Hypersonic (speeds above Mach 5) travel is not new, with V2-powered missiles achieving hypersonic velocities in the late 1940s and Russia’s Sputnik 1 satellite reaching space orbit in 1957. What is new are well-publicized missile launches by China, Russia and the US that have increased levels of interest and concern around the globe. Hypersonic weapons developments have the potential to upset and re-shape the delicate balance of power that helps provide a first strike deterrent.
This presentation will look at how hypersonic weapons technology is ushering in a new era of disruption and de-stabilization. We will address the two main categories of hypersonic weapons and how they differ, along with some evolving technology challenges and opportunities for these vehicles. We will also explore how the architecture of defensive systems is evolving to keep pace with missile developments as a means of restoring that balance of power. The presentation will also explore the regional hypersonic weapons ecosystem, along with spending forecasts.