Glide Breaker - Hypersonic Interceptor
Hypersonic Mach 5 Plus Defensive Countermeasure
The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency - DARPA - wants an interceptor that can stop hypersonic weapons travelling at Mach 5 to Mach 20 plus. DARPA is accepting proposals for the program which it calls Glide Breaker, an interceptor that can counter and take out enemy hypersonic weapons.
The program is specifically targeting what are called boost-glide weapons, that are catapulted high into the atmosphere on ballistic missiles and then glide at hypersonic speeds to earth. An example is Russia's Avangard which President Putin has termed unstoppable. It glides down to its target on Earth at Mach 20. The US and China are also developing these hypersonic weapons.
DARPA wants the Glide Breaker technology in a hurry. It wants it tested in 2020. The challenges to create the hypersonic countermeasure are many including hypersonics' extremely high speeds, flight altitude, maneuverability and evasiveness.