Leading Russian supersonic rocket scientist arrested on suspicion of treason


A leading Russian supersonic scientist was arrested on suspicion of treason on Friday, Russian state media reported.

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

The institute’s scientific director, Vasily Fomin, told the Russian news agency TASS that Shiplyuk was sent to the Lefortovo detention center in Moscow.

His arrest followed the arrest of the institute’s chief investigator, Anatoly Maslov, on 27 June, suspected of passing on secret state 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 Soviet District Court in Novosibirsk arrested another scientist, Dmitry Kolker, a researcher at the Institute of Laser Physics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Kolker has been detained on suspicion of high treason for allegedly collaborating with Chinese security services, Reuters reports.

Kolker, diagnosed with stage four cancer, died while being transferred from custody.

Military forces in Russia, China and the United States are working on developing hypersonic slide vehicles (HGVs).

They are highly maneuverable weapons that can theoretically fly at hypersonic speed while adjusting course and altitude to fly under radar detection and around missile defense.

Experts say that such weapons are extremely difficult to defend.

Russia is believed to have a truck in its arsenal, the Avangard system, which Russian President Vladimir Putin said in 2018 to be “virtually immune” to Western air defense.

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