Warfare Evolved: Hypersonic Missiles

cc Flickr Naval Surface Warriors, modified, PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 18, 2018) A Tomahawk cruise missile launches from the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86) during a live fire exercise, part of Valiant Shield ’18 in the Pacific Ocean Sept. 18, 2018. Valiant Shield is a U.S. only, biennial field training exercise (FTX) with a focus on integration of joint training in a blue-water environment among U.S. forces. This training enable real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Collins III)


Hypersonic missiles are a new category of weapons which have sparked intense debate among security experts. Capable of travelling over five times the speed of sound (Mach 5), and of performing evasive maneuvers mid-flight, they are considered practically impossible to intercept using conventional missile defence systems. Adding that in some cases they can carry nuclear warheads, it is immediately clear why they have caused so much concern in regard to their impact on the global strategic equilibrium. The world’s leading military powers (the United States, China, and Russia) and other states are working on their development. Even though their specific technical characteristics and actual performance remain shrouded in secrecy, hypersonic weapons are poised to become an integral part of future warfare, with noteworthy implications in military and international terms.


Back to Top


Lost your password?