“We stopped pursuing this technology many years ago when we had the advantage and now have to play the pursuit. The US Department of Defense is investing all possible resources to gain an advantage in the field of supersonic weapons. “Defense Secretary Mark Esper said yesterday in a defense forum at the Reagan Library in California.
The head of the Pentagon also expressed concern that Russia is developing new generation strategic weapons, capable of neutralizing current defenses.
The US military is trying to close the gap in the field of supersonic weapons with Russia and China. In a budget proposal for the next fiscal year published in March, the US Department of Defense requested $ 2.6 billion for the supersonic weapons development program.
The supersonic weapon has a speed of about 6,000-12,000 km / h, operating on the principle of exchanging extremely high cooldown speed of the warhead to increase the range and ability to penetrate enemy missile defense.
Russian President Vladimir Putin last year introduced Avangard, Russia’s first supersonic vehicle. Avangard acts as a warhead of intercontinental ballistic missiles, developed and tested by Russia since 2004, which can hit targets precisely over 10,000 km away.
Extremely high flight speed and small travel altitude can help Avangard avoid ground and space systems. The warhead is also maneuverable in flight, making it impossible for defenses to determine the trajectory to intercept.
The Russian Defense Ministry also introduced Avangard in November to the US military inspector in an attempt to make weapons transparent, but did not say how much the American expert group was approached and whether the system was operational. . Avangard’s supersonic weapons complex is likely to reach combat readiness this month.