Trump was sending key message about US hypersonic capability with missile boast – expert

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Mr Trump raised eyebrows with his comment, made during a presentation at the White House on Friday to unveil the new Space Force flag. He said: “We’re building right now, incredible military equipment, at a level that nobody’s ever seen before, we have no choice we have to do it, with the adversaries we have out there.

“We have, I call it the ‘super duper missile’, and I heard the other night 17 times faster than what they have right now.

“Then you take the fastest missile we have right now.

“You heard Russia has five times, and China is working on five or six times, we have one 17 times, and it’s just gotten the go-ahead.”

Jonathan Rath Hoffman, the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson, subsequently tweeted: “The Department of Defense is working on developing a range of hypersonic missiles to counter our adversaries.”

Eugene Gholz, an adjunct scholar for the US-based Cato Institute’s Defense and Foreign Policy Department, told Express.co.uk it was important to remember Mr Trump was speaking “off-the-cuff”, as opposed to making an official policy announcement.

He added: “The bottom line is that the United States is working on advanced, high-speed missiles, and President Trump wants to make sure that everyone around the world knows that the United States is not planning to cede any military-technological lead and that the United States has tremendous innovative capabilities.

JUST IN: Kim Jong-un’s alive: London surgeon who made trip to North Korea

“I don’t think the details of a particular missile project are the key point – for Trump, for the American people, or as a message to potential American adversaries.”

Mr Gholz said missile technology was judged according to various criteria, from speed, accuracy and reliability and others, stressing what mattered was the ability to achieve a particular goal.

He added: “The United States military is certainly spending a lot of effort and money these days on speed.

DON’T MISS
World War 3 MAPPED: The SIX places where WW3 could break out in 2020 [ANALYSIS]
Iranian missile ‘mistakenly’ hits own ship killing 19 crewmen [FOCUS]
World War 3: Trump stokes fears of military campaign against Iran [SPOTLIGHT]

“Having faster missiles than competitors is a point of pride; having missiles that can execute particular missions is what the United States needs for its national security.

“I think the United States and President Trump value both pride and security.

“Perhaps this comment had more to say directly about pride, and it leaves listeners to infer what the high-speed missile projects might contribute to American security.”

It was a general message that the United States is paying attention, it’s capable, and President Trump is leading the effort with initiatives like the creation of the Space Force

Eugene Gholz

Speculating about Mr Trump’s intention, Mr Gholz said: “It was a general message that the United States is paying attention, it’s capable, and President Trump is leading the effort with initiatives like the creation of the Space Force.”

Hypersonic missiles are generally defined as those which exceed Mach 5 – that is, five times the speed of sound.

By contrast, most American missiles are supersonic, travelling at speeds ranging from Mach 1 to Mach 5.

Mr Trump’s remarks may also be an attempt to redress the balance somewhat, with Russian President Vladimir Putin having unveiled the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle in 2018, a weapon supposedly capable of travelling at speeds of up to Mach 27.

At the time, Mr Putin boasted that nations in the West and elsewhere were “playing catch-up with us”.

In December 2018, Russia said the weapon had hit a practice target 3,700 miles away in a test launch at Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Ural Mountains

Mr Putin said: “The Avangard is invulnerable to intercept by any existing and prospective missile defence means of the potential adversary.”

Source: Read Full Article