A hypersonic missile is a weapon designed to reach its target in the air at a speed more than five times the speed of sound.
These missiles reach their target at a speed higher than Mach 5, that is a speed of more than 6,100 km/h.
They can reach temperatures of 1,000°C in the air
For physicists working on aerodynamics, hypersonic speed actually corresponds to a speed much higher than the speed of sound. We’re talking about 5 times the speed of sound. Going at these speeds causes these missiles to overheat. As a result of friction with the air, the missiles can reach temperatures of 1,000°C.
These missiles have two different modes of operation.
Note that today there are two types of hypersonic missiles. Hypersonic cruise missiles work on the same principle as subsonic missiles, they reach high speeds with the help of a rocket. There are also missiles that work otherwise.
These are launched from the atmosphere with a ballistic missile or even a space launcher, then penetrate the upper atmosphere and are released to glide to their targets. It reaches extraordinary speeds under the influence of gravity. Both can carry payloads, but also in a nuclear warhead.
Hypersonic missiles are difficult to intercept
Hypersonic missiles have potentially greater ranges than conventional missiles. We’re talking at least 1,000 kilometers. In addition, hypersonic missiles can maneuver almost throughout their flight.
It can also offer launchers the ability to change their trajectory and even their target. If we add to this that hypersonic missiles are extremely fast by definition, we can say that they are very difficult weapons to detect. And it is much more difficult to intercept than normal missiles.