Lockheed Martin, the defense company behind the F-35A Lightning II, won a $928 million contract to develop a hypersonic missile for the US Air Force that will travel more than five times faster than the speed of sound.
The new weapons will be developed with the aim at overcoming Russian and Chinese missile defense systems.
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the hypersonic weapons race and if the US military should even get involved in building such weapons.
Via Zerohedge (https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-08/lockheed-martin-awarded-929-million-contract-hypersonic-weapon-counter-russia-china)…
According to Lockheed Martin, under the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, the company will design and manufacture the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW), a new air-launched weapon system. The missile will be capable of speeds higher than Mach five and could render Russian and Chinese ballistic missile defense interceptors useless.
Lockheed Martin will be strategically working with the U.S. Air Force to “finalize system requirements under the contract’s initial task order,” the press release stated.
“This is the first phase of a development program, with future phases progressing through design, flight test, initial production and deployment of the weapon system at early operational capability. The contract ceiling through early operational capability is $928 million.”
“Our goal is rapid development and fielding of the HCSW system, and this contract is the first step in achieving that goal,” said John Snyder, vice president of Air Force Strategic Programs at Lockheed Martin.
Air Force General John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command said, “both Russia and China are aggressively pursuing hypersonic capabilities. We have watched them test those capabilities.”
“I think we have stability with Russia on the nuclear side,” he added. “We have an advantage with China on the nuclear side. But they are gaining ground quickly, especially when you look at space and cyber.”
Earlier this year Russia test-fired a high-precision Kinzhal (Dagger) hypersonic missile from a MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jet. The Russian Ministry of Defence declared: “The launch went according to plan, the hypersonic missile hit its target,” releasing exclusive video showing the hypersonic missile air launch from the underbelly of the MiG-31.
Экипаж истребителя МиГ-31 Воздушно-космических сил #ВКС выполнил практический учебно-боевой пуск гиперзвуковой ракеты высокоточного авиационного ракетного комплекса #Кинжал в заданном районе. Пуск прошел штатно, гиперзвуковая ракета поразила заданную цель на полигоне pic.twitter.com/xLguUwGrQW
— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) March 10, 2018
In late 2017, China conducted several tests of a hypersonic glide vehicle that could be used to defeat U.S. missile defense systems.
China just showed its hypersonic-BGV in a vid on 08 Oct. Probably a test design model, but AFAIK this is first pics of an actual object 1/ pic.twitter.com/EXIMHkXTEA
— Raymond Wang (@soraywang) November 5, 2017