Military and Industry Leaders Fret that U.S. Is Losing Hypersonic Arms Race
July 31, 2019(EIRNS)—Military, industrial and academic leaders participating in a high-level conference at Purdue University this week came to the conclusion that the U.S. is losing the hypersonic arms race to Russia and China. “The speed, precision and lethality of the new weaponry threaten to render traditional military assets—tanks, aircraft carriers, amphibious assault vessels—obsolete virtually overnight,” the Washington Times reports. “Across the board, stakeholders agree that Washington has allowed Beijing and Moscow to make massive strides while failing to keep pace or to develop a comprehensive strategy to counter enemy first strikes.”
Loren Thompson, the head of the Lexington Institute in Washington D.C., in his column in Forbes, picks up on this discussion as well., “Not only are Russia and China investing in a new generation of weapons aimed at negating America’s huge investment in strategic systems, but their emerging hypersonic weapons will be too maneuverable to make reliable guesses about where they are headed,” he writes.
“In the compressed timeframe commanders will have to respond against weapons approaching at a speed of nearly two miles per second, they must have immediate and detailed data on precisely what paths the attackers are taking. Otherwise, defense will be essentially impossible.”
He wrote earlier in the piece that for a variety of technical reasons which he cites, the U.S. has no capability to detect and track the kinds of hypersonic vehicles that Russia and China are developing, because the U.S. strategic defense architecture is oriented towards ballistic missiles and their warheads, not towards hypersonic vehicles which have entirely different characteristics.