Published On: Wed, Jun 19th, 2019

US in Arms Race to Develop ‘Instant Leader-Killers’ Missile

There is a global race to develop a new type of highly destructive missile that one former White House official called “instant leader-killers.”

The New York Times Magazine published a detailed report about hypersonic missiles, which travel at more than 15 times the speed of sound. The United States, Russia, and China are all working to develop the missile, which would have devastating effects if it is ever used.

The U.S. hypersonic missile in development will not carry a nuclear warhead and instead will be outfitted with conventional explosives. But the potential exists for other versions of the missiles, whether they are made in the U.S. or elsewhere, to carry nuclear warheads.

The weapon will have the ability to strike anywhere on the Earth in a short amount of time, which would maintain the element of surprise. Potential uses could include taking out other weapons on the ground, communications facilities, and even world leaders.

A former Obama administration official told the Times the missiles are akin to “instant leader-killers.”

The missiles being developed by several teams in the U.S. would have the ability to be launched from fighter jets and B-52 bombers. Some of the research is being conducted at a facility just north of Washington, D.C. in White Oak, Maryland.

The Times reported one of the U.S. hypersonic missile prototypes would fly in excess of 11,400 miles per hour. Russian and Chinese missiles in development could reach similar speeds.

It was reported this week, meanwhile, the U.S. conducted a successful flight-test of a hypersonic missile prototype fitted onto a B-52 bomber. The missile was not armed and was not released from the massive plane.

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Newsmax – Science and Technology

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US in Arms Race to Develop ‘Instant Leader-Killers’ Missile