During the decades of the Cold War there were numerous arms races between the United States and the Soviet Union. First, in the 1940s, was the race to develop nuclear weapons. In the 1950s and 1960s the two superpowers raced to see who could be first to deploy jet bombers and land- and sea-based ballistic missiles that could carry nuclear warheads. Now a new arms race has begun. This is the race to build and put in the field super-fast or hypersonic weapons. A hypersonic weapon as one that travels at least Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. Senior U.S. defense officials have publicly stated that Russia and China are ahead of us in this new arms race. The U.S. has yet to deploy a single hypersonic weapon. The Department of Defense is spending billions not only to develop its own hypersonic weapons as fast as possible but also the sensors and defenses with which to defeat them. I have written more on this subject here.
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