously, missed the whole "news" that Admiral Gorshkov tested Zircon 3M22 for the last couple years and that Zircon completely passed its IOC phase and is already in serial production since 2022, and is a fully developed weapon. But can you imagine explaining this to a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with degree in English (Journalism), who cannot even understand that Congressional Budget Office's Report discusses ONLY US programs in this field. Even the title of Report speaks for itself:
U.S. Hypersonic Weapons and Alternatives
Somebody, please, explain to this fool that CBO discusses in this report general issues of hypersonic flight as related to the United States only. The only reason this "expert" produces this volume of coping is because being Western journo ignoramus he cannot come to terms that the United States not just lags dramatically behind Russia in terms of hypersonic weapons, but that it has no defense whatsoever against those weapons. The only thing which the US has been able to accomplish recently so far was the launch of a prototype of sorts of a booster aeroballistic vehicle which, reportedly, performed as expected. The US is nowhere near to fielding anything comparable to 3M22 Zircon and is not going to be there for a very long time.
In fact, CBO's report IS about horrendous costs--color me surprised, not--it takes to develop anything workable hypersonic. The amount of copium and BS in this PopMech article is astonishing. The problems described in the report are the problems the US Military-Industrial Complex hasn't been able to resolve so far, and is having a huge issue with observing Russia and China fielding a variety of hypersonic weapons, but especially so such as 3M22 Zircon. As I am on record--you cannot explain a person with Master's Degree in "journalism" the physics, let alone tactical and operation implications of hypersonic weapons--they simply will not understand that. That is why average Western journos lie for a living, because they do not know how to do anything else.
P.S. I omit here well documented combat use of Kinzhals in 404. Obviously Orf never heard of that.
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