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By Greg Holt
In the past, the United States has pretty much always had the advantage. The best and the biggest of nuclear arms belonged to the U.S. Not anymore according to reports.
(True Conservative Pundit)
From The New York Times:
“American officials said Friday they have little doubt that the Russians have a working hypersonic weapon — which sits on top of a modified missile and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead at speeds faster than 3,800 miles per hour.”
Actually, the speed these hypersonic missiles can fly at is actually much higher than many articles are reporting. According to Lieutenant Andrea Howard, U.S. Navy:
“on 26 December 2018, Moscow achieved what Putin deemed the pinnacle with the successful test of the Avangard (“vanguard”) HGV at Mach 20”
Mach 20 is over 15,000 miles per hour (mph). To put that into proper perspective:
15,000 mph is equal to about 22,328 feet per second. At 5280 feet per mile, Russia’s Avangard missile can travel further than 4 miles in one second.
The distance between Moscow and New York City is about 4,668 miles. That’s about 1,167 seconds at Mach 20 – so a Russian nuclear missile could hit the U.S. East coast in less than 20 minutes. This missile can reach anywhere in the world in about one hour.
The worst part of this? The United States does not have this technology perfected yet.
Or maybe the worst part is that these hypersonic missiles are capable of inflight maneuvering, where as conventional ballistic missiles are not. Meaning that hypersonic missiles can evade radar, and would be extremely difficult to shoot down.
China is also working on these types of weapons:
“China, too, is working on hypersonic technologies. Between 2014 and 2016 at the Wuzhai missile test center, China conducted at least seven tests of the DF-ZF glider (designated WU-14 by the Pentagon) at speeds and ranges up to Mach 10 and 1,250 miles respectively.”
With so many nations (Russia, China, India) working on hypersonic missile technology, maybe this is the reason behind President Trump’s refusal to thus far commit to resigning the New START treaty with Russia as Trump wants other nuclear countries to be included in this treaty as well.
The U.S. is developing hypersonic weapons and as usual is going for accuracy. Near-zero-miss is the standard in U.S. weapons systems. The U.S. is also working on a submarine launched hypersonic missile system, and with near-zero-miss accuracy, this would give the U.S. a distinct advantage in the nuclear theater once again.
Another advantage the U.S. is pursuing is the creation and development of hypersonic aircraft. Hypersonic aircraft would be like stealth bombers on steroids. The U.S. has in fact already tested one such aircraft for sure. According to Space.com, an unmanned aircraft, the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) achieved Mach 20 before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean back in 2011.
Lockheed Martin is currently working on an aircraft that would be able to cruise at Mach 6, or just over 4,600 mph – dubbed the SR-72 after it’s famous predecessor, the SR-71 Blackbird. The SR-71 simply outran any missiles fired at it when on reconnaissance missions. The SR-72 may also be utilized as a bomber according to The National Interest.
The U.S. may be temporarily behind the eight ball, but we are by no means out of the race, and likely will in time dominate the playing field once again.
The Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird (trainer)
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