The head of the US Strategic Command affirms that this capability will have an immediate impact “on operational plans, by deterring and keeping adversaries at risk.”
The head of the US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), Anthony Cotton, stated this Wednesday, during a hearing of the strategic forces subcommittee of the House of Representatives, that the institution in charge will prioritize the development and deployment of long-range hypersonic weapons.
Cotton assured that this type of weapon, which consists of missiles capable of traveling up to at least five times the speed of soundwill have an immediate impact “on operational plans, by deterring and keeping adversaries at risk,” while providing “the nation with credible, strategic, non-nuclear response options when faced with armed conflict.”
He also explained that they plan to implement a battery of long-range supersonic weapons by the end of this year, which will become the first offensive supersonic attack system of the US Armed Forces.
The senior military official stated that they will guarantee that these weapons are ready to be used on “the first day of deployment”, since this equipment will directly contribute to fulfilling “the strategic deterrence and global attack responsibilities assigned” in the Command Plan Unified USSTRATCOM.
The US Congressional Research Service. explained that the long-range hypersonic weapon, which is a joint US Army-Navy project, consists of a missile propelled from a mobile ground-launched system.
In addition, he specified that it will have a range of 2,776 kilometers and will be able to fly at a speed of 6,116 kilometers per hour. These projectiles can reach the top of the Earth’s atmosphere, allowing them to stay out of range of air defense and anti-missile systems until the moment of attack.
The first test of this supersonic missile had place in 2010. However, the project was stopped. The US Army subsequently restarted the supersonic weapons program in 2018. Three tests of such missiles have been conducted since 2020.