Vlad’s Newest Hardware

| November 30, 2019


Buzz Aldrin

Speaking of tech hardware, Vlad Putin is showing off his latest Avangard drone samples to US inspectors, as part of the agreement in the New Start nuclear arms treaty. Per the article, it can move at 27 times the speed of sound. He compares it to the launch of the Sputnik in 1957. Really? https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2019/11/27/russia-shows-hypersonic-weapon-to-us-inspectors/

From the article:  MOSCOW — The Russian military says it has shown its latest hypersonic weapon to U.S. inspectors.

The Defense Ministry said Tuesday that it demonstrated the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle to a team of U.S. inspectors this week as part of transparency measures under the New Start nuclear arms treaty with the U.S. It said the new weapon will be put on combat duty in December.

Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the Avangard in 2018 along with other prospective weapons, noting that its ability to make sharp maneuvers on its way to a target will render missile defense useless.

The military said the Avangard is capable of flying 27 times faster than the speed of sound. Putin said its creation represented a technological breakthrough comparable to the 1957 Soviet launch of the first satellite. – article

Okay, well, Vlad wasn’t even an egg is his Mummy’s ovaries back then and the bigger shock was sending Titov and Gagarin into space. Sputnik dindonuffn except beep pathetically. The Russians/Soviets didn’t really follow-up on Titov or Gagarin. And they still haven’t put a man on the moon.

Category: Russia

Comments (17)

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  1. David says:

    Sputnik was a huge shock at the time, and came when we were having little success in the space race. His comparison is apt unless we have toys we haven’t disclosed yet.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      There were things ready for launch. The problem was the rocket engines, failing repeatedly.

      • Perry Gaskill says:

        Dunno. Saying things were ready for launch, but the rockets kept blowing up, is sort of like Yogi Berra, when asked about a restaurant, saying, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

  2. Slow Joe says:

    The real race is the Artificial Intelligence race. Whoever gets first to AGI, artificial general intelligence, an artificial intelligence capable of reasoning like a human across all levels, wins the game.

    We are doing good in the AI front. Darpa got a bunch of projects going on AI.

    • Retired Grunt says:

      That scares the living crap out of me. Be careful what you wish for.

    • LC says:

      AGI is still an ‘indeterminate’ amount of time off – to put it bluntly, we don’t know enough about what makes something generally intelligent, so it’s impossible to knowingly design systems to replicate it. But supremacy in ‘task-based’ intelligence is definitely critical in the near-term, as it will outpace people in many tasks fast enough.

      I recently read that ‘AlphaGo’ took just a few days to go from completely inept at Go, to beating all but the top 10% of people. Another few weeks and it beat them, too. In just over a month, and with a ‘mere’ $35M in computing resources behind it, the Go AI learned to beat everything. That’s pretty impressive. And there is serious concern in the community that our AI efforts are lagging China’s, but the classified systems are harder to gage than the open ones.

  3. Stacy0311 says:

    So does anybody else thing all of these Russian and Chinese miracle technologies/weapons are simply propaganda/information operations?

    “Yeah we’ve got this weapon that will fly 27 times faster than the speed of sound. Sure we don’t have the scientific knowledge or technology base to actually build it, but we’ve designed it. Using Windows 95. But it will totally outclass anything the decadent West can build.”

    Meanwhile DARPA is quietly building, testing and fielding AI, exoskeletons and all sorts of other stuff that doesn’t make the news.

    • Anonymous says:

      The big deal is that it exploits inside-the-box “technical” thinking about how to defend against missile threats. Dang clever, those Russkies.

  4. SteeleyI says:

    The comparison to Sputnik is apt- we are behind the power curve here, not just in developing our own hypersonics, but more importantly our defensive systems.

    What this means is that Russian A2/AD (Anti-Access/Area Denial) systems are close to reality. If Russia were to make a move in the Baltic region or Poland, say, our forces trying to reinforce would be in serious jeopardy before they could even get off ships in port- if they ever made it to port, because the first Russian hypersonics are being fielded to their Navy.

    China is not far behind. We could soon be facing a reality when US Carriers in the South China Sea face an over-the-horizon ship killing threat.

  5. 5th/77th FA says:

    27 times the speed of sound? 20K+ mph? And turn on a dime? How much of all that is propaganda and/or how much of all that is doable? Imma gonna go with Stacy0311 and parts of the linked article. Maybe our research boys and girls are doing their jobs with the $ they are getting. How much of what the Ruskkies or the Chinks have built came from stolen American Technology?

    Bigger question is this; How many wish that the powers that were back in 1945 had of listened to Patton in re the Russians?

    • SteeleyI says:

      He is probably exaggerating, but it is a distinction without a difference.

      Hypersonics have the potential to be a game changer for a lot of reasons- the shorter flight time and unpredictable flight paths greatly decrease reaction time which greatly increases the odds of miscalculation in response.

      The CRS report on Hypersonics listed the Avangard at M20, but that is what they felt comfortable putting in an unclass, publicly available report:


  6. Anonymous says:

    Avengard along with the ASBM development of the SS-26 Son-o’-SCUD are the only real weapons in that bunch Putin showed-off. (Remember, the nuclear-power cruise missile had a messy, contaminating accident… which was why our similar Cold War-era project they copied from never got developed.)

  7. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Anything over Mach 5 is “hypersonic”. Such capability existed as deployed weapons since the early 1960s.

    the AIM-54 Phoenix air-to-air missile.
    Any warhead delivered by ICBM on a typical trajectory.

    Note: The main gun round of most modern main battle tanks reach or exceed Mach 5.


    • SteeleyI says:

      True, but none of those systems can sink a ship from over the horizon with impunity.

      Hypersonics could provide the Russians and Chinese with the offset they need to raise the price of a US intervention their regions to unacceptable levels.