NEWS | Dec. 13, 2019

Russia's Hypersonic Weapons

By Paul Bernstein and Harrison Menke Georgetown Journal of International Affairs

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Russia is developing at least three hypersonic weapons that are operational or approaching operational status. These systems, introduced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his 2018 and 2019 speeches to the Federal Assembly, address requirements for Russian regional and strategic strike capabilities, and all are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. While these systems could pose problems for U.S. and NATO defense planning, their introduction in the near-term is not likely to fundamentally alter the existing balance of power or the prospects for strategic stability. 

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