MOSCOW, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Russia's deputy prime minister said it was important that national defense technology keeps up with developments from the U.S. military.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told Rossiya 24 TV that defense officials needed to consider hypersonic aviation technology to keep up with U.S. military research.
"The question is will we copy the Americans' 40-year experience and create a (Northrop) B-2 analog ... or will we go down a new, ultramodern technology route, looking to the horizon and create a machine able to penetrate air defenses and carry out a strike on any aggressor," he said.
A test of the U.S. X-51 Waverider, an unmanned vehicle designed to travel at 3,800 mph, failed last week after a control fin broke up and the aircraft fell into the sea.
Rogozin, however, said the Russian military would explore hypersonic technology when developing a new bomber.
Russian officials had said any future aircraft could enter military service as early as 2020. Defense analysts told state-run news agency RIA Novosti any hypersonic bomber was likely 10-15 years out, however.
The Kremlin has expressed concern about U.S. military objectives in Eastern Europe. The government said U.S. plans for a missile defense system there would upset the strategic balance of power, though Washington said the missile plans are needed to deter rogue states like Iran and North Korea.