The US's nuclear commander says the only way to defend the US from new Russian and Chinese missiles lies in space
Both Russia and China are enhancing their offensive missile capabilities through the development of new systems, including hypersonic strike platforms.
The key to a robust defense, according to the head of US Strategic Command, is space-based sensors.
"We have to be able to see that threat," STRATCOM Commander General John Hyten explained at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium.
The key to defending the US homeland against Russian and Chinese missile threats, as well as emerging and potential threats from countries like North Korea and Iran, lies in space, according to the head of US Strategic Command.
"The most important thing to do in the missile defense business is make sure you can see and characterize the threat," Gen. John Hyten said Tuesday at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, "If you can't see and characterize the threat, I don't care what kind of shooter you have, there is nothing you can do about it. We have to be able to see that threat."
While the US has theater ballistic missile defense systems — such as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, Aegis and Aegis Ashore, and Patriot batteries— set up in various locations around the world, the US mainland is guarded by the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system. Compared to some of the other US ballistic missile defense systems, the GMD system, which has never been activated in a real-life combat scenario, has a much lower success rate in tests.
The US is investing billions of dollars in missile defense projects, including increasing the total number of interceptors in the GMD system. GMD interceptors are operational at Fort Greely in Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Hyten told his audience Tuesday that the interceptor system is essentially a "catcher's mitt," according to Defense News. To achieve boost-phase intercepts or successfully eliminate missiles through "left-of-launch" tactics, methods the general says could send a missile falling back down on the heads of the unit that fired it, the US needs an effective sensor layer to spot projectile threats early — but it can't be built on Earth.
"There are not enough islands in the world to build radars on to see all the threats and be able to characterize the threats," the general said. "You just can't get there from here, so the only place to go and do that is a place where the U.S. is actually strongest and technology is there to do it and that is into space. We have to go into space."
Hyten's call comes just days after China successfully tested a hypersonic aircraft, a potential hypersonic strike platform that Chinese military experts claim could carry both conventional and nuclear payloads, as well as skirt any existing missile or air defense system.
Russia reportedly plans to have MiG-31K fighter jets armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles participate in an upcoming demonstration, and the country is expected to deploy its Avangard hypersonic boost-glide vehicle on the country's Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile within the next couple of years.
The growing threat posed by hypersonic missiles, weapons that can travel at speeds in excess of five times the speed of sound, is one that concerns missile defense planners. Hyten has repeatedly warned that the US currently does not possess the ability to defeat weapons with such capabilities.
Unlike traditional ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles are dangerously unpredictable. Coupled with the high speeds, the unpredictability makes it almost impossible for existing missile defense systems to track.
"If you can't see it, you can't shoot it," Missile Defense Agency director Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves said in March. "We have globally deployed sensors today, but — just look at the globe — there are gaps. What we are looking towards is to move the sensor architecture to space and use that advantage of space, in coordination with our ground assets, to remove the gaps."
"Why is that important?" he asked rhetorically, "The hypersonic threat."
During his talk Tuesday, Hyten reminded his listeners that the US is once again locked in great power competition with rivals that are developing weapons that threaten US security.
"You can't call them [Russia and China] our friends if they're building weapons that can destroy the United States of America," he explained, "Therefore, we have to develop the capability to respond."
来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/45782.html 译者：Jessica.Wu
MadVlad-4 hours ago
Let me paint you a picture: a 50BMG bullet travels at about 3000 ft/s which is around 900 m/s (meters/second), ok? Ok, now, a hypersonic warhead travels at speeds between 1700 and 3400 m/s, generally over 2000m/s, so at least twice as fast as a 50BMG bullet and possibly up to 3.5 times faster, and, unlike a bullet, this thing can maneuver and has no set trajectory. Now what the hell do you think you are going to be using to shoot that down? Seriously, how do you imagine this happening?
Reggie-1 hour ago
Reagan had the right idea.
Steve-5 hours ago
But the cute socialist in New York says that the defense budget could be cut in half to support health care for poor people !
Jes-5 hours ago
This is not rocket science, no pun intended. It can be done, however it will cost significant $$$$$$$$$$$$, as we all know. One only has to think about orbital rotation, sensors, and comm links that integrate with ground/sea based systems providing a holistic system of systems that could provide the coverage needed.
Gerry-4 hours ago
The only way to defend our country from war is to be a peaceful nation.
Kalin-40 minutes ago
All this will simply take the war up in space. And shooting a satellite is probably much easier than downing a hypersonic missile.
Oh, and some people will make a lot of money :) Which is kinda the whole point.
John-4 hours ago
YES THAT IS ONE WAY, BUT SUBMARINES CAN DO THE JOB HERE ON EARTH. WHY DO YOU THINK ALL THESE OTHER COUNTRIES ARE BUILDING SUBMARINES ? COMPARE THE COST AND SUBMARINES ARE THE BEST BUY FOR THE TAXPAYER'S BUCK !
Speakeasy-6 hours ago
When did they start thinking there is a defense. There is no way to protect all of the US from nuclear attack. Even if we intercepted some, the incoming warheads would overwhelm any defense. One missile carrying 10-12 warheads(MRVS) each that technology is not here yet. All we can do is build up our offensive capability, put teeth in the motto mutual assured destruction.
I don't believe anyone in their right minds want to go there. But here again we have some idiots in this world calling themselves leaders.
Gregory-6 hours ago
Get THOR operational …..
Jon-3 hours ago
But But But...the Liberals say everything is OK we don't need to spend a penny on defense.
Wonder what the Liberals do when they will need to learn to speak Russian?
Mel-5 hours ago
It looks like Business Insider has a candidate who should be running for President of the United States. They seem to know more about the world's military forces than the countries do themselves. As long as they don't advise the major powers to start pushing buttons, we will be alright.
Thomas edison-2 hours ago
well...well...wasn't trump talking about a space force.
Heinz-10 minutes ago
Meaning, we need a lot more of your tax payers money for the Military Industrial Complex. Guys, work harder and give us your money.
Boba-17 minutes ago
"He who laughs last.. laughs best"
MAGAMAN-4 hours ago
No problem for US Technology Anti-Matter Weapons !
Zapata-1 hour ago
More like not having Euro Global bankers connive US politicians to fight their wars since the Civil War.
Bigpoppa-6 hours ago
WELL THEN, HURRY THE HELL UP AND BUILD STAR WARS!!!
Tony-4 hours ago
Well, duh. This has been said since Reagan but Liberals seem to think Space Force is all about Starship Troopers and mocks Trump for it.