UK Developing Hypersonic Weapons Vehicle
|Source: Raytheon hypersonic missile concept|
UK Joins Global Hypersonic Arms Race
Britain just announced that it's developing a hypersonic missile, The Tempest, capable of reaching Moscow in 24 minutes. The distance between the UK and Moscow is 1500 miles. The Tempest will travel at speeds in excess of Mach 5, which is 3,836 mph. The Royal Air Force is leading the project and just announced partners in the development of the hypersonic propulsion system include Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Reaction Engines. They've been given 10 million pounds to research, design and develop the high Mach advanced propulsion system on a very fast track. Britain vows to be a leader in hypersonic technology and wants hypersonic capabilities to defend itself.
Highly Advanced Hypersonic Weapon
The Tempest will be fitted with laser and hypersonic weapons. And it will be able to fly unmanned. The Tempest will be joined in battle by a team of what British defense officials call drone-like, semiautonomous "wingman" weapons. And the UK Defense Ministry says the project will be completed in two years.
The UK is joining a hypersonic arms race alongside of Russia, China and the US, which are clearly ahead in the race. Russia's Avangard hypersonic missile can travel at Mach 27 or 20,000 mph. President Putin has said it would be like getting hit by a fireball or meteorite. China's DF-ZF can travel at Mach 10. And the US and the Pentagon's DARPA have fast tracked its highly advanced hypersonic program to be ready for action in 2023.