Alliance between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States to develop hypersonic missiles
The United States, United Kingdom and Australia have announced that they will work together through the recently created security alliance known as AUKUS to develop hypersonic missiles.
The leaders said in a joint statement that they “commit today to begin new trilateral cooperation on hypersonic and counter-hypersonic and electronic warfare capabilities, as well as to expand information sharing and deepen defense innovation cooperation”.
The United States, Russia and China have all sought to further develop hypersonic missiles – a system so fast it cannot be intercepted by any current missile defense system.
In October, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed that China had conducted a test of a hypersonic weapon system as part of its aggressive efforts to advance space and military technologies. .
Milley described the Chinese test as “a very significant event in a test of a hypersonic weapon system, and that’s very concerning,” in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
Russia has used hypersonic missiles “several” times in Ukraine, according to the top US commander in Europe.
Last fall, as US intelligence officials grew increasingly concerned about the buildup of Russian forces on Ukraine’s border, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the country’s weapons manufacturers to develop even more hypersonic missiles. to maintain the country’s advantage in military technology.
The Russian military says its Avangard system is capable of flying 27 times faster than the speed of sound and performing sudden maneuvers on its way to a target to dodge enemy missile shields. It was fitted to existing Soviet-built intercontinental ballistic missiles instead of older type warheads, and the first armed unit of the Avangard entered service in December 2019.
The Kinzhal, carried by MiG-31 fighter jets, has a range of up to 2,000 kilometers (about 1,250 miles) and flies at 10 times the speed of sound, Russian officials say.
The Pentagon’s 2023 budget request already includes $4.7 billion for hypersonic weapons research and development. It includes planning for a deployed hypersonic missile battery by next year, a seaborne missile by 2025 and an air cruise missile by 2027.
Biden, Johnson and Morrison have touted the creation of AUKUS as a chance to strengthen shared defense capabilities. As a first major action, the alliance said it would help equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.
Associated Press writers Robert Burns and Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.