Kris Osborn, National Interest: The World's New Leader in Super Deadly Hypersonic Weapons: China?
The US wants to say in front of China with hypersonic weapons able to travel at five-times the speed of sound and destroy targets with a "kinetic energy" warhead.
The Air Force will likely have high-speed, long-range and deadly hypersonic weapons by the 2020s, providing kinetic energy destructive power able to travel thousands of miles toward enemy targets at five-times the speed of sound.
“Air speed makes them much more survivable and hard to shoot down. If you can put enough fuel in them that gets them a good long range. You are going roughly a mile a second so if you put in 1,000 seconds of fuel you can go 1,000 miles - so that gives you lots of standoff capability,” Air Force Chief Scientist Greg Zacharias told Scout Warrior in an interview.
While much progress has been made by Air Force and Pentagon scientists thus far, much work needs to be done before hypersonic air vehicles and weapons are technologically ready to be operational in combat circumstances.
“Right now we are focusing on technology maturation so all the bits and pieces, guidance, navigation control, material science, munitions, heat transfer and all that stuff,” Zacharias added.
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More News On China's Hypersonic Weapons Program
China reveals hypersonic scramjet developments and plans -- Next Big Future
China Plans to Test Hypersonic Scramjet Later This Year -- China Topix
China’s Hypersonic Glide Vehicle and Scramjet Programs are Behind Schedule -- Telegiz
First of Its Type: China to Test Next-Generation Hypersonic Engine -- Sputnik