Report: France tests hypersonic warhead that can dodge missiles - M5 Dergi
Defence NewsÖne Çıkan

Report: France tests hypersonic warhead that can dodge missiles

Abone Ol 

France has tested a warhead that can change direction in mid-flight, allowing it to zigzag past air defences.

The hypersonic glider can reach speeds exceeding Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound), or 6,000kph.

The glider, called V-Max, was launched from a sounding rocket, which takes precise measurements, that went airborne from the Biscarosse missile test site on the Bay of Biscay, south-western France, late on Monday.

Witnesses reported seeing white traces in the sky and French weather forecaster Meteo Pyrenees said the trails were visible from a large part of the Pyrenees region.

Unlike ballistic missiles that have their trajectories fixed at launch, hypersonic gliders can change direction at high speed at any point, allowing them to take evasive action if targeted by anti-air missiles.

In a statement, France’s defence procurement agency said: “Its flight test, on a very demanding long-range trajectory, represented an unprecedented technical challenge that will pave the way for the future of our national hypervelocity roadmap.”

The agency did not reveal the outcome of the test but said data collected during the flight was being analysed.

France issued a “warning notice” covering a corridor of around 2,000km for air and sea traffic ahead of the launch.

The technology is being developed or deployed by a small number of countries that includes China, Russia and the United States.

It typically uses a rocket to propel the glider to an altitude tens of kilometres above Earth before the glider and its payload descend at hypersonic speed.

They are being designed to carry either a nuclear or conventional warhead.

When the V-Max programme was launched in January 2019, then-defence minister Florence Parly said: “Many countries are equipping themselves with this technology. We have the know-how and we cannot wait any longer.”

The French V-Max programme is being developed by ArianeGroup, a defence company specialising in space launches and best known for Ariane rockets.

Some of the first trials by fire of hypersonic systems have come in Ukraine, where Kyiv said in May it was able to shoot down a Russian Kinzhal missile flying at over five times the speed of sound.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had previously described the weapons as “invincible”, although Kyiv has since claimed more shootdowns.


Abone Ol 

Related Articles

Abone Ol 
Back to top button