DARPA'S Hypersonic Interceptor
Interceptor to Neutralize Hypersonic Nuclear Warheads
DARPA's Glide Breaker Project
The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA is developing a hypersonic interceptor vehicle, which experts are calling a potential gamechanger. It's called Glide Breaker. The vehicle would travel at extremely high, hypersonic speeds while flying at such a low altitude that it evades early warning radar systems that track ballistic missiles. The technology is extraordinary and straight out of science fiction.
Twenty Times The Speed of Sound
The technology is designed to take down a nuclear warhead travelling at 20 times the speed of sound. It's the equivalent of hitting a bullet with a bullet. And, the enemy "bullet" is capable of evasive maneuvers. The interceptor, that DARPA wants to quickly develop and test, is targeted at hypersonic missiles. An example is Russia's Avangard, which Russian President Putin says is unstoppable.
Highly Credible Deterrent
DARPA has awarded several multimillion contracts to Aerojet Rocketdyne ($19 M) and Northrup Grumman ($13 M) to develop enabling technologies It has put this project on a very fast track and hopes to quickly start testing the technology. The project has roots back to 2018. There's a very big technology challenge that has to be overcome. Top, hypersonic missiles are capable of maneuvering and taking evasive action. DARPA's interceptor needs to be a highly credible deterrent and that includes the capability of neutralizing an evasive, hypersonic, maneuvering nuclear missile "bullet" with Glide Breaker.