RUSSIA CALLS OUT ‘TOTAL FAILURE’ OF US MISSILE DEFENCE PROGRAM

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Russian lawmaker calls Pentagon’s tracker balloons ‘failure’ of US missile defence program

Vyacheslav Volodin said that Pentagon making use of balloons against Russian hypersonic missiles shows the “failure” of Washington’s missile defence program.

Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said the fact that Pentagon will make use of balloons against Russian hypersonic missiles, shows the “failure” of Washington’s missile defence program. He said that the US will next inflate underwater balloons in response to Russia’s Poseidon, TASS reported. The statement of the Russian State Duma Speaker comes after a news report claiming that the US Defence Department has planned to use more than $27 million in the fiscal year 2023 for the use of military balloons at high altitudes, which could help to track missiles from Russia and China.

Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that the US making use of balloons against Russian missiles “should be taken as a failure of the American missile defence program,” TASS reported. Earlier on July 7, a news report by Politico claimed that the US Defence Department has been working to introduce balloons in its competition with China and Russia. The high-altitude inflatables which will be able to fly between 60,000-90,000 feet will be included in the Pentagon’s extensive surveillance network. The balloons could be used for tracking hypersonic weapons. Pentagon has spent around about $3.8 million (Rs 302,374,728.60) on balloon projects in the past two years and intends to use $27.1 million (Rs 2,15,57,64,350) in the fiscal year 2023 to continue work on multiple projects.

The US Department of Defence has been carrying out tests using high-altitude balloons and solar-powered drones to gather data and help ground forces in communication and tackling issues related to satellite, the news outlet reported citing budget documents. The US Defence Department has quietly started shifting to balloon projects to gather information and send it to aircraft, Politico reported citing DoD budget justification documents. As per the news report, the Pentagon has been carrying out demonstrations to assess the involvement of high-altitude balloons and commercial satellites in an attack. Raven Aerostar, a firm that produces balloons, said that its balloon has a flight control unit, powered by batteries charged by solar panels. Russell Van Der Werff, engineering director at Raven Aerostar, stated that the balloons consist of a payload electronics package which has control over flight safety, navigation and communications,

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