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The Dangers Presented By China’s Hypersonic Weapons Build-Up

By Harry Kazianis

May 2, 2016

… Indeed, when it comes to negation of important missile defense investments, the above mirrors an interview I conducted back in 2014 with experts from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). When I asked them about the utility of US missiles defenses against hypersonic weapons they explained: “Defensive missiles have very limited time and a finite amount of energy available to position themselves to intercept an incoming offensive missile. Like most guided weapons they constantly compute and re-compute the point in space where they will intercept the incoming missile and fly toward that point. If the incoming missile is truly a ballistic missile, then its trajectory is essentially fixed and the interceptor will not need to maneuver much because the calculated intercept point will be quite stable. However, if the incoming missile can maneuver, the interceptor will need to maneuver as well. Given the high speeds and short timelines involved, hypersonic glide vehicles have the potential to make defensive missiles less effective than they might be against non-maneuvering targets.”

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