Vladimir Putin is in the process of producing powerful hypersonic missiles capable of reaching Britain in just 13 minutes, according to a US Air Force report.
Unlike regular nuclear weapons, hypersonic missiles can travel at five times the speed of sound and can evade detection by skirting the edge of the earth’s atmosphere.
The report, published by the Air Force Studies Board at the National Academies of Science, warns the West has been falling behind when it comes to developing such arms.
The authors of the report claim the production of such weapons in the West is occurring as a “relatively leisurely pace” compared to Russia and allies, China.
The report claims Western superpowers face a grave danger from the “new class of weapons”, which it brands a “game-changer”.
The report reads: “The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation are already flight-testing high-speed manoeuvring weapons (HSMWs) that may endanger both forward-deployed US forces and even the continental United States itself,’ an executive summary of the report explains.
“These weapons appear to operate in regimes of speed and altitude, with maneuverability that could frustrate existing missile defence constructs and weapon capabilities.”
Mark J.Lewis, Chairman of the Committee on Future Air Force Needs for Defence Against High-Speed Weapon Systems, has advised that Western superpowers need to focus on developing their own hypersonic weapons if they are to avoid being wipes out by Russia.
Mr Lewis said: “The only reliable deterrent to the use of a hypersonic weapon may in fact be the threat of a corresponding hypersonic countermeasure that might hold at risk the very sites from which the adversaries’ hypersonic strike would originate.”
It is feared that Russia will combine hypersonic missiles with deadly nuke Satan 2, which has the capacity to wipe out Britain and is due to come into service in 2018.
And China test-fired its J-16 stake fighter nuclear missile earlier this month, successfully destroying a target drone at a long range.