Russia stockpiling devastating hypersonic cruise missiles
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AUKUS, the defence alliance between Britain, Australia and the US, announced that the countries will work together to develop deadly high-speed missiles. Originally a pact for nuclear submarines to control the growing threat of China, AUKUS’ role has expanded to counter recent threats. A joint statement unveiled that there is now a “new trilateral cooperation on hypersonics and counter-hypersonic” weapons in response to Putin’s actions in Ukraine.
And Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a weapons expert from Cambridge University, has told Express.co.uk that Britain has a key role to play in helping AUKUS develop these high-speed killing machines.
He said: “The Americans are by far the most important developers of these types of weapons.
“What Britain adds is some highly technical expertise and certainly some of our scientists and people working on this are of great use to the Americans.
“Australia also have a key role down to play in the Pacific as that role is key.
“All three working together is a real signal to the Chinese and the Russians that we are not going to stand still and we are going to go forward.
“Even more impetus will be behind it now with what is going on in Ukraine.”
Mr de Bretton-Gordon also suggested that the pact will be developing other weapons too that are likely to terrify Putin.
He said: “I think it (AUKUS) is developing other weaponry that is coming into the common lexicon – the Switchblade, the attack drones.
“This an area that ourselves and the Australians are getting more and more into and as we are seeing these are incredibly effective weapons, very sophisticated and perhaps an area where we have a march of the Russians and the Chinese.
“To be able to maintain the balance in our favour we have got to work together to develop these types of weapons in the future.”
Hypersonic missiles fly five to 10 times as fast as the speed of sound, at a pace referred to as Mach 5 to Mach 10.
The weapons are capable of carrying nuclear or conventional warheads and are designed to be manoeuvrable.
This, in theory, evades conventional missile defences.
Russia claims it fired a hypersonic missile into an underground arms and munition depot in a village 100 kilometres from Ukraine’s border with Romania.
It has used its newest hypersonic missile, known as the Kinzhal (Dagger), twice in Ukraine.
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Putin has described Kinzhal, which can be launched from a MiG fighter jet, as “an ideal weapon”.
Now, the US and the rest of AUKUS could be posied to test out their own.
And the Pentagon has in fact taken one for a test drive.
Last month, the US secretly tested its own hypersonic missile without letting Russia know for at least two weeks.
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