Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | June 19, 2020

Hypersonics Testing Accelerates

By xxxC. Todd Lopez DOD NEWS

WASHINGTON -- The March 19 test of a hypersonic glide body at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii is just the start for the Defense Department, the assistant director for hypersonics in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering said, and after ample flight testing, the department will move toward developing weapons from the concepts it's been testing.

"Over the next 12 months really what we will see is continued acceleration of the development of offensive hypersonic systems," Michael E. White said today during an online panel discussion hosted by Defense One.

Hypersonic weapons move faster than anything currently being used, giving adversaries far less time to react, and they provide a much harder target to counteract with interceptors. White said DOD is developing hypersonic weapons that can travel anywhere between Mach 5 and Mach 20.

The March test of the hypersonic glide body successfully demonstrated a capability to perform intermediate-range hypersonic boost, glide and strike, he said. That test, White added, begins a "very active flight test season" over the next year, and beyond, to take concepts now under development within the department and prove them with additional tests.

"A number of our programs across the portfolio will realize flight test demonstration over the next 12 months and then start the transition from weapon system concept development to actual weapon system development moving forward," he said.

Also part of the department's efforts is the defense against adversary use of hypersonic missile threats — and that may involve space, said Navy Vice Adm. Jon Hill, director of the Missile Defense Agency. Land-, silo- or air-launched hypersonic weapons all challenge the existing U.S. sensor architecture, Hill said, and so new sensors must come online.

"We have to work on sensor architecture," Hill said. "Because they do maneuver and they are global, you have to be able to track them worldwide and globally. It does drive you towards a space architecture, which is where we're going."

DOD is now working with the Space Development Agency on the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor to address tracking of hypersonics, the admiral said. That system is part of the larger national defense space architecture.

"As ballistic missiles increase in their complexity ... you're going to be able to look down from cold space onto that warm earth and be able to see those," he said. "As hypersonics come up and look ballistic initially, then turn into something else, you have to be able to track that and maintain track. In order for us to transition from indications and warning into a fire control solution, we have to have a firm track and you really can't handle the global maneuver problem without space."

Hill said the department already has had a prototype of such satellites in space for some time, and is collecting data from it. In the early 2020s, he added, additional satellites will also go up to demonstrate tracking ability.
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
304,503
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
70th Annual Operation Christmas Drop kicks off Dec. 6 in Guam
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 734th Air Mobility Squadron, 44th Aerial Port Squadron and the 374th Airlift Wing unload humanitarian supplies from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron, deployed from Yokota Air Base, Japan, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam in preparation for Operation Christmas Drop, Dec. 1, 2021. Over the course of 10 days, crews will airdrop donated food, supplies, educational materials, and tools to 55 islanders throughout the South-Eastern Pacific, including the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.
Dec. 2, 2021 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- U.S. and partner nation Airmen are set to participate in the Department of Defense’s longest running humanitarian assistance training mission out of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, beginning...

For Contingencies in Indo-Pacom, Army Will Serve as 'Linchpin' for Joint Force
U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 501st CBRNE CO (TE), 23rd CBRN BN, Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea, conducted slingload operations with a CH-47 Chinook during a training exercise at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex, Republic of Korea, March 25, 2021. 23rd CBRN BN conducted slingload operation training to certify service members on their abilities to aid in providing resources by air. .
Dec. 2, 2021 - WASHINGTON -- While the U.S. was involved for 20 years in the Middle East with conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the Chinese military studied how the U.S. military operates and also embarked on its own large-scale...

U.S. Army Chemical Company Keeps Combat Units in South Korea Ready to Fight Tonight
American Soldiers from 92nd Chemical Company integrated with Republic of Korea Army troops during a platoon static display and capabilities discussion.  The Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 92nd Chemical Company is supporting the Fort Bliss, Texas-based 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, as a part of a regular rotation of American combat forces to South Korea.
Dec. 2, 2021 - CAMP HOVEY, South Korea -- American Soldiers from the Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 92nd Chemical Company are helping to keep a rotational U.S. Army unit ready to fight and win on the Korean Peninsula.The company is deployed to...

RED HORSE Delivers Airlift Support Expansions to Yokota Air Base
Airmen from the 800th RED HORSE Group work fresh concrete into a new section of an aircraft parking spot, as part of an expansive flight line apron expansion project at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 10, 2021. Yokota’s flightline saw approximately 33,000 flights hit the pavement last year, and its role as an aircraft hub is being expanded to accommodate a greater contingency role in the Indo-Pacific region, investing $370 million in the past year to the effort.
Dec. 2, 2021 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The red baseball cap wearing 800th RED HORSE Group, or Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, have been seen at Yokota Air Base flightline construction sites...

U.S. Donates Nearly 200,000 Additional Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccines to Sri Lanka
U.S. donates nearly 200,000 additional Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to Sri Lanka
Dec. 2, 2021 - COLOMBO, U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka -- Nearly 200,000 additional Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses arrived in Sri Lanka today as a donation from the American people. This gift demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the United...