Russia’s claim it used a hypersonic missile in Ukraine was a way to reclaim war momentum, but the next-generation weaponry has not proved to be a “game changer,” the Pentagon’s chief said Sunday.
Moscow has said it has fired two hypersonic missiles in Ukraine, and while US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin would not “confirm or dispute” whether Russia used such weapons, he warned that President Vladimir Putin’s invasion was undergoing a change in tactics including the targeting of civilians.
Russia’s use of the hard-to-intercept hypersonics would mark a dramatic escalation of its campaign to force Ukraine to abandon hopes of closer ties with the West.
But “I would not see it as a game changer,” Austin told CBS talk show “Face the Nation.”
“I think the reason he is resorting to using these types of weapons is because he is trying to re-establish some momentum,” he added. “And again, we’ve seen him attack towns and cities and civilians outright (and) we expect to see that continue.”