Top Russian hypersonic rocket scientist arrested on treason charges


A leading Russian scientist in hypersonic flight was arrested Friday on suspicion of treason, Russian state media said.

dr. Alexander Shiplyuk, director of the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Siberian Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is the third Russian scientist arrested this summer on suspicion of treason.

The institute’s scientific director, Vasily Fomin, told Russia’s TASS news agency that Shiplyuk has been sent to the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center in Moscow.

His detention comes after the arrest on June 27 of the institute’s principal investigator, Anatoly Maslov, who is suspected of passing on state secret data related to hypersonic missiles.

According to the institute’s website, Shiplyuk runs a technology lab with unique wind tunnels built specifically to simulate hypersonic conditions.

On June 30, the Sovetsky District Court of Novosibirsk arrested another scientist, Dmitry Kolker, a researcher at the Institute of Laser Physics of the Siberian Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Kolker was detained on charges of state treason for allegedly collaborating with Chinese security forces, Reuters reported.

Kolker, who was diagnosed with stage four cancer, died during his transfer from the pre-trial detention center.

Military forces in Russia, China, and the United States are developing hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) weapons.

These are highly maneuverable weapons that can theoretically fly at hypersonic speeds while adjusting course and altitude to fly under radar detection and around missile defenses.

Experts say such weapons are incredibly difficult to defend.

Russia is said to have a truck in its arsenal, the Avangard system, which Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in 2018 was “practically invulnerable” to Western air defenses.

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