Global Challenges and Threats of Hypersonic Weapons – the Russian Context
PDF

Keywords

defense
hypersonic weapons
rivalry
Russian Federation
threats

How to Cite

BANASIK, M. (2021). Global Challenges and Threats of Hypersonic Weapons – the Russian Context. Safety & Defense, 7(2), 51-64. https://doi.org/10.37105/sd.119

Abstract

This article presents the results of research that set out to identify and characterize the challenges and threats to international security posed by the use of hypersonic weapons. The research process mainly employed the critical assessment of the literature, systemic and comparative analyses and generalization. As a result of the research, it was established that hypersonic weapons are an indispensable tool in the conducting of international competition by the Russian Federation and can be treated on par with nuclear weapons. Due to its attributes, it meets the criteria of an offensive weapon and poses certain uncertainties and real threats to the international security environment mainly because, so far, the capabilities to intercept and destroy it in the active phase of flight to the target has not been acquired. The Russian Federation considers hypersonic weapons as an excellent tool for applying pressure and aggression, allowing it to conduct international competition in the gray zone and achieve foreign policy objectives without the need for direct military confrontation. Due to its ability to cause almost immediate operational and strategic effects, it accelerates the dynamics of conflict escalation and rapidly affects the transition from a state of stability to international instability. It cannot be ruled out that in the third decade of the 21st century hypersonic weapons may be the key element determining the Russian Federation's achievement of global dominance.

https://doi.org/10.37105/sd.119
PDF

References

Acton, J.M. (2013). Silver Bullet? Asking The Right Questions About Conventional Prompt Global Strike. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. https://carnegieendowment.org/files/cpgs.pdf

Acton, J.M. (2015). Supplement to Hypersonic Boost-Glide Weapons, Science & Global Security, Volume 23 (Issue 3), 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1080/08929882.2015.1087242

Arbatov, A., Oznobishchev, S., & Bubnova, N. (Ed.). (2019). Russia: Arms Control. Disarmament and International Security. Primakov national research institute of world economy and international relations Russian academy of sciences.

https://doi.org/10.20542/978-5-9535-0558-1

Avangard system is tested, said to be fully ready for deployment. (2018). http://russianforces.org/blog/2018/12/avangard_system_is_tested_said.shtml

Borrie, J., Caughley, T., & Wan, W.F. (2017). Understanding Nuclear Weapon Risks. The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. https://www.unidir.org/files/publications/pdfs/understanding-nuclear-weapon-risks-en-676.pdf

Borrie, J., Dowler, A., & Podvig, P. (2019). A Challenge and Opportunity for Strate-gic Arms Control. United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs & United Na-tions Institute for Disarmament Research.

https://www.unidir.org/sites/default/files/publication/pdfs/hypersonic-weapons-a-challenge-and-opportunity-for-strategic-arms-control-en-744.pdf

Burienok, W. (2008). Wojennaja biezopasnost́ Rossii - problemy i rieszenija. Vozdushno-kosmicheskaya oborona. http://www.vko.ru/strategiya/voennaya-bezopasnost-rossii-problemy-i-resheniya

Chawryło, K., Wiśniewska, I., Rodkiewicz, W., & Menkiszak M. (2018). Orędzie Pu-tina: obietnice dla Rosjan, szantaż wobec Zachodu, Ośrodek Studiów Wschod-nich. https://www.osw.waw.pl/pl/publikacje/analizy/2018-03-01/oredzie-putina-obietnice-dla-rosjan-szantaz-wobec-zachodu

Chekinov, S.G., Bogdanov, S.A. (2013). The Nature and Content of a New-Generation War, Military Thought, Nr. 4, 12-23. http://www.eastviewpress.com/Files/MT_FROM%20THE%20CURRENT%20ISSUE_No.4_2013.pdf

Cummings, A. (2019). Hypersonic Weapons: Tactical Uses and Strategic Goals, War on The Rocks. https://warontherocks.com/2019/11/hypersonic-weapons-tactical-uses-and-strategic-goals/

Erwin, S. (2018). U.S. would need a mega-constellation to counter China’s hyper-sonic weapons, Spacenews. https://spacenews.com/u-s-would-need-a-mega-constellation-to-counter-chinas-hypersonic-weapons/

Georgiou, A. (2018). Russia Successfully Tests Weapon That Travels 27 Times Speed of Sound and Renders Missile Defense Systems 'Useless'—Officials, Newsweek 27.03.2018. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-new-weapon-mach-27-avangard-hypersonic-glide-vehicle-intercontinental-1273729?utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=NewsweekTwitter&utm_medium=Soci

Gormley, D.M. (2016). The Offense/Defense Problem: How Missile Defense and Conventional Precision-Guided Weapons Can Complicate Further Deep Cuts in Nuclear Weapons, eep Cuts Working Paper No. 6, May 2016. Institut für Friedens-forschung und Sicherheitspolitikan der Universität Hamburg (IFSH). https://deepcuts.org/images/PDF/DeepCuts_WP6_Gormley_UK.pdf

Heinrich, R. & Weiland, C. (2009). Selected Aerothermodynamic Design Problems of Hypersonic Flight Vehicles, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-89974-7

Homeland Missile Defense System Successfully Intercepts ICBM Target. (2017). Missile Defense Agency. https://www.mda.mil/news/17news0003.html

Homeland Missile Defense System Successfully Intercepts ICBM Target (2019). Missile Defense Agency. https://www.mda.mil/news/19news0003.html

Koudelka, B.F. (2005). Network-enabled Precision Guided Munitions. Air Univer-sity, Air War College, Center for Strategy and Technology, Maxwell. https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a463458.pdf

Kristensen, H.M. & Korda, M. (2021). Russian Nuclear Weapons 2021. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2021, vol 77, no. 2, pp. 90-108. https://doi.org/10.1080/00963402.2021.1885869

Kucharczyk, M. (2020). Broń hipersoniczna to hit minionego roku. Czy jest rewo-lucją, jak by tego chcieli Rosjanie? Gazeta.pl. https://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomosci/7,114881,25556406,taka-ciekawostka-bron-hipersoniczna-to-hit-minionego-roku.html

Mahnken, T.G. (2013). The Growth and Spread of the Precision-Strike Regime.

https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199895946.003.0004

Miasnikov, E. (2009). Long-Range Precision-Guided Conventional Weapons: Im-plications For Strategic Balance, Arms Control And Non-Proliferation. https://www.armscontrol.ru/pubs/en/em090918.pdf

Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation (2014). Rossiyskaya Gazeta-Federal Edition № 298(6570). https://rg.ru/2014/12/30/doktrina-dok.html

National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation (2015). https://rg.ru/2015/12/31/nac-bezopasnost-site-dok.html

Podbieriezkin, A.I. (2013). Jewrazijskaja WKO: rol stratiegiczeskich niejadiernych woorużenij. Wozduszno-kosmiczeskaja oborona, 29-37.

https://mgimo.ru/files/236035/podberezkin_avia.pdf

Russia showed the US a hypersonic nuclear missile called Avangard. (2019). Geekweek.pl. https://www.geekweek.pl/news/2019-11-27/rosja-pokazala-usa-hipersoniczny-pocisk-jadrowy-o-nazwie-avangard/

Sheremet, I.B. & Voloshin R.V. (2016). A new look at parrying threats to Russia's national security. In applying the enemy precision weapons in conditions of com-bat operations on the basis of a single global information and communication space. Science. Society. Defence (noo-journal.ru). - 2016. – No 3(8). https://doi.org/10.24411/2311-1763-2016-00020

Slipczenko, W. (2002). Wojny szestogo pokolenija. Orużyje i wojennoje iskusstwo buduszczego. https://velesova-sloboda.info/archiv/pdf/slipchenko-vojny-shestogo-pokoleniya.pdf

Speier, R.H., Nacouzi, G., Lee, C.A., & Moore, R.M. (2017). Hypersonic Missile Nonproliferation. Hindering the Spread of a New Class of Weapons. Rand Corpo-ration. https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR2100/RR2137/RAND_RR2137.pdf

Troianovski, A., & Sonne, P. (2018). Russia is poised to add a new hypersonic nu-clear-capable glider to its arsenal, The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russia-is-poised-to-add-a-new-hypersonic-nuclear-warhead-to-its-arsenal/2018/12/26/e9b89374-0934-11e9-8942-0ef442e59094_story.html

Watts, B.D. (2013). Precision Strike: An Evolution. The world once thought guided munitions were the future of warfare. The truth has been more complicated, The National Interest. https://nationalinterest.org/commentary/precision-strike-evolution-9347

Weitz, R. (2020). Managing Multi-domain and Hypersonic Threats to NATO, ICDS w Estonii. https://icds.ee/en/managing-multi-domain-and-hypersonic-threats-to-nato/

Woolf, A.F. (2020). Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues, Congressional Research Service. https://fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R41464.pdf

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.