Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Pentagon Officials Acknowledge Uncertainty In Defending Against Hypersonic Missiles

Posted by M. C. on May 13, 2023

Not a confidence builder…And the acknowledged leader in Hypersonic Missiles has grown quite friendly of late with the acknowledged leader in Carrier Killer Missiles.

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Authored by John Haughey via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The United States Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking nearly $30 billion in its $680 billion Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) budget request for missile defeat and defense programs across all branches of the military.

Artist’s concept of the DARPA and Lockheed Martin Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC). (Courtesy of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)

Right now, the DOD is in a race to develop its own hypersonic missiles and engineer effective defenses against the high-velocity, maneuverable missiles being developed by Russia and, particularly, by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC).

During questioning by Senate Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chair Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) in a May 9 budget hearing, four flag officers said some existing systems have “capabilities” against hypersonic weapons but did not know for sure until they are tested against the evolving missile systems.

King was not happy. “It seems to me that we are spending a lot more money to developing hypersonic missiles than we are developing capabilities to defend against them,” he said.

King asked Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. Jon A. Hill if an aircraft carrier could be defended against a hypersonic missile attack.

“We have the capability to stop it in two places, in the boost-glide phase” and when the missile re-enters the atmosphere, Hill said, noting the Navy’s SM-6 missiles are “cruise missile killers” designed to track and kill fast-moving, maneuverable targets that can fly high and skim the surface. “It would be defeated by a destroyer defending a carrier.”

Noting Ukrainians claim they shot down a Russian hypersonic weapon last week with a Patriot anti-air missile provided by the U.S., Hill said the Patriot systems, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missiles (THAAD), and Aegis ballistic defense system all have “capability” demonstrated in tests against hypersonics.

THAAD operates on the edge of the atmosphere,” he said. “We haven’t tested it against hypersonic, but I’m willing to bet there are capacities that we can leverage there.

See the rest here

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