Sonic Boom. Not just a cool catch phrase howled by Guile from Street Fighter. The flat top rocking officer would punch so hard he would send a sonic wave of damage towards the enemy. Now we have a glimpse at the possibility of a new devastating weapon, the hypersonic weapons.
Unclassified documents have shown that $3 billion dollars have been spent researching these hypersonic weapons. That is just what the Department of Defense will let us know about. However, the number could be much higher. Why is this necessary? Plainly, because our competitors are doing the same. Russia and China are also in the race for weapons that break the sound barrier.
Holloman Air Base in New Mexico was the sight of some eye opening tests. Just last month, “experimental sleds were made to travel at Mach 8.6. That’s 6,599 miles per hour or one mile per second.”
Mark Lewis is the Pentagon’s director of defense research & engineering for modernization. He recently said:
“There has been a keen recognition we are indeed in a race in this area,” Lewis continued with, “And I can say with some frustration we kind of did the homework for the rest of the world. Hypersonics is an area that we essentially invented. We did the fundamental development, we did the research.”
These were an echo of earlier remarks by Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood. He stated:
“As we engage in a great power competition with near-peer competitors, these critical technologies must be harnessed, and harnessed in an acceptable timeframe, so our Soldiers can defeat any adversary on the battlefield.”
Hypersonic weapons: War evolves
If this is true, America has once again shown the rest of the world the future of war. Since dropping the first atomic weapon, America has desperately sought new inventive ways to destroy the enemy, without the fallout and long lasting consequences. These hypersonic weapons have the potential to change everything. The implications can range from targeting a single bunker, to destroying an entire naval carrier.
Tech company Raytheon has stated “It is our national imperative to counter the hypersonic threat posed by other countries.”
The Air Force has stated they will have an air-launched prototype by 2022. The Navy claims that a ship-launched version will come in 2023. Finally, a submarine-launched missile in the year of 2024.
Is this something we should be spending more money on? Sound of in the comments below!