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HAUNTED by the memory of a lost opportunity to kill Osama Bin Laden before he attacked the World Trade Center in New York, US military planners have won President Barack Obama’s support for a new generation of high-speed weapons that are intended to strike anywhere on Earth within an hour.
Obama’s interest in Prompt Global Strike (PGS), a nonnuclear weapons program, has alarmed China and Russia and complicated nuclear arms reduction negotiations. White House officials confirmed last week that the president, who won the Nobel peace prize last year, is considering the deployment of a new class of hypersonic guided missiles that can reach their targets at speeds of Mach 5 — about 3,600mph. That is nearly seven times faster than the 550mph Tomahawk cruise missiles that arrived too late to kill Bin Laden at an Al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan in 1998.
The new weapon could be launched from air, land or sea on a long-range missile travelling at suborbital altitudes above 350,000ft. The missile releases a hypersonic pilotless plane that receives updates from satellites as it homes in on its target at up to five times the speed of sound, generating so much heat that it has to be shielded with special materials to avoid melting. Depending on the version the Pentagon chooses, the warhead would either split into dozens of lethal fragments in the final seconds of its flight or simply smash into its target, relying on devastating kinetic energy to destroy anything in its path. As a precision weapon its effects would be quite different from the mass destruction inflicted by nuclear warheads delivered by intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach 13,400 mph.
Originally posted by dimicgs
I guess Russia would make something aswell similiar
Some details are beginning to emerge regarding the failure of an advanced US military hypersonic glider test above the Pacific last week. However, a complete picture of what happened to the HTV-2 test platform may never appear, as communications with it were lost early in the flight.
A top-secret rocket has been launched by the US military amid rumours its purpose is to perform experiments for a space weapons programme.
Officially the project will test a new space shuttle, the X-37B, that will look at safer and cheaper ways to return spacecraft to earth.
But the details of its payload, experiments and orbital operations have all been classified.
The real purpose of the mission could be to position satellites and other types of surveillance, according to military and security sources.
The launch is a military project being controlled by the US Air Force Space Command - not NASA.
A military use would explain why the Pentagon has invested up to hundreds of millions of dollars in the craft.
Originally posted by anon72
reply to post by Dimitri Dzengalshlevi
I would love to hear more about this. Not that I doubt you at all but everything I read indicated neither Rus or Chi (or India/Japan) have anything close to this type of weapon.
What interests me the most is they (US) need to live try. That is where Iran comes in. Maybe Pakistan but would bet Iran -if I had to.[edit on 4/27/2010 by anon72]
Originally posted by TheLaughingGod
What is the big deal if it already exists missiles capable of mach 10-15?