The head of Russia’s space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, fired off a tongue-in-cheek tweet in response to Donald Trump’s brag about the uber-powerful missile that he alleges leaves Russian or Chinese analogues far behind.
While unveiling the flag of the Space Force in the Oval Office on Friday, US President Donald Trump made some headline-grabbing remarks.
“We have no choice. We have to do it, with the adversaries we have out there…I call it the super-duper missile, and I heard the other night [it’s] 17 times faster than what they have right now,” Trump bragged.
The US president didn’t give away a single clue about the mystery munition, but it’s fair to assume he was talking about a projectile able to travel several times faster than the speed of sound.
“You’ve heard Russia has [one] five times, China is working on [one] five or six times, and we have one 17 times faster,” he insisted.
Adopting something of a sarcastic tone, Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin said: “Well, we can do nothing against the super-duper missile.”
At times, Trump seems to be hell-bent on comparing American hardware with that of certain adversaries – and to the detriment of the latter. Two years ago, he famously needled North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, saying the US president’s nuclear button is “much bigger and more powerful one than his.”
Moscow has already put its own Avangard (Vanguard) hypersonic glider into service. Mounted on top of an existing ballistic missile, the top-notch projectile is said to be capable of reaching Mach 27, rendering modern-day missile defense installations obsolete because of its overwhelming speed.
Several others, like the Kinzhal (Dagger) cruise missile, are undergoing trials or said to be in the works now.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested, the technological leap has created a rare situation in which the US has to play catchup with Russia. In the meantime, it has ensured an unparalleled strategic deterrent for years to come.