When it comes to military technology, the United States is well ahead of the rest of the world. There is, however, a twist in the story. The United States is lagging behind India in hypersonic missile technology. Yes, you have heard it correctly.
According to Jack Reed, a powerful US Senator, their country is not only falling behind Russia and China in hypersonic missile technology, but also India. Jack Reed is the chairman of the Senate's Armed Services Committee, which is the upper house of Congress in the United States.
In a meeting, he said that there was a time when America used to have dominance in terms of technology. But now it is not so. "Take for example hypersonic technology. America has also lagged behind China, India and Russia in this matter. These countries have made a lot of progress," he said.
Senator Jack Reed further said that the United States is facing a tripartite competition for the first time in the matter of nuclear weapons. It is no longer a two-way contest between the US and Russia. Now China has also joined in.
Many countries including China, India, Russia and America are engaged in further advancement of hypersonic weapons technology. Last year, Vice President of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John E Hyten, said that China may someday suddenly launch a nuclear attack on the United States. He also said that the Chinese hypersonic missile has circled the whole world.
What is hypersonic technology?
The hypersonic technology mentioned by the US Senator is considered to be the latest cutting-edge technology in the case of missiles. Missiles moving at a speed of more than 5 times the speed of sound are called hypersonic.
The speed of these missiles go up to 6500 kilometres per hour. Their ability to change speed and direction is so precise and powerful that it is almost impossible to track and kill them. They strike their targets very accurately.
Recently, Russia has used its hypersonic missile Kinjal in the Ukraine war.
India's hypersonic speed
India has been working on hypersonic technology for the last couple of years. According to a report presented in the US Parliament, India is engaged in making hypersonic missiles indigenously. India is making such a missile, which will be capable of firing nuclear weapons along with conventional weapons.
Such technology has also been successfully tested in June 2019 and September 2020. During this test, the speed of Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) equipped with scramjet engine was measured at 7500 km per hour.
According to the US report, India has built 12 such hypersonic wind tunnels, where it can test missiles at a speed of 13 times the speed of sound.