A leading Russian hypersonic flight scientist was arrested on Friday on suspicion of treason, according to Russian state media.
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 to be arrested this summer on suspicion of treason.
The institute’s scientific director, Vasily Fomin, told Russian news agency TASS that Shiplyuk had been sent to Lefortovo remand center in Moscow.
His detention comes after the June 27 arrest of the institute’s chief researcher, Anatoly Maslov, on suspicion of transferring secret state data related to hypersonic missiles.
According to the institute’s website, Shiplyuk runs a technology lab with unique wind tunnels specially designed to simulate hypersonic conditions.
On June 30, the Novosibirsk Sovetsky District Court arrested another scientist, Dmitry Kolker, a researcher at the Institute of Laser Physics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Kolker was arrested on state treason charges for allegedly collaborating with Chinese security services, Reuters reported.
Kolker, who was diagnosed with stage four cancer, died while being transferred from the remand center.
Military powers in Russia, China and the United States are working on the development of hypersonic weapons for gliding vehicles (HGVs).
They are highly maneuverable weapons that can theoretically fly at hypersonic speeds while adjusting heading and altitude to fly under radar detection and around missile defenses.
Experts say such weapons are incredibly difficult to defend.
Russia is believed to have a juggernaut in its arsenal, the Avangard system, which Russian President Vladimir Putin said in 2018 was “virtually invulnerable” to Western air defences.