MOSCOW – An eventual enemy will have about 20 seconds to drop the radar-invisible hypersonic ‘fireball’ at a speed of 10,000 km / h, experts say.
Russian portal Avia.pro, specializing in aviation, reported, citing an unnamed source, the Russian hypersonic missile 3M22 “Zircon” will be invisible to radar and “inspire admiration.”
According to the source, the missile will be made of a unique composite material that includes carbon and carbon fiber, making the weapon much lighter and making it almost invisible to radar.
Avia.pro speculates that Zircon’s composite material will be similar to the KIMF used in the 3M37 Skiff submarine ballistic missile. Produced by UMATEX factory in Chelyabinsk, KIMF is a lightweight yet durable material that offers good thermal protection.
The source, quoted by Avia.pro, notes that, traveling at 10,000 km / h, the missile will be so hot that it will look like a giant fireball in the sky.
“The enemy will not be able to see the missile on radar, but he will be able to see it on the horizon. That literally should inspire admiration,” said an unidentified expert.
In early September, Popular Mechanics magazine reported that US missile defense at its current level of technology will only take about 20 seconds to shoot down a hypersonic projectile.
“This is not enough time for the ship’s commander to process what is happening, much less launch missiles to shoot down the incoming hypersonic missile,” reported Popular Mechanics.
The missile was officially unveiled in February by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The missile’s enormous speed makes interception difficult , mainly because it leaves no time for the enemy to make a decision. Upon launch, Tsirkon travels to the target at a speed of Mach 8 and travels at 160 km / m.
The US Aegis system’s powerful SPY-1 air defense radar is capable of detecting the threat at a distance of about 300 kilometers. In this case, the air force has two minutes to organize the interception. If the Russian missile is launched at a lower altitude, the crew will have less than 20 seconds to act, which is clearly not enough.