As we have discussed previously, “hypersonic aircraft and missiles are being developed and tested by the United States, Russia, and China at an accelerating pace. While the race for hypersonic technologies has certainly flourished among global superpowers, who realize that the first to possess these technologies will not just revolutionize their civilian and military programs, but will also dictate the future path for civilizations on planet earth.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Undersecretary of Defense for Research Michael Griffin presented last week at the McAleese-Credit Suisse Defense Conference in which he warned, “when the Chinese can deploy tactical or regional hypersonic systems, they hold at risk our carrier battle groups. They hold our entire surface fleet at risk. They hold at risk our forward deployed land-based forces.”
Griffin emphasized that Beijing has administered “20 times as many of hypersonic weapons tests as has the United States over the last decade.” He stated Beijing is spending billions to develop and test non-nuclear versions of hypersonic weapons that could render the United States Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers unprotected against a hypersonic strike.
In December 2017, Reuters reported that Griffin was nominated by President Donald Trump to be Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. The U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination on February 15, 2018, which means he has been on the job for less than two weeks and has already declared — developing hypersonic weapons is his “highest technical priority.”
Griffin stressed that Beijing is transforming into a global superpower and America’s worst enemy, while President Xi Jinping modernizes the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with railguns, hypersonics, and stealth fighter jets. Detailed in the beginning paragraph, the American empire could unquestionably be dethroned if countries like Russia and China field hypersonics before Washington.
“Without our ability to defend and without at least an equal response capability on the offensive side, then what we’ve done is we have allowed a situation to exist where our deployed forces are held at risk. We cannot do the same for them,” Griffin said.
“And so our only response is either to let them have their way or to go nuclear. Well, that should be an unacceptable situation for the United States,” he added.
Here is a crash course on what does it mean to fly at hypersonic speeds:
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency budget for hypersonic weapons has increased steadily over the last two years, but more funding would inevitably be welcomed by supporters of the technology. In FY17, Congress appropriated $85.5 million for hypersonics. That went up to $108.6 million in the FY18 request, a 27 percent increase. And for the recently released FY19 request, the figure shoots up to $256.7 million — a whopping 136 percent increase, but still a fairly low figure by Pentagon standards.
Griffin further stated, “the advantage of hypersonic systems is broadly speaking, irrespective of their range, that they underfly missile defense and they overfly air defense. That’s a niche we haven’t spent much time in recently, and if I had to pick my highest technical priority responding that that, both offensively and defensively, that would be my highest technical priority. If our response is either let them win or go nuclear, that’s a bad place to be. It invites bad behavior on the part of adversaries.”
When it comes to hypersonic development, Griffin has critical players deep inside the Pentagon’s swamp…
Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, the Director at Missile Defense Agency, said the speed at which Russia and China are “researching, developing, testing, delivering weapons systems” requires his agency to take the hypersonic threat seriously.
Also, Gen. Paul J. Selva, the 10th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned on Janurary 30, “we [U.S.] have lost our technical advantage in hypersonics,” but “we haven’t lost the hypersonics fight.”
It is startling to observe how Pentagon officials are now openly admitting that foreign hypersonic threats could be a major headache to the American empire in the not too distant future. Nevertheless, the reality of a decaying American empire is starting to set in, as officials understanding the Pentagon’s hypersonic program(s) are way behind the eight ball.
The one question we ask: Could hypersonic weapons make the US Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers obsolete?
Perhaps, the Pentagon’s maintenance of the 800 military bases around the world, and endless hybrid military conflicts has diverted much-needed resources to fund critical technologies [hypersonics] that would keep America in the running as a superpower. Falling behind in the supersonics race is a symptom of an over-extended empire… We’ve seen this before —- Rome is burning.