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North Korea Test Fires Ballistic Missile

On January 5, North Korea test fired a ballistic missile with a maneuvering reentry vehicle (MaRV). The missile was fired from a road-mobile launcher and ranged about 700 km before splashing into the Sea of Japan. According to North Korea, the “hypersonic missile” made a 120 km “lateral movement” maneuver.

Iran Launches Simorgh Rocket

On December 30, Iran launched a Simorgh rocket aiming to put three research devices into orbit. The payload failed to enter orbit, however, due to lack of speed. According to Iranian spokesman Ahmad Hosseini, “For a payload to enter orbit, it needs to reach speeds above 7,600 [meters per second]. We reached 7,350.”

India Fires Agni-P Ballistic Missile

On December 18, India test fired its Agni-P medium-range ballistic missile. This marked the second Agni-P launch, with the first taking place in June 2021. The Agni-P is a two-stage missile that can range up to 2,000 km. It is a canister-launched system and weighs significantly less than the Agni-III.

South Korea Unveils Hypersonic Cruise Missile Prototype

On December 3, South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and defense company Hanwha publicly unveiled a model hypersonic cruise missile. The missile, known as the Hycore, is equipped with a two-stage rocket booster. It is scheduled for flight testing in 2022 and enter service in the mid-2020s.

Russia Deploys Coastal Defenses by the Kuril Islands

On December 2, Russia’s Defense Ministry posted a video showing the military had deployed Bastion coastal defense missile systems close to the Kuril Islands, territory claimed by both Russia and Japan. Russia deployed the Bastion to the island of Matua, located in the middle of the Kuril Island chain. The deployment follows past coastal defense...

Russia Test Fires Zircon Hypersonic Missile

On November 29, Russia’s Defense Ministry said it test fired a Zircon hypersonic cruise missile. Russia’s Admiral Gorshkov frigate launched the Zircon while in the White Sea, successfully striking a target 400 km away. The Zircon has a claimed range of 1,000 km and is planned to equip Russian cruisers, frigates, and submarines. 

MDA Selects Defense Contractors for Glide Phase Interceptor Design

On November 19, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency chose Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon Missiles and Defense to complete an “accelerated concept design” of the Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI). The GPI is MDA’s primary hypersonic defense program and is designed to intercept hypersonic weapons kinetically in the endoatmospheric glide phase. GPIs will equip U.S....

Russia Conducts Antisatellite Missile Test

On November 15, Russia conducted an antisatellite missile test, reportedly using an S-500 Prometey interceptor to intercept a long-defunct Soviet signals intelligence satellite. The intercept created over 1,500 pieces of trackable debris. Russia last tested an antisatellite missile in December 2020, although that test did not involve a kinetic intercept.

Booster Rocket Failure Cuts U.S. Hypersonic Test Short

On October 21, a U.S. Department of Defense hypersonic vehicle test failed after the system’s booster malfunctioned shortly after launch. According to a Pentagon statement, the hypersonic system being tested was not associated with the Army/Navy-developed Common Hypersonic Glide Body weapon currently under development. The flight test attempt reportedly took place in Alaska, but officials...

India Tests Agni-V Ballistic Missile

On October 27, India flight tested an Agni-V ballistic missile from a test range in Odisha. In a release, India’s ministry of defense claimed the test was successful, and was conducted “in line with India’s stated policy to have ‘credible minimum deterrence’ that underpins [its] commitment to ‘No First Use.'” The Agni-V is a solid-fueled,...