Washington, D.C. - Carrier strike groups, mechanized armored columns of ground vehicles and sensitive ground sites can all be destroyed in a matter of several minutes by fast, maneuverable hypersonic weapons traveling at five-times the speed of sound. Now - the Pentagon wants to stop them with new space sensor layer technology designed to give U.S. commanders a chance to knock hypersonic missiles straight out of the sky. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency is now entering Phase IIa of an emerging sensor technology specifically engineered to establish a continuous "track" on approaching hypersonic missiles. It's called Hypersonic Ballistic Missile Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS). "HBTSS will become a primary part of a hybrid tracking layer within the National Defense Space Architecture, which consists of systems in different orbits that provide the capability to detect and track both conventional ballistic missiles and emerging threats," Missile Defense Agency spokeswoman Maria Njoku, told Warrior in a statement.
Russia's Kinzhal hypersonic missile flies during a test in southern Russia on March 11, 2018, shown in this image made from footage taken from the Russian Defense Ministry. The Russian military says it has run a successful test of the Kinzhal missile. Missiles that spit out warheads traveling up to 20 times the speed of sound and with the ability to perform elusive acrobatics may be too much for U.S. defenses to block. That's according to the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, who testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday (March 20). When asked by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., what kind of defenses the U.S. has against hypersonic weapons, Hyten replied: "We have a very difficult -- well, our defense is our deterrent capability.
Russia's hypersonic Zircon missile is expected to go into production in 2018, Tass news agency reported Tuesday, citing an unidentified source. The report comes after Russia began testing the missiles last month. "State tests of Zircon are scheduled for completion in 2017 in accordance with the contract, and the missile's serial production is planned to be launched next year," the source told Tass. Russia's nuclear-powered missile cruisers Admiral Nakhimov and Pyotr Veliky will be installed with the Zircon missiles, another source told Tass. Pyotr Veliky will reportedly be upgraded in 2018, while Admiral Nakhimov is being refitted and is expected to join the Russian navy the same year.
Chinese state media has revealed the country's first ever images of a model of its hypersonic glide vehicle, a nuclear weapons expert has claimed. The secretive missile delivery craft, known as the DF-ZF, could travel at up to ten times the speed of sound (7,680 mph/12,360 kph) according to some estimates. Its speed will ensure the country's nuclear threat can reliably breach the United States' ballistic missile defence shield, which fires incoming strikes out of the air. The model was briefly shown during a State-run TV special covering the country's JF-12 hypersonic wind tunnel. The innovative setup is the largest of its kind in the world and is capable of testing missiles and aircraft up to 6,900mph (11,100kph).
A top nuclear commander warned that the US should add more nuclear weapons to its arsenal because Russia and China are actively developing a new high-speed hypersonic weapon. US Air Force general John Hyten, commander of the US Strategic Command, said Tuesday that Russia and China are'aggressively pursuing' hypersonic weapons, a type of nuclear missile that flies a a very high speed. According to Hyten, the US doesn't have any type of nuclear weapon that can defend against a hypersonic missile so he suggests the country get to work. Hyten said both Russia and China are'aggressively pursuing' hypersonic nuclear weapons, which can travel faster than the speed of sound. 'We don't have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us,' he told the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to CNBC.