China and Russia are developing manoeuvring hypersonic missiles that pose as new threat for the US.
Adm. Cecil D. Haney, Strategic Command’s (Stratcom) senior leader was quoted as saying during nuclear deterrence conference by Business Insider Thursday, “Nuclear and non-nuclear nations are prepared to employ cyber, counter-space, and asymmetric capabilities as options for achieving their objectives during crisis and conflict."
The hypersonic glide vehicles are complicating our sensing and defensive approaches, he added
The weapons capabilities are being proliferated by US adversaries and “are becoming increasingly mobile hardened, and underground, which is further compounded by a lack of transparency,” the admiral said.
Haney also said that the US is developing capabilities that can be used to counter hypersonic arms. “As I look at that threat, clearly the mobility, the flight profile, those kinds of things are things we have to keep in mind and be able to address across that full kill chain,” he added.
“Kill chain” is military jargon for the process used to find targets, gauge location and speed, communicate data to weapons used to strike the target, and then launch an attack.
China has conducted four flight tests of a 7,000 mile-per-hour maneuvering strike vehicle, and Russia is developing high-speed weapons and reportedly tested a hypersonic weapon in February.
Hypersonic weapons are ultra-high speed weapons launched atop missiles that accelerate to speeds of between Mach 5 and Mach 10—five and ten times the speed of sound.
The vehicles fly along the edge of space and can glide and maneuver to targets.