The Department of Defense (DOD) has created a modernization strategy for hypersonics to update the nation’s strike missile arsenal, DOD News reported Saturday.
Mike White, principal director for hypersonics at the office of the undersecretary of defense for Research and Engineering, said at an Air Force Association symposium that the strategy includes developing strike weapons for inland, coastal and maritime targets and establishing a layered defense architecture to defeat adversarial hypersonic weapons.
The strategy also entails deploying reusable hypersonic weapons for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions as well as strike operations and space access.
White said the Pentagon expects to deploy strike capabilities through the mid-2020's and a layered hypersonic defense infrastructure through the late 2020s. The DOD seeks to implement a reusable weapon by the early 2030's, according to White.
White’s comments come after the U.S. Air Force launched an effort to develop the AGM-183A weapon for rapid airborne response.
Brig. Gen. Heath Collins, program executive officer for weapons and director of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center's armament directorate, said his office will conduct the first flight test for the hypersonic weapon's boosters.
"We're really proud to be in the hypersonics weapon enterprise at this point in this exciting time, and we're just on the cusp of an operational capability," he said.