MAJOR: Russia at Least 5-10 Years Ahead, Deploying Hypersonic-Detecting Radars in Arctic Before US Even Acquired Hypersonic Missiles
MOSCOW – After all of the planned ten radars are deployed in the Russian Arctic, the “northeastern missile-defense area will be fully covered by the ‘hunters’ for hypersonic targets,” a Russian military source stated, according to the Russian TASS news agency.
Russia’s General Staff has decided to increase the number of latest state-of-the-art Rezonans-N radar stations in the Arctic, each capable of detecting five to ten hypersonic targets, a source in the defense industry told TASS on Monday.
The Pentagon stated in the spring of 2018 that developing hypersonic weapons was a top priority for the US Army. In November 2019, the US Air Force announced it was developing two hypersonic prototypes, one of which or both should achieve their initial operational readiness by 2022.
“The General Staff has decided to deploy five more Rezonans-N radars capable of detecting hypersonic targets in Russia’s North, in addition to the five stations already ordered,” the source said. After all the ten radars are deployed in the Russian Arctic, the “north-eastern missile-defense area will be fully covered by the ‘hunters’ for hypersonic targets,” the source added.
A contract has been signed for the delivery of five Rezonans-N radar stations to Russia’s Defense Ministry. As CEO of the Rezonans Research Center (the developer of the radars) Ivan Nazarenko told TASS in November last year, two radars are on combat duty in the Russian Arctic while the third station has been prepared for its operation on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. The fourth radar has been delivered but not yet deployed and the fifth station has been manufactured, he added.
Rezonans radars operate in the meter-band and employ the principle of wave resonance, which allows detecting aircraft based on stealth technology and also hypersonic targets flying at a speed of up to Mach 20. The radar is capable of detecting targets and issuing target acquisition on aerodynamic targets at a distance of 600 km and at a range of 1,200 km on ballistic targets, at an altitude of up to 100 km.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in December 2019, Russia is an undisputed leader in both the development and deployment of hypersonic weapons and technologies. Currently, Russia, China, United States, India and France are all developing hypersonic weapons, with Russia leading the charge. China is reportedly some 3-5, while the US is at least 5-10 years behind Russia in hypersonic weapons development.