Monday, February 29, 2016

Expect Operational Hypersonic Missiles By 2020

The X-51A Waverider prepares to launch its historic fourth and final flight. The cruiser achieved Mach 5.1 traveling 230 nautical miles in just over six minutes, making this test the longest air-breathing hypersonic flight ever. (U.S. Air Force photo/Bobbi Zapka)

Air Force Times: Hypersonic missiles could be operational in 2020s, general says

By 2020, the Air Force is likely to have operational prototypes ready for a program of record and testing to develop an operational unit, said Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello, the commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory.

By the 2030s, the technology could have expanded beyond delivering warheads at speeds faster than sound to also include hypersonic intelligence and reconnaissance flights, he said.

The Air Force, Masiello said is focusing on “deliberate, incremental progress towards maturing this technology.”

“We’re looking for more singles, base hits, versus trying to go for a home run,” he said.

Speaking at the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida., Masiello described the efforts the service is undertaking to develop engines that could travel at or above the widely accepted hypersonic range of Mach 5.

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Update: Hypersonic missiles will be operational in the 2020s and hypersonic spyplanes in the 2030s (The Next Big Future)

WNU Editor: I guess they are optimistic in being able to overcome the technical problems that thye have had in developing this technology.

1 comment:

Don Bacon said...

The US is far behind some other nations in hypersonic, which has been called "the new stealth" because these weapons come so damned fast that defensive actions are ineffective.