Special to WorldTribune.com
China and Russia are winning the race in the development of “game-changing” hypersonic weapons, making the U.S. vulnerable to a future attack, according to a U.S. Air Force study.
The unclassified summary of the report, “A Threat to America’s Global Vigilance, Reach, and Power: High-Speed, Maneuvering Weapons,” was produced by a blue-ribbon panel of experts for Air Force Studies Board at the National Academies of Science. The summary was made public last month.
The panel said it was unable to find “any formal strategic operational concept or organizational sense of urgency” regarding hypersonic weapons, and faulted what the report called a “lack of leadership coordination” at the Pentagon in seeking countermeasures.
Hypersonic missiles are ultra-high speed weapons that travel along the edge of the earth’s atmosphere at speeds above Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. The missiles also can maneuver to avoid current missile defenses — which were developed to hit ballistic missiles with predictable flight paths.