The commander-in-chief of the American nuclear forces has warned that Russia and China are not “friends” of the United States, as these countries are rapidly creating hypersonic weapons, and the United States does not yet have protection against them.
“We can not call them our friends if they create weapons that can destroy the United States of America, and therefore we need to build up our potential to be able to react,” said Air Force General John Hayten, head of the US Strategic Command.
Hayten went on to say that the Pentagon is implementing about 10 programs related to protection against a new type of weapon. “I wanted us to start work on hypersonic weapons five or ten years ago, because then we would not have to worry. But we did not, so we need to step up now, which is what we are doing,” he said.
In April, the Pentagon signed a $ 928 million contract with Lockheed Martin to develop an unspecified number of hypersonic strike weapons for the US Air Force. In accordance with this contract, the company is responsible for the design, development, integration of weapons and logistics.
A hypersonic weapon is a rocket capable of moving at a speed of at least 5 Mach, that is at least five times faster than the speed of sound. In other words, the speed of a hypersonic rocket is more than one and a half kilometers per second.
Hayten, who previously called Russia “the most significant threat” to the United States, recently described a grim scenario of a hypothetical clash of US troops with hypersonic weapons earlier this year.
And although in the past, Hayten warned that Russia wants to possess hypersonic weapons, he now tried to belittle the significance of Putin’s statements.
“At his March press conference, right before the election, Putin talked about such opportunities as hypersonic weapons, nuclear torpedoes, nuclear cruise missiles and the like. But you know what? He still cannot understand where the submarines are, cannot disable 400 missile launchers across the country (the US), so our containment capabilities remain unchallenged, unbeatable, and we are able to dominate and react to any threat. We are the dominant military power on the planet in every area of warfare, and everyone understands this,” Hayten concluded.