U.S. military arms its submarines with new ‘low-yield’ nuclear warheads
|SECNAV Modly Wants Navy ‘All Ahead Full’ on Hypersonic Weapons in 2020|
Ben Warner | USNI News
The Navy will focus in 2020 on developing hypersonic weapons at breakneck speed, with testing to occur throughout the year, Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said Friday in a message to the fleet. Modly’s memo, SECNAV Vectors 9, likens the need to develop hypersonic weapons today to 1957, when the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik. The U.S. scrambled to respond to the new reality: the Soviet Union was in space, and the U.S. was not. “The bottom line is that our Navy and Marine Corps team will need to move forward together, reaping the keen intellects and experiences of everyone onboard today in order to fully leverage the full potential of these new weapons in the future,” Modly wrote. Two years ago, Russia claimed to have already deployed hypersonic missile systems in the south of the country, according to media reports of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s March 2018 State of Russia address. The Navy is leading the current U.S. military effort to develop hypersonic weapons. This spring, Modly said, the Navy plans to demonstrate the Navy-designed Hypersonic Glide Body. Hypersonic launcher testing will occur throughout the year.
|US Military Invests in New Weapon to Defeat Hypersonic Missiles as Russia Upgrades its Arsenal|
Tom O’Connor | Newsweek
The United States has contracted a leading defense manufacturer to develop a new weapon capable of thwarting hypersonic missiles such as those Russia just added to its own growing arsenal of weapons it claims are too fast to be fought. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman a $13 million contract Tuesday for work on its Glide Breaker program. The program is described by DARPA as having begun in 2018 “to develop and demonstrate technologies to enable defense against hypersonic systems” and the Pentagon said the new contract would provide investment to acquire such capabilities. The U.S. has raced to build both hypersonic offense and defense as Russia and China have deployed missiles they boasted could travel more than five times the speed of sound. Meanwhile, Moscow's defense systems reportedly gained a new hypersonic asset. The mobile, medium-range Pantsir, known to the U.S.-led NATO Western military as “SA-22 Greyhound,” is designed to take out both missiles and aircraft. The platform has been deployed at home and abroad, including in warzones like Syria, where Slugin said it “proved to be effective” when engaging moving jihadi targets. A Pentagon spokesperson told Newsweek in November that the decision by Washington's rivals to weaponize hypersonic technology “has created a warfighting asymmetry that we must address” and, less than a month later, the Pentagon awarded Lockheed Martin a nearly $1 billion contract to develop a hypersonic air-to-surface missile called the AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon.