Russia's hypersonic missiles program is having some recent setbacks facing it. Apparently, the program has taken a dual hit this week, both from “patriots” arrested at home and from Ukraine firing Patriots that were able to shoot many of the missiles down.
The program was once touted as unstoppable, but it's now facing growing domestic fallout from treason charges against three scientists who worked on the technology. The scientists, who were employees of the Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in Siberia, were detained on suspicion of high treason over the past year.
Their colleagues have come out in defense of them, saying that they are all patriots who are not capable of doing what they are accused of. Speaking out in defense of individuals accused of treason has become a perilous and uncommon act in contemporary Russia, particularly following the recent passing of a bill that raised the maximum punishment for this offense to life imprisonment.
The situation has fueled a growing sense of unease across Russian society, and it's raising concerns about a rapid decline in the level of research if employees are too afraid to do their work. Such cases are also dissuading young Russian scientists from staying in the field, which could lead to a massive brain drain from the country.
In addition to the arrests of the scientists, Ukraine claims to have shot down six Russian Kinzhal missiles in a single night, which is a severe blow toRussia's hypersonic missile program. The missiles were once considered next-generation technology and were praised by Russian President Vladimir Putin as “invulnerable” to existing missile and air defense systems.
It's a surprising turn of events, and it's likely an embarrassment for Russia. The British Defense Ministry has even called attention to the apparent vulnerability of the missiles in its daily dispatch.
So, what do you guys think about these recent developments in Russia's hypersonic missile program? Let me know in the comments below