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Trump claims US now has hypersonic missiles

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
President Trump arrives in Ocala for a rally on October 16, 2020. (Photo by AP)

US President Donald Trump has declared during a campaign rally in Florida that United States now possesses hypersonic missiles, vowing that his administration will maintain an unrivalled military might.

"We have the hypersonic missiles that you used to hear about. We didn't have them because other countries were stealing our plans from the Obama administration, but we now have hypersonic missiles", Trump claimed during the Friday event in the city of Ocala as quoted in report by Sputnik News.

Trump also boasted about possessing the weapon back in May, claiming that the US has what he referred to as "the Super Duper Missile," which he said is "17 times faster than what they have right now."

The US launched earlier this year an accelerated effort to develop hypersonic missiles -- which fly at speeds between five and 20 times the speed of sound -- in response to successful development and testing of the technology by its top military rivals, China and Russia.

The development came a day after the US Defense Department announced it has designated the Naval Surface Warfare Center in the state of Indiana as the primary base for developing hypersonic weapons.

It further stated on Thursday that the center will allow scientists and engineers to leverage earlier and ongoing investments to help US military services develop hypersonic weapons with more rapid, adaptable and modular upgrades, according to the report.

Trump’s claims, which has not yet been confirmed by the US Defense Department, came 10 days after Russia announced its successful test-firing of a hypersonic cruise missile.

Addressing Russian President Vladimir Putin by video conference on October 6, chief of Russia’s Army General Staff Valery Gerasimov said the launch of the Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile had been successfully carried out from the White Sea earlier in the day.

The Russian Defense Ministry also published a video of the launch, which shows a rocket starting up from an open launch container situated on the upper deck of the ship’s bow circling in the air and flying toward its target in the Barents Sea.

The testing of the missile began five years ago, with nearly a dozen launches completed by 2018. Back then, Putin mentioned the missile in an address to the Russian parliament, describing it as one of the main strategic systems capable of evading US missile defenses.

Hypersonic weapons can take missile and nuclear warfare to a new and stronger level since they can travel much faster than current ballistic and cruise missiles, at different altitudes, and with the maneuverability that makes them difficult to track and target with current missile defense systems.

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