DONALD TRUMP’S administration has reportedly developed a deadly new long-range hypersonic missile which could be a game-changer in the ongoing arms race with Russia and China.
By KUMAIL JAFFERViking Cruises ship crashes into tanker off coast of Netherland
The US President may still be on a golfing trip, but back home a key weapons developer is set to release a new hypersonic missile which could counter Russia’s efficient S-400 systems. The Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) was announced this week after the group had worked closely with the US Army to develop the technology. It is set to be a huge upgrade on the Tomahawk cruise missiles used on Syria last year.
According to a document detailing the weapon seen by Defense Blog, the mobility of the LRHW is part of a wider strategy to expand and modernise US military technology.
It reads: “It will bring online a new class of ultra-fast, manoeuvrable, long-range missiles to neutralise enemy defensive weapons with rockets launched from trucks with Transporter Erector Launchers.”
According to the report, it will travel faster than the speed of sound after being launched from ground and vehicle-mounted platforms.
Hypersonic missile: The leaked slide showing the specifications (Image: Defence Blog)
Otherwise, the projectile is a standard prototype ballistic missile encased in a canister – but its size is a huge upgrade on its domestic rivals.
While the Tomahawk missiles have a diameter of just 20 inches, the LRHW figure sits at a mammoth 34.5 inches, increasing the speed and power of the weapon.
A Common Hypersonic Glide Body (CHGB) will sit atop the missile, which adds another strategic element to the LRHW.
Hypersonic missile: A Tomahawk missile in action (Image: GETTY)
Analyst Michael Peck told National Interest: “It is a boost-glide weapon, lofted high into the atmosphere by the missile, and then gliding down at high speeds.
“Unlike an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile’s warheads, which descends on a fixed trajectory, these gliders have small wings to manoeuvre at high speeds within the atmosphere (presumably without burning up) before they hit the target.”
The CHGB will be used for the US Army, Navy and Air Force as the US looks to step up its military might.
The Pentagon put aside $50million just this year for the development of a truck-mounted launcher – but the overall build will cost around $1.2billion.