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 place to start is by building a sensor constellation in low-earth orbit that can track the weapons throughout their flight. If you can’t track the weapons, effective defense will be nearly impossible. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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