US step closer to developing hypersonic missile that travels at five times the speed of sound
The United States is racing to develop hypersonic missiles that can travel at five times the speed of sound, officials have confirmed.
Heather Wilson, secretary of the US Air Force, said the effort was being made to keep pace with other nations like Russia and China while speaking on Friday at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.
The US Air Force currently operates 80 satellites in space, the secretary added. Her comments followed reports suggesting Russia was also developing new missile systems after Washington announced plans to exit from a landmark nuclear arms control pact.
Vladimir Putin said over the weekend that Russia has suspended the Cold War-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) which banned both countries from stationing short and intermediate-range land-based missiles in Europe.
Meanwhile, Moscow and Washington have accused each other of violating the treaty and Mr Putin said Russia had acted after the United States announced it was withdrawing from the pact.
Washington had made clear it planned to start research, development and design work on new missile systems and Moscow would do the same, Mr Putin said.
He added the Russian military should start work on creating land-based launch systems for an existing ship-launched cruise missile, the Kalibr, and for longer-range hypersonic missiles.
Russian officials have said the work should be completed by the end of next year so the new systems were ready by 2021.
Still, US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood told a UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Tuesday that the country would reconsider its withdrawal from the INF treaty “should Russia return to full and verifiable compliance”.
Jeffrey T6 hours ago
Remember what wrecked the Soviet Union in the first place--trying to keep up with Ronald Reagan and the US in military spending.
Honey Badger5 hours ago
We've had this capability since the USSR was a thing. The US Military is at least 20-30 years ahead of the civilian capabilities.
G C5 hours ago
We need one that travels at the speed of light.
Elliot4 hours ago
The now retired SR 71 flew at that speed. Elmendorf to southern Calif. to the east coast and back to Elmendorf in time for lunch.
Fire Marshall Bill Burns6 hours ago
If they're talking about developing it, they already got it.
Robonaut5 hours ago
America has been "one-step-closer" to Hypersonic weapons for over 20 years.
Stitchy5 hours ago
A very special thanks to Russia and China. They have given us an aspiration to become creative in developing awesome weapons to defend ourselves and world peace.
bobb6 hours ago
When lasers advance and are coupled with AI, missiles, jets, tanks, etc will be deemed 100% obsolete. In fact, submarines will be the only immune.
Gregory6 hours ago
Why does the US Air Force have 80 satellites in space? How many of them are launchpads for missiles?
Jesse4 hours ago
If the US announces something, we're nearly about to produce it. Our fighter jets and bombers fly for years before being made public.
Tom6 hours ago
America had the SR71 Blackbird in the 60's, sure we've got something way way better by now.
Jack4 hours ago