New hypersonic platforms to counter Chinese, Russian efforts

(From Washington Free 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.

Artist's conception of US X-51A Waverider hypersonic missile
Artist’s conception of US X-51A Waverider hypersonic missile

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. Read more