US presses ahead with development of hypersonic weapons

Scout Warrior:
The US wants to stay in front of China with hypersonic weapons able to travel at five-times the speed of sound and destroy targets with a "kinetic energy" warhead.

The Air Force is aggressively accelerating its hypersonic weapons development effort, following findings from a recent service report identifying Russian and Chinese ongoing hypersonic weapons testing.

A recent Air Force Studies Board report identified that the U.S. is not alone in its quest for this increased speed, an Air Force statement said.

The statement went on to say that China and Russia are already flight testing hypersonic weapons, and several other countries have shown interest in pursuing many of the underlying technologies for hypersonic flight.

“We must push the boundaries of technology in every area," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein said in a statement. "Our adversaries aren’t standing still. They are looking for every advantage they can get.” (Air Force Story HERE)

While expressing growing concern about Russian and Chinese hypersonic weapons progress, US developers have been progressing with hypersonic flight and hypersonic weapons possibilities for several years.

Describing the trajectory of hypersonic technology in terms of “stair steps,” Air Force Chief Scientist Geoffrey Zacharias said incremental progress will require decades of continued technological development.
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There is more.

The US does not expect to have an unmanned version before 2030 with possible drones by 2040.  While they will need new technology, they also have to deal with the physics of the craft at that speed and that will probably be the biggest challenge.

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