Russia and China are testing weapons that can fly several times faster than the speed of sound — in other words, over a mile per second. In addition to their extreme velocity, these “hypersonic” weapons fly below sensor horizons, are maneuverable, and may even be invisible to radar. All of which makes them devilishly difficult to track and intercept. But if effective defensive measures can’t be devised, America’s vast investment in current strategic systems will be largely negated, and the survivability of forward-deployed forces will be doubtful.
The views and opinions expressed in this issue brief are those of the author.
|Loren B. Thompson is a Senior Adviser at GPI, Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit Lexington Institute and Chief Executive Officer of Source Associates, a for-profit consultancy. Prior to holding his present positions, he was Deputy Director of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and taught graduate-level courses in strategy, technology and media affairs at Georgetown. He has also taught at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Thompson holds doctoral and masters degrees in government from Georgetown University and a bachelor of science degree in political science from Northeastern University.