Hypersonic missiles – US falls behind China, Russia

The US is unlikely to meet its deadline of having combat-ready hypersonic weapons by the end of September after three consecutive failed tests, while both Russia and China have completed successful tests, experts say.

That seems increasingly unlikely given that the Pentagon and the weapon’s developer, Lockheed Martin, would have to complete two successful tests of the missile’s booster motor by June 30 in order to stay on schedule.

Development is now expected to cost nearly triple the amount than expected before the weapon is found to have ‘early operational capability.’ Fielding of these weapons that travel multiple times faster than the sound of speed and have unpredictable flight paths makes them harder to shoot down, are being rushed as turmoil in Ukraine flares up.

While there are still technical and engineering challenges surrounding ARRW’s development ahead of being combat-ready, the US is lagging behind its international competitors in the procurement of hypersonic weapons. 


Back to top button