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Published on 20 March 2023

The hypersonic glide vehicle: A revolutionary weapons system?

In December 2019, Russia announced the launch of a new weapons system, the hypersonic glide vehicle Awangard. This glider is apparently so fast and agile that the normal missile defence systems have no chance against it. The news caused an uproar in many military circles. But what is behind all of this? How does a hypersonic glide vehicle actually fly? And are these missiles part of a revolutionary weapons system, as often claimed? An overview.

André Koch, formerly Research Management and Operations Research, armasuisse Science and Technology

An illustration of a hypersonic missile in the middle of a flight