(Daily Beast) The United States, Russia, and China all tested new super-fast “hypersonic” munitions in 2018, escalating a global competition for weaponry that can strike farther and harder than ever before and potentially defeat existing defenses.
The Russian and Chinese hypersonics tests were the most dramatic. But the much quieter American trial pointed toward a much more immediate and widespread transformation of military capabilities than the Russians or Chinese are likely to achieve. […]
“I don’t think this system brings any new capability that the existing weapons like ICBMs don’t have,” Pavel Podvig, an independent expert on the Russian military, told The Daily Beast.
America’s own nukes deter Russia from using its nukes, and vice versa. Labeling a new weapon “hypersonic” doesn’t alter that balance of power. For that reason, the nuclear-armed Avangard mostly is for show. It looks fearsome and sounds cool. “There is a lot of political theater there,” Podvig said.
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