Our Bureau
02:19 PM, February 17, 2015

Russia has developed a fuel that will enable missiles to fly five times faster the speed of sound.

If the development is utilized effectively, it would make Russia a major player in a growing hypersonic arms race, a deputy defense minister told The Mascow Times.

"The recipe has been created and the energy accumulated in this fuel will enable our vehicles to exceed Mach 5," Deputy Defense Minister General Dmitry Bulgakov was quoted by the TASS news agency as saying on Tuesday.

Mach 5, or 6,126 kilometers per hour, is considered to be the barrier between supersonic speeds and hypersonic speeds. 

Militaries around the world are racing to harness the power of hypersonic flight.

The slashing of missile flight times will complicate countries' ability to detect and respond to attacks and potentially upset the global military balance of power.

The US, China, Russia and India are all working to develop hypersonic missile systems, but the engineering challenges are daunting. Hypersonic missiles need to be strong to withstand the stress of flight beyond Mach 5.

While the U.S. And China have focused their efforts on so-called boost-glide hypersonic missiles, which launch on a rocket and then glide to their target, Russia and India have chosen to focus their efforts on the co-development of a hypersonic cruise missile.

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