US Requires Space-Based Systems to Counter Chinese, Russian Hypersonic Missiles: Expert

The United States requires new space-based missile defense systems to counter the growing threat of hypersonic weapons, according to one expert. “As it relates to hypersonic or nuclear and conventional intercontinental ballistic missile or nuclear missiles, the United States must have immediately a space-based missile defense system,” Brandon Weichert, a geopolitical analyst and author, told EpochTV’s “Forbidden News” program. “Our military, knows that presently our current air defense network is not capable of stopping an incoming hypersonic attack.” [embedded content] Weichert’s claims followed reports that Russia conducted its first-ever combat usage of a hypersonic missile in Ukraine earlier in the week, as well as a number of incidents in which the Russian military has bombed targets on the border of NATO countries. Weichert warned of a growing “strategic imbalance” because the United States does not have the hypersonic weapons, capable of immense speed, that China and Russia do. “Americans … and our allies presently do not have our own hypersonic weapons arsenal in the way that Russia, China, and now possibly North Korea have, which creates a significant strategic imbalance and could potentially upend any kind of deterrence that exists between the United States and Russia,” Weichert said. Hypersonic glide vehicles like the one tested by China in July are valuable precisely because they evade current American defenses. “We just don’t know how we can defend against that technology,” said U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood in October. “Neither does China, neither does Russia.” Weichert’s fears echoed sentiments expressed by then-Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten in October, who said that a runaway military bureaucracy was preventing the United States from developing new weapons systems, and that China was drastically outpacing U.S. hypersonics development. “The pace [China is] moving and the trajectory that they’re on will surpass Russia and the United States if we don’t do something to change it,” Hyten said. “It will happen.” There is some disagreement within the military community concerning the overall usefulness of more hypersonic weapons, however. Many professionals do not believe that investing in the same weaponry as China or Russia is a necessary pursuit given the different strategic priorities the nations would face during a war. “I would say that everything we’re doing in terms of the interceptors, the strike weapons, isn’t going to make a difference unless we have sufficient quantities,” Gillian Bussey, director of the Joint Hypersonics Transition Office at the Department of Defense, said in February. “So having a dozen hypersonic missiles, regardless of whether they’re really hypersonic isn’t going to scare anyone.” “China has a set of targets, and I can easily understand why they would want to field hypersonic weapons in reasonable quantities,” said Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall in January. “We don’t have the same target set that they’re worried about.” That being said, Kendall added that the United States ought to invest in offensive space-based capabilities to adequately counter up-and-coming technologies like orbital bombardment systems. Weichert felt similarly. “The concern now is that Russia and China have the real-world capability to put these systems in orbit and threaten any position on earth,” Weichert said. “We have to look to space as a place where we can possibly intercept these hypersonic or conventional nuclear missiles, as they come into American airspace, we don’t want to have to intercept them when they’re already in the atmosphere, we want to get them when they’re still in space.” Follow Andrew Thornebrooke is a reporter for The Epoch Times covering China-related issues with a focus on defense, military affairs, and national security. He holds a master's in military history from Norwich University. Follow Gary Bai is a freelance reporter currently based in New York, covering U.S.–China related news for The Epoch Times.

US Requires Space-Based Systems to Counter Chinese, Russian Hypersonic Missiles: Expert

The United States requires new space-based missile defense systems to counter the growing threat of hypersonic weapons, according to one expert.

“As it relates to hypersonic or nuclear and conventional intercontinental ballistic missile or nuclear missiles, the United States must have immediately a space-based missile defense system,” Brandon Weichert, a geopolitical analyst and author, told EpochTV’s “Forbidden News” program.

“Our military, knows that presently our current air defense network is not capable of stopping an incoming hypersonic attack.”

[embedded content]

Weichert’s claims followed reports that Russia conducted its first-ever combat usage of a hypersonic missile in Ukraine earlier in the week, as well as a number of incidents in which the Russian military has bombed targets on the border of NATO countries.

Weichert warned of a growing “strategic imbalance” because the United States does not have the hypersonic weapons, capable of immense speed, that China and Russia do.

“Americans … and our allies presently do not have our own hypersonic weapons arsenal in the way that Russia, China, and now possibly North Korea have, which creates a significant strategic imbalance and could potentially upend any kind of deterrence that exists between the United States and Russia,” Weichert said.

Hypersonic glide vehicles like the one tested by China in July are valuable precisely because they evade current American defenses.

“We just don’t know how we can defend against that technology,” said U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood in October. “Neither does China, neither does Russia.”

Weichert’s fears echoed sentiments expressed by then-Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten in October, who said that a runaway military bureaucracy was preventing the United States from developing new weapons systems, and that China was drastically outpacing U.S. hypersonics development.

“The pace [China is] moving and the trajectory that they’re on will surpass Russia and the United States if we don’t do something to change it,” Hyten said.

“It will happen.”

There is some disagreement within the military community concerning the overall usefulness of more hypersonic weapons, however. Many professionals do not believe that investing in the same weaponry as China or Russia is a necessary pursuit given the different strategic priorities the nations would face during a war.

“I would say that everything we’re doing in terms of the interceptors, the strike weapons, isn’t going to make a difference unless we have sufficient quantities,” Gillian Bussey, director of the Joint Hypersonics Transition Office at the Department of Defense, said in February.

“So having a dozen hypersonic missiles, regardless of whether they’re really hypersonic isn’t going to scare anyone.”

“China has a set of targets, and I can easily understand why they would want to field hypersonic weapons in reasonable quantities,” said Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall in January.

“We don’t have the same target set that they’re worried about.”

That being said, Kendall added that the United States ought to invest in offensive space-based capabilities to adequately counter up-and-coming technologies like orbital bombardment systems. Weichert felt similarly.

“The concern now is that Russia and China have the real-world capability to put these systems in orbit and threaten any position on earth,” Weichert said.

“We have to look to space as a place where we can possibly intercept these hypersonic or conventional nuclear missiles, as they come into American airspace, we don’t want to have to intercept them when they’re already in the atmosphere, we want to get them when they’re still in space.”


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Andrew Thornebrooke is a reporter for The Epoch Times covering China-related issues with a focus on defense, military affairs, and national security. He holds a master's in military history from Norwich University.


Follow

Gary Bai is a freelance reporter currently based in New York, covering U.S.–China related news for The Epoch Times.