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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pentagon goes hypersonic with long-range rapid attack weapon -- By Bill Gertz, The Washington Times

An experimental scramjet-powered, ultrahigh speed strike vehicle is emerging as the Pentagon's main choice for a new long-range, rapid attack weapon, a senior Pentagon official says.

Alan R. Shaffer, principal deputy assistant defense secretary for research and engineering, told a defense industry conference that prototypes and recent tests proved concepts for hypersonic arms, and several systems are part of a high-priority effort by Pentagon weapons developers, despite the era of sharply-diminished defense spending.

Hypersonic vehicles can deliver nuclear or conventional payloads in precision strikes against increasingly hard-to-penetrate air defenses of countries like China, Russia and Iran, he said.

"We, the U.S., do not want to be the second country to understand how to have controlled scramjet hypersonics," Mr. Shaffer told the Precision Strike Association's annual review on Tuesday.

The comments come 2 1/2 months after China's surprise Jan. 9 test of a new hypersonic glide vehicle, dubbed the Wu-14. That ultrahigh speed maneuvering vehicle test represents a major challenge for current U.S. missile defenses, which are designed to counter non-maneuvering ballistic missile threats.

Lee Fuell, a technical intelligence specialist with the Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center, told a congressional China commission hearing Jan. 31 that China's hypersonic glide vehicle is a ballistic missile-launched system that glides and maneuvers to its target at speeds up to Mach 10 (about 7,611 mph).

"At this point, we think that's associated with their nuclear deterrent forces," said Mr. Fuell, who noted the Chinese could use the system with conventional warheads for long-range precision strikes.

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