US To Develop Defense Measures Against Chinese, Russian Hypersonic Weapons

Donate

US To Develop Defense Measures Against Chinese, Russian Hypersonic Weapons

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) showcased a concept of its Glide Breaker project, aimed at defense from the growing threat of hypersonic weapons during the D-60 Symposium, which took place on September 5th – 7th.

As reported by the Drive, the Glide Breaker project will look into various “component technologies” needed for one or more defense systems but will focus heavily on a hard-kill interceptor to knock the fast-flying weapons out of the sky.

In July 2018, the agency’s Tactical Technology Office had previously hosted a gathering to explain the project and its requirements to interested parties. “The objective of the Glide Breaker program is to further the capability of the United States to defend against supersonic and the entire class of hypersonic threats,” DARPA said in an announcement for the July 2018 “Proposers Day.” “Of particular interest are component technologies that radically reduce risk for development and integration of an operational, hard-kill system.”

There is little other information about the program, DARPA did not request any funding for the project in its budget request for Fiscal Year 2019. It also didn’t ask for any funding for research and development of hypersonic defense systems broadly.

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) also has its own hypersonic defense project. It is yet unclear how and if DARPA’s project will be related to it. The MDA project includes plans for some sort of anti-hypersonic missile weapon system. Research and development on the MDA project are expected to cost more than $700 million and will run through at least 2023.

DARPA’s concept art also shows hard-kill, kinetic interceptors about to destroy unpowered, hypersonic boost-glide vehicles. However, the project’s stated goal of researching and developing technologies to defeat both high-supersonic and hypersonic threats suggests that such a system would only be one element of the research into a set of layered defenses that would work against both boost glide-type and air-breathing weapons.

As reported by the Drive, on the strategic side, senior US military officials, including Michael Griffin, the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, and U.S. Air Force General John Hyten, head of U.S. Strategic Command, have both been particularly strong advocates for expanding and improving space-based sensor networks and deploying space-based anti-missile systems.

Hyten has particularly emphasized on the importance of space-based sensors that can track hypersonic weapons. This follows an apparent shift in narrative from what was previously presented towards Russia and China’s hypersonic weapons projects.

Russia was initially mocked, its weapons projects the Kinzhal, Burevestnik, Avangard, the Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System (Poseidon), the RS-28 SARMAT and the Peresvet laser weapon were called exaggerated. However seeing the massive funding being brought into them, specifically into developing the hypersonic weapons, the US has evidently begun taking them seriously.

Discussions on how to counter the growing threat of hypersonic weapons to conventional ground and naval forces are just picking up pace.  Russia has begun fielding the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal, which an air-launched version of their Iskander quasi-ballistic missile, which can reach hypersonic speeds. China is in the process of developing an air-breathing hypersonic weapon that it could potentially use in a surface-to-surface or air-to-surface role.

On July 19th, videos were released showing tests of the Burevestnik – a coastal missile battery launched the cruise-missile out toward the ocean. According to the Interfax news agency, the Burevestnik test was intended to answer design questions before moving ahead in the project.

On March 1st, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his presidential address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow announced that testing of the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle is now complete. It was also announced that the weapon would enter mass production and will become operational in late 2018 or early 2019.

On July 19th, Russia successfully completed ejection tests of RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental-range ballistic missile (ICBM). The July 19 defense ministry announcement confirmed speculations that Russia conducted a third ejection test in May of this year. Prior to that, Russian missile engineers last conducted an ejection test of the RS-28 ICBM in March. One RS-28 will be able to carry three to five Avangard warheads, as reported by the Diplomat.

On July 24th, Popular Mechanics reported that the Poseidon had been sighted in tests at sea. Popular Mechanics also cited HI Sutton who claimed that Poseidon is the largest torpedo ever developed. According to the outlet, Poseidon is believed to be a second-strike weapon, ensuring that any country that stages a surprise nuclear attack on Russia is devastated in return.

On July 19th, the Russian Defense Ministry showed a video of the newest Peresvet combat laser system. The Defence Blog also cited ex-Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov who said that the “combat laser systems” Putin spoke of in March were in fact delivered to the country’s armed forces last year. “We can talk a lot about laser weapons and movies were made about them a long time ago and fantastic books have been written, and everyone knows about this. But the fact that these systems have started entering service is indeed today’s reality,” Borisov said in comments translated by the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.

As reported by the Drive, hypersonic weapons look set to offer a game-changing ability, both in tactical and strategic settings, with their ability to allow virtually no-notice strikes, and in the case of the Burevestnik to any target on the globe.

Glide Breaker’s main objective seems to be to find a way of countering these capabilities and deter any potential opponent from using a hypersonic weapons against the US. “A key figure of merit is deterrence: the ability to create large uncertainty for the adversary’s projected probability of mission success and effective raid size,” DARPA said in its Proposers Day notice.

There are also considerations of using ballistic missiles, which at their terminal phase of flight travel at hypersonic speeds. Undersecretary of Defense Griffin has already proposed deploying 1,000 anti-missile interceptors in space and has discussed concepts for destroying incoming ballistic missiles during their initial boost phase, when they most vulnerable, using satellites carrying directed energy weapons. He has said the interceptor constellation concept would cost $20 billion. He has, however, provided no details about the interceptors, how they would operate in space and how the US would position them to provide an effective shield.

As reported by Defense News, on July 16th, Michael Griffin, a former NASA administrator who is now the first-ever undersecretary of defense for research and engineering claimed that space-based defense won’t work. “A space-based hypersonic defense is not a practical approach, in my way of thinking. Even if you had space-based interceptors, it would be technically the wrong way to do it,” Griffin said, due to both the speed of the hypersonic missile and the fact it flies fairly low to the ground.

He also claimed that despite all the hype of Russia and China investing in hypersonic weapons, and especially in nuclear ones, Griffin made it clear that he believed that “we are, have been [and] will remain the world leader in this research area.”

The US could have gone down the path of pursuing more concrete systems, had it wished, Griffin said, but “we didn’t see a need for it. But our adversaries get a vote, and they voted. So we’re going to see their hand and raise them one, in both offensive and defensive capabilities.”

Griffin also said he intended to speed up the research and prototyping going into hypersonic weapons, saying there are “capabilities you’ll see maturing through the 2020s.”

“You’re going to see our testing pace stepping up, and you’re going to see capability delivery from the early ‘20s right through the decade,” he added.

Regarding China and Russia’s timeline, which do appear to be quite ahead, he said he was uncomfortable describing what they show as “operational” at this point, he did acknowledge that the tests and presentations had been notable. “How close they are to operational, I just don’t know. But I’m worried about our end of things,” he said.

Even earlier than that, on March 1st, US military officials downplayed Putin’s claims. “We’re not surprised,” chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White told reporters. “We’ve been watching Russia,” she said. “These weapons that are discussed have been in development for a very long time.”

“The American people should rest assured we are fully prepared,” White added.

It is apparent that the exaggerated Russian claims are now being taken seriously, the question is how can the US compete with Russia’s and China’s progress in hypersonic technology.

Donate

SouthFront

Do you like this content? Consider helping us!

  • telemetrie

    Russian boogeyman is always good for US military spending.
    On one hand little is known about the concept of antihypersonic weapons and even if they are possible, but on the other hand trillions of dollars printed out of the thin air are already allocated.

    Good luck Murrica with that approach. Especially when you are developing lemons like F35 and US economy is failing.

    • Carne João Pasta

      So the Western PTB aren’t as infallible and genius as they’d like everyone to think. Heh!

  • Merijn

    A Bit late U.S. a Nuclear War is just around the Corner… You wanted to Fight now Right? Go and develop some Fine Weaponry…. meanwhile Your Troops will be Obliterated in the upcoming War….so Good Luck!

  • Jesus

    More wishful thinking and dreaming necessitating large expenditures that will produce little.
    Using concepts for weapons for kinetic kills against hypersonic missiles flying unpredictable trajectories at Mach 20 is the byproduct of watching Star Treck and loosing touch with reality.

    • Nightcrawler136

      Just another Billion dollar R&D black hole!

      • Jesus

        Playing catch up to the Russians and Chinese hypersonic technologies, along with the gradual dedollarization is going to bankrupt US.
        What they are dreaming about will cost hundreds of billions, synonymous to the Star war defense ( Strategic Defense Initiative ) that produced very little.

        • Nightcrawler136

          Don’t forget Trump’s “Space Force” they need lots of R&D too!

          • Joao Alfaiate

            Don’t worry, the “Space Force” will never get by its first opponent, the USAF.

        • Carne João Pasta

          My how the roles have changed since the later years of the Cold War, huh?

          • Joao Alfaiate

            Far too many Portuguese posting here….

          • Carne João Pasta

            ha! I’m part Greek, some Latin roots. “Meet John Doe” just being goofy

      • Promitheas Apollonious

        you mean few trillions.

    • Carne João Pasta

      Only hope for them is if they can find a way to warp space. Not happening.

  • John Whitehot

    since they still haven’t finished development of the latest marks of the SM2 Standard (supposed to arm the “shield” around Russia and China), I don’t see how they can even start developing answers to hypersonic weapons.

    This is probably going to become even more costly than the F-35 and yield no result – exactly the way the Pentagon and MIC have duped US taxpayers since decades.

    • You can call me Al

      Now the want to create a hybrid of the F-35 and the F-22. A hybrid of 2 x expensive flops.

      A joke Nation, soon to commit suicide.

      • Jesus

        Of course, F22 is not being produced anymore and F35 is an utter POS.
        A hybrid would be an even more expensive POS and it will take years to materialize….the pitfalls of exotic technologies and stealth.
        Hopefully the hybrid can do better than 6.5 G, have a better thrust to weight ratio, better wing load, do at least Mach 2 and carry a meaningful weapon load……something that present day F35 fails miserably.

        • John Whitehot

          ideally, the “hybrid” would be nothing else than a US version of the SU-57, which is a real multirole “5th gen” fighter.

          but the announcement is basically another request for taxpayers money.

      • Ivan Freely

        Let’s not forget the latest super carrier and stealth destroyer, USS Ford and Zumwalt respectively, is also turning out to be lemons.

        • John Whitehot

          well, the Zumwalt has returned to port and does not appear to be ready to undertake any operational task in the near future.

        • You can call me Al

          Good point. I just feel for the the American people that believe all the BS.

      • Merijn

        Dutch Government Delivered Goodies to Headchoppers….Live on MSM… this is going to be a BIG thing in Holland…😂

        https://nos.nl/uitzending/36064-nieuwsuur.html

        Parliamentary inquiry…. and perhaps Criminal investigations by the Justice Departement…

        • John Whitehot

          I’ve read that Holland has stopped it’s contribution to moderate headchoppers in response, but you know how it is, things that get out the door often come back through the window..

          • Merijn

            The Justice Departement said that it was a Criminal Act to Support any of the Headchoppers on the International Terrorist Headchoppers-List…. Holland helped those…We will have to Release Terrorists from Prison because they worked for the Same Headchopper Organisations as were Sponsored by our Government… back through the Window? Are they asking for a Civil War?

        • You can call me Al

          Even my wife is talking about it a little – so it must be serious. Still need to try and persuade my Dad to wake up though. Hard work.

      • John Whitehot

        perhaps they will try driving a F-22 into the tailpipe of a F-35 and see if the result breeds a good enough hybrid.

        looking forward to the fake stealth fighter porn.

        • You can call me Al

          HAhahahahaha – lol – the new gay plane – “deformed, doesn’t fly but looks good”.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Unidentified sources close to the Pentagon have told me that the US anti-glide weapon will be based on a baseball and a large bat. President Trump is reported to have congratulated Raytheon Systems on their ‘Mega BillionDollar Budget’ for the ‘Powerful and really great ball ‘ project that will defend all Americans in the decades to come.

      The Raytheon Project is named :-
      Ballistic Attack Linear Super Universal Projectile.
      The NATO acronym is :- BALLSUP
      This is all very hush hush John so please consider this communication Top Secret and for your eyes only.

      Here is a top secret concept of the super weapon.

      http://cliparts.co/cliparts/Big/E8p/BigE8pprT.gif

      • John Whitehot

        xDDD

        You can count on my discretion.

        • FlorianGeyer

          I knew I could John.

          It would be an open invitation to MI5 to spray Channel No 5 on my knob if they got to know. :)

          Or even a visit from seal Team 6. Their survivors who have not died in training accidents in recent years.

  • Raptar Driver

    Like I have said before, Russia has only a small window before the unlimited spending of the American MIC catches up which is why I question the playing for time strategy by the Russians.

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      no much spending they do and they been doing this since they exist, still they can not get the most important ingredient for them to achieve, what so easily achieve in their hollywood movies.

      Brains……….. that they lack.

      • Raptar Driver

        This is true but when you have unlimited money then you can buy the brains eventually.

        • Promitheas Apollonious

          not that kind of brains. I been watching the decline of USA brains and what they can produce the last 40 years.

          • Raptar Driver

            Agreed, so have I but foreign work visas are all the rage, how do you think we gained the tech in the first place, using American brains? I think not.

        • FlorianGeyer

          Only those Americans with Shit for Brains :)

          • Raptar Driver

            Plenty of that here.

      • Carne João Pasta

        And more specifically, heart, inspiration, creativity, grace of God .

        • Tommy Jensen

          Precisely. Its because man can only get wiser if man build up his brain with universal truth.
          If man starts and continue to lie, he gets dumber and dumber every day.

          • Bobby Twoshoes

            Your mangled English is testament to that. Comic genius my arse…

          • Tommy Jensen

            Yeah man, me and Bobby Two-shoes.

    • John Whitehot

      not really.
      when the SCO has completed its economical plan the only thing unlimited the US will have will be debt.

      • Raptar Driver

        Well we already have the debt so until the rest of the world stops supporting our ability to spend as such it will be just a matter of time, hope the governments of the world understand this and of course our allies (vassals) do.

        • John Whitehot

          “and of course our allies (vassals) ”

          at some point the peoples of those countries will realize and vote accordingly – at that point, we’ll see how “democracy” will fare when confronted by financial power.

  • Wegan

    They talk as if this will take a few hours.

  • Ole Johansen

    Russia and China both know what occupied and being in war really means.

    United States has only sent their sons in exchange for the American dream that now a day seems to move towards a nightmare. So many millions and millions killed for Israel and industrial purposes.

    For this reason there is a huge difference in what kind of brains you can get working for the weapon industry.

    If your a “rocket scientist” and you work for the US/ NATO, you can be sure your weapons will be used to create more suffering, divided and ruined nations. Yes children and woman’s will be at the reviving end of you inventions. Does a intelligent person like that? Not as I see it.

    So as for both Russia and China, they can access and use their nations best brains, while the west will simply not get to engage them any longer.

    This is the MAIN reason Russia and China are doing better. Their “rocket scientists” works to protect their homeland, children and family, while their American and European works to maintain a war- machine that a proven and well known murderer.

  • Carol Davidek-Waller

    Good luck with that. With a track record that includes the F 35 that does everything but fly safely and a battleship that has to be towed back to port, repeatedly, I don’t think the Russians and Chinese are quaking in their boots..

  • 700 million??? its gonna cost late least 1.5 billion

    • John Whitehot

      the key is the words “more than” 700 millions.

      When pentagon agencies are involved, that could easily mean 700.000 millions, or 7 trillions, or 7000 fantastillions etc.

  • Oh GOODIE!
    That will add another $700B to their defense budget!

    They’re already paying more than a billion dollars a day (before breakfast) to service the interest on that national debt so bring it on! more More MORE! The higher it climbs, the harder they’ll fall.

  • Sinbad2

    They will be ready in 2050, and it will only cost $20 trillion.

    • Carne João Pasta

      By that time Russia will already be rolling out their next advanced missiles.

  • Tommy Jensen

    In only 6 month the United States developed an anti-missile defence system which made Russia´s and China´s hypersonic flip-flap weapons obsolite.
    Come again guys when you have grown up. You must wake up earlier in the morning if you wanna attack the United States on its own soil and our Allies because of your envy on our freedom values.

    • John Whitehot

      “You must wake up earlier in the morning”

      actually, perhaps you should get more sleep time, 24 hrs a day would be enough.

  • John Mason

    Be a lot simpler and far easier if the US shakes hands, becomes peaceful and stops its’ aggression globally then there won’t be any need to seek suicide, that will be the end result if they continue down the same path.

    • Bobby Twoshoes

      Peace would destroy America, their economy, identity and philosophy are all totally reliant on selling, having and using weapons.

  • Bobby Twoshoes

    “…the exaggerated Russian claims…” Odd way to end an article detailing how seriously the Yanks actually take the Russian “claims” (though “announcements” would be a less dismissive word and more accurate as well).

  • DARPA! Someone hopes to reap the results on the amount invested? What a nonsense! After so many a year of the intensive brainwashing of American population, DARPA can come with nothing else but cheese smiles, beards and tattoos.