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US can’t stop with hypersonic weapons, Air Force General says

Russia Kinzhal super-fast rocket flies during a test in the south of Russia on March 11, 2018, shown in this image made from images taken from the Russian Ministry of Defence. The Russian army says that performing a successful test of the Kinzhal missile. Credit: Russian Ministry of Defense Press Service /AP

Missiles that spitting nuclear warheads to travel up to 20 times the speed of sound and with the ability to perform elusive acrobatics may be too much for the AMERICAN defense to block.

That is, according to the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, who testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday (20 March).

When asked by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., what kind of defence of the USA against hypersonic weapons, Hyten replied: “We have a very difficult it is, our defense is our deterrent capability. We have no defense that can deny the fact that the employment of such a weapon against us, so our response would be our deterrent, that would be the triad and the nuclear capabilities we have to respond to such a threat,” Military.com reported. [7 Technologies That Transformed Warfare]

Hyten is a reference to the triad of intercontinental ballistic missiles (icbms), submarine launched ballistic missiles and strategic bombers, are bomber, designed to fly into enemy territory and destroy strategic objectives. Ballistic missiles, both under the ground, hidden and secret submarines, travel great distances at whirring speeds.

But weapons that can travel well above the speed of sound looks like a real threat, such as Russia and China are “aggressively pursuing” hypersonic weapons, Hyten also said, as reported by CNBC.

On 1 March, during an annual address of Russian president Vladimir Putin announced a new class of weapon delivery systems that are designed to evade the NATO-ballistic missile defence. Speaking on Russian tv, Putin indicated the country was the construction of a new high-speed missile and a cruise missile with the “unlimited” that could prevent opponents’ detection technologies.

This nuclear-powered cruise missile can travel unlimited distances, and, unlike ballistic missiles, can cruise low to the ground where it would be obscured by other objects — which means that it could evade radar detection, Live Science reported earlier.

“In theory, a cruise missile with a nuclear bomb could slip under the American defence and detection systems, and explode before the Americans could mobilize a response,” Live Science reported. [Can the US Stop them with Nuclear Weapons?]

Modern technology available today would not be able to stop such an attack, nor could he defend himself against missiles-deploy nuclear warheads at hypersonic speeds, Philip Coyle, a nuclear weapons expert, previously told the Science Rafi Letzter.

Even so, Gene. Hyten sure the senate committee that the AMERICAN defense to be prepared for such a battle. “The first and most important message I want to deliver today is that the forces under my command are fully ready to deter our adversaries, and to respond decisively should deterrence ever fail. We are ready for all threats,” Hyten said in his opening remarks, according to a Ministry of Defence statement.

Other generals have suggested addition of the AMERICAN defence arsenal with low-yield nukes, or that pack less power. In addition, the space-based detection systems can theoretically detect and track super-fast missile threats, Lt.-Gen. Samuel Greaves, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said on March 6, according to Military.com.

“To maintain military superiority in this multi-polar, all-domain world, we must out-think, out-maneuver, partner-and out-innovate our opponents,” Hyten said. “Deterrence in the 21st century requires the integration of all our capabilities, in all areas, enabling us to respond to the opponent’s aggression at any time, anywhere.”

Just this week, President Donald Trump said the U.S. needs a “space force,” Live Science’s sister site Space.com reported.

Originally published on Live Science.

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