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Super duper! September 26, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I quite like Fred Kaplan’s posts on Slate.com. This one on the uselessness of the address to the UN General Assembly during the week is an entertaining deconstruction of a President, who as Kaplan says, can’t even be pushed to pretend he cares (and he didn’t even have to appear in person, it was all pre-recorded).

This though got me searching:

Trump has boosted U.S. defense spending, but his talk of unheard-of advanced weapons—probably the hypersonic glider, which he recently called a “hydrasonic” missile and nicknamed the “superduper”—is exaggeration. The weapon doesn’t exist as yet, its mission is unclear, and existing nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles travel at hypersonic speed.

As Kaplan notes, it’s all pretty nebulous. A long long way from completion.


1. Alastair McKinstry - September 27, 2020

While ICBMs are ‘hypersonic’, they’re “ballistic”: for the second stage of their flight, they’re just falling, not controlled, which means an accuracy measured in km, good enough for nukes, but not for drone-like strikes.

The US and Russia, China have been working on hypersonic missiles for a while: Mach 5-10 versions of cruise missiles, capable of hitting the other side of the world in minutes but presumably accurately (metre-scale) and thought to be “too fast to intercept”. These are what both Trump (and elsewhere: Putin) are bragging about.

Though of course once there are hypersonic missiles, you develop anti-hypersonic missile systems …


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