Reference News Network reported Jan. 22 that Mike Pecks Title Gliding Destroyer of DARPA: Supersonic Missile Killer was published on Jan. 20 on the bimonthly website of National Interest. Its reported in the magazine.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the United States calls it anti-hypersonic weapons.
The rest of us call it a means, or a desire, to prevent a nuclear warhead from falling on us at 20 times the speed of sound, the report said.
DARPA, the Pentagons most important research institute, hopes to develop an interceptor capable of intercepting hypersonic weapons (flying faster than Mach 5). The agency has begun to seek advice on glider saboteurs, a project aimed at intercepting booster glider vehicles, weapons that fly into the atmosphere with ballistic missiles and then glide to the ground. Currently known such weapons include Russias vanguard hypersonic missiles, which President Putin said could not be blocked by traditional anti-missile defense systems in service. But China and the United States are also developing hypersonic boost gliding vehicles.
DARPA seeks to develop and demonstrate an important technology that allows advanced interceptor missiles to pose a threat to hypersonic maneuvering in the upper atmosphere. The United States is eager to acquire the technology: Gliding Destroyer is expected to be tested in 2020. Meanwhile, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, the Pentagons body responsible for intercepting ballistic missiles, has plans to develop hypersonic weapons defense.
Reported that the United States is so urgent for a reason. Hypersonic weapons may break through the missile defense system of the United States or the defense of American carriers. More worrying is the possibility that they could install conventional warheads to destroy high-value targets - especially intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in fixed silos, which were once considered beyond the use of nuclear weapons.
DATA PICTURE: Video capture of Russian Pioneer hypersonic boost Gliding Missile reentry into the atmosphere.
DATA PICTURE: The U.S. Army has refitted 747 passenger aircraft and installed chemical laser gun anti-missile, but the project has been terminated and the prototype has been demolished. (Pictures come from the Internet)
It is not easy to shoot down ballistic missiles, but even more difficult to shoot down boost gliding vehicles (also known as hypersonic gliding vehicles, or HGV).
It is reported that intercepting ballistic missiles with anti-missile missiles is like hitting neutron bombs with bullets. Imagine what would happen if the bullet took evasive action.
In other words, anti-hypersonic weapons need to face all the difficulties of intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles with ballistic missile defense weapons. The most obvious challenge is the mobility of HGV, Rand Engineer George Nakuzi told reporters. Its very difficult to track and plan interception routes in terms of our current capabilities. Flight altitude is also a challenge to existing systems. For many intraatmospheric interceptors, the flight altitude of HGV is too high, while for long-range anti-missile surveillance radar, its flight altitude is too low to be detected and tracked early.
Reported that Nakuzi believes that there is a way to shoot down HGV, but this requires almost ubiquitous surveillance and tracking systems, as well as high-performance strategic interceptors, or directional energy weapons that may emerge in the future (such as high-energy laser weapons - Hon Note). The United States is studying these schemes for intercepting ballistic missiles, but they all have shortcomings: for example, high-energy laser weapons are vulnerable to adverse weather such as clouds, rain and fog (there is energy attenuation problem in the atmosphere; armed UAVs or fighter planes carrying anti-missile interceptors often hover around the launch site of rival missiles, which may lead to war.
DATA PICTURE: US SAD anti-missile system test-fired interceptor bomb. (Pictures come from the Internet)
James Akton, an arms control expert at the Carnegie Institute for International Peace, believes that, despite its speed, hypersonic weapons can be destroyed by certain ballistic missile defense systems, such as the U.S. Armys End High Altitude Regional Defense System (SAD). The problem is that Sad is a point-of-defense weapon, which can only protect a small area: the cost of using a defense system similar to Sad to cover the entire U.S. territory will be too high.
Therefore, in view of current technology, attempts to reliably intercept a large number of simultaneous launches of hypersonic gliding vehicles with a foolproof defense system seem doomed to failure, the report said.
However, the value of anti-hypersonic weapons may not lie in shooting down these deadly gliding vehicles.
DARPA may have pointed out the real value of anti-hypersonic systems in its Proposers Day announcement in July 2018. One of the most important roles is deterrence - the ability to create huge uncertainties by giving the enemy the expected probability of mission success and the scale of effective raids, the notice said.
The report said, please note the meaning of this sentence: the success of anti-hypersonic defense is not necessarily to destroy all upcoming boost gliding vehicles, but to make potential opponents uncertain which hypersonic vehicles can achieve their goals. This is equivalent to a bullet-proof suit that blocks only 50% of the bullets - but the attacker is uncertain whether the bullet aiming at an important location can hit the target.
This has been the basis of nuclear deterrence since the beginning of the cold war. Even if the first round of nuclear strikes could destroy most of the enemys nuclear missiles and bombers, the attacker could not be sure whether the remaining nuclear weapons of his opponent were enough to launch devastating retaliation.
The report says, however, that the fatal weakness of ballistic missile defense is that the cost of attackers producing large numbers of missiles and warheads is much lower than that of defenders producing interceptors. Whether the economics of hypersonic missile defense is the same remains to be seen.