On July nineteenth, 2021, the Russian Ministry of Protection introduced the profitable launch of a brand new hypersonic missile, a weapon not like every other on the earth. What makes the Russian hypersonic missile so highly effective is that it’s able to carrying nuclear weapons, travels quicker than the pace of sound, and, in accordance with President Vladimir Putin, is able to breaching a U.S. constructed missile protection system. Whereas Russia growing hypersonic missiles just isn’t a shock, this may increasingly sign the beginnings of a brand new arms race with america as tensions between the superpowers rise.
Because the Chilly Battle, Russia has had problem maintaining tempo with the US and its financial, political, and cultural fortitude. Nevertheless, Russia has invested and maintained competitiveness with sure points of its army innovation and presence. Russia reportedly has the most important nuclear weapons inventory with practically 5 hundred extra weapons than the US, and up to now few years, has outpaced the US in growing new hypersonic missiles. These weapons are apparently quicker, extra maneuverable, and thus tougher to intercept, not like intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), the historic supply automobile of nuclear weapons.
Russia’s historical past with hypersonic missiles goes again to 2018, when Putin introduced, “not a single nation possesses hypersonic weapons, not to mention continental-range hypersonic weapons,” and claimed Western nations have been, “taking part in catch-up with [Russia].” In what has been described as one in all Putin’s most provocative speeches, he acknowledged that the missiles have been obtainable within the Russian arsenal and threatened that they’d be deployed to submarines if the US deployed its personal intermediate-range missiles in Europe – regardless that the US made no such deployment. Whereas it’s unclear if Putin’s full readiness claims are correct, Russia is clearly innovating on hypersonic missile know-how and declaring its army superiority relative to the US. This army rivalry left unchecked might rekindle a brand new arms race between the nations, just like the times of the Chilly Battle.
Whereas hypersonic missiles should not new for Russia, the announcement comes at a time of rising tensions between Russia and america. Over the previous yr, the 2 nations have sparred on every part from cyber assaults, to election interference, to Syria, and to Trump’s withdrawal from a Chilly Battle-era nuclear arms treaty. Moreover, President Biden condemned Putin’s arrest of opposition journalist Alexei Navalny, stating there can be, “devastating,” penalties for Russia. Whereas these world leaders not too long ago met in Switzerland in June 2021, there was no substantive consequence on shared targets, and it seems it is going to take many extra conferences to show progress and decrease tensions.
It’s vital that the US and Russia not restart an arms race and return to the army chess match of the Chilly Battle. As a substitute, the 2 nations ought to give attention to negotiations resulting in sturdy peace and financial partnership. Russia’s growth of hypersonic missiles, and its provocation to the world, sign an aggressive stance from Putin and his authorities and show that Russia desires to once more show itself on the worldwide stage by its army prowess. America shouldn’t take the bait. It must rally its allies to push Russia to cease the event of those new and lethal weapons and finish its personal funding in hypersonic missile know-how to compete with Russia. The chance of historical past repeating itself with an arm’s race is much too nice and has dire penalties for the world. Fashionable applied sciences like hypersonic missiles (and cyber assaults) characterize a brand new lethal entrance on an outdated Chilly Battle idea. The testing and manufacturing of know-how like hypersonic missiles should finish to ensure that the world to take care of peace.