Moscow: US research into hypersonic weapons, which Washington aims to complete by 2015, represents an especially serious threat to Russia, acting Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Friday.

"This breakthrough decision by the US opens up for them the prospect of a transition from a demonstrator prototype to creation of a multirole hypersonic missile by 2015-2018," Rogozin said. Rogozin is responsible for the state-owned Raduga Bereznyak missile design bureau in Moscow.

The minister picked out the X-51, Falcon, HiFire and HyFly programmes as examples of the perspective threat posed by hypersonic development work. "The undertaking of this work allows us to lay the basis for creation of a national competitor in hypersonic weapons," he said.

Development of such a weapon should be discussed at the highest levels of state, he said. India has also announced a joint project with Russia's NPO Mashinostroeniye missile producer to build a hypersonic successor to its BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.

During the Soviet era, Raduga and NPO Mashinostroeniye both carried out research work in hypersonic weapons but did not produce a working weapon.



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