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Hypersonic Arms Race Heats Up as U.S. Builds High-Speed Missiles


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hypersonic-arms-race-heats-up-as-u-s-builds-high-speed-missilesFree Beacon:

Defense Secretary Ash Carter disclosed last week that the Pentagon’s new high-technology weapons to deal with threats from China and Russia will include ultra-high speed missiles.


Carter revealed during a speech in California that part of the $71.8 billion for weapons research and development this year will fund “new hypersonic missiles that can fly over five times the speed of sound.”


Days earlier, the general in charge of Air Force weapons research, Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello, revealed that two technology prototypes of hypersonic strike weapons, a scramjet powered cruise missile and a hypersonic glider, could be ready in four years.


“We’re looking for more singles, base hits, versus trying to go for a home run,” Masiello said of hypersonic missile development during a conference Feb. 26. The effort will build on several tests in recent years of a Boeing X-51 scramjet hypersonic missile.


The X-51 had one successful flight out of three tests and reached speeds of over Mach 5, or 3,836 miles per hour.


An Army hypersonic missile test designed to glide to its target after launch on a booster rocket blew up shortly after launch in August 2014. That missile concept is part of the Pentagon’s “prompt global strike” program that will receive $181 million this year.


Masiello said past X-51 tests should not prompt an end to hypersonic arms development. “You have to build an environment that allows failure because if you don’t you’re not going to be pushing the boundaries of technology,” he said.Scissors-32x32.png

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