The announcement comes amid reports that the Russians are a step ahead with its hypersonic missile.
DESPARDES News Monitor (Updated) — The U.S. Army announced it will test a hypersonic weapon in 2020.
In addition to the hypersonic weapon, the US Army plans to field combat vehicles with 50-kilowatt lasers on them sometime in 2022, Pentagon officials told reporters on June 4.
The hypersonic weapon — the term denotes a speed many times that of sound but typically it refers to Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound or higher.
While the weapon will be produced and tested by the Army, it will also be used by the US Air Force and Navy. It is part of a $1.2 billion program to be spent by 2024 on experimental prototyping of the weapon.
The program lays the groundwork for a new triad of conventional hypersonic strike weapons to arm the American military services with a common hypersonic glide body, equipped with rockets tailored to launch from specific platforms. It would comprise a new class of maneuverable weapons across the U.S. military, officials say.
Essentially an exceedingly fast missile fired from a cannon, it could potentially strike enemy targets thousands of miles away.
The announcement comes amid reports that Russia is a step ahead with its hypersonic missile.
President Vladimir Putin in December hailed final tests of a hypersonic missile, which he earlier said would render existing missile defense systems obsolete.
“On my instructions, the Ministry of Defense prepared and conducted a final test of this system. This has just been completed with absolute success,” Putin said during a televised meeting with members of the government.
“Russia has a new type of strategic weapon,” he said, adding that the intercontinental “Avangard” system would be ready for use from 2019.
According to a defense expert, the US has lost the race. “There is not a single Defense technology/ weapon system invented by the US industry in 21st century. All current weapon were developed in 70s, 80s and 90s. Same are being tweaked through modernization to keep up.”
The 21st century will be led by the Chinese and not the Americans or the Russians, he added. “The US knows it that is why they have adopted the tactics of trying to stop Chinese through current trade/ economic standoff. But it’s late, critical moment has been passed,”