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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Russia and the USA are the closest to useful operational hypersonic air launched weapons

X-51A WaveriderThe United States, China and Russia are all aggressively developing hypersonic weapons. In terms of operationalizing a usable weapon, experts believe that the United States and Russia are very close. China has hypersonic technology, but is mostly working on boost-glide weapons that are essentially ballistic missiles with a hypersonic missile as the warhead.

These will be too large and costly to be an operationally useful weapon system that is used in significant numbers. The United States and Russia are also working on air-launched hypersonic weapons that are smaller, less expensive and more operationally relevant.

Harry J. Kazianis at National Interest had an interview with senior fellows Bryan Clark and Mark Gunzinger of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

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