Arms companies from the West are trying to come up with a defence against Russian and Chinese hypersonic missiles. Hypersonic missiles could offer a decisive military advantage to China and Russia. Andy Thomis, head of the defence company Cohort, said that his business is working on a project to defeat the weapons.
Hypersonic missiles can travel five times faster than the speed of sound and are currently extremely difficult to shoot down.
Mr Thomis, whose UK-based company supplies kit for Royal Navy submarines, spoke to The Daily Telegraph and said: “Being able to develop convincing countermeasures against them is a really important step forward.
“It’s a real challenge.
“There’s no doubt about that.”
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This US attempt to catch up with Russian efforts is capable of speeds faster than five times the speed of sound.
This makes the missile system the third successful test of that class of weapon since 2013.
Hypersonic air-breathing missiles use air captured from the atmosphere to achieve sustained propulsion.
Different hypersonic propulsion types also work in the vacuum of space.
The Pentagon said in a statement on Monday, that the development program for the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) is being run by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.