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The US is also increasingly worried over the growing rivalry of the superpowers in the missile defence domain. In a statement from the US Department of Defense, Washington warned of the increased development of both China and Russia’s missile defence systems. General and Commander of the US Northern Command, Glen VanHerck said: “Russia develops strategic capabilities such as their submarines which now are a significant challenge for tracking and pose the potential for cruise missiles that can strike the homeland.”
Although US officials stated China is still reliant on Russian missile capabilities, Washington has warned Beijing is attempting to grow its own weaponry.
The department said in a statement: “China and Russia are developing increasingly capable and numerous missile defence systems, and integrating them into their defence strategies as they compete with the United States.”
Prior to this, Russia successfully completed testing of a new hypersonic missile capable of beating US defences.
On Sunday, the Kremlin confirmed the testing of a 4,600mph missile launched from a warship.
The devastating new weapon can travel up to a range of 600 miles and is the latest in the rush to create a new hypersonic missile arsenal.
The Russian Defence Ministry said: “The tests of the Zircon hypersonic missile are also being successfully completed.
“Test launches from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate have confirmed the unique tactical and technical characteristics of this missile in terms of range and accuracy of fire, as well as its hypersonic flight speed.”
Due to the ability of hypersonic missiles to travel at five times the speed of sound, they are incredibly hard to track.
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Last year, Russia heralded the creation of its first regiment of nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles.
Vladimir Putin said at the time: “Not a single country possesses hypersonic weapons, let alone continental-range hypersonic weapons.”
The latest hypersonic missile test comes as UK officials expressed concern over an anti-satellite weapon.
The US Space Command said the Kremlin had released a projectile from a satellite last Wednesday.
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The UK’s Air Vice-Marshal and head of Space Directorate, Harvey Smyth warned of a risk to international peace.
He said: “We are concerned by the manner in which Russia tested one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the characteristics of a weapon.
“Actions of this kind threaten the peaceful use of space and risk causing debris that could pose a threat to satellites and the space systems on which the world depends.
“We urge Russia to continue to work constructively with the UK and other partners to encourage responsible behaviour in space.”
In a summary last month, the US State Department declared space as the next domain of conflict.
Space Command had also expressed concern over any potential space weapon deployed by the Kremlin.
Christopher Ford, a state department official working on arms control said: “This event highlights Russia’s hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control.”
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