$ 19.6 million ‘Glide Breaker’ hypersonic defense glider is being developed that can shoot incoming rockets from the sky and travel up to five times the speed of sound
- The US Army will develop a hypersonic glider designed to intercept rockets
- This hypersonic glider is called ‘Glide Breaker’ and costs $ 19.6 million to develop
- It can travel up to five times the speed of the sound
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is working with Aerojet Rocketdyne on a $ 19.6 million project to develop hypersonic missiles capable of intercepting enemy missiles from the air.
The glider can knock incoming rockets or vehicles out of the air as it travels up to five times the speed of sound.
The project has been under development since 2018, and the early stages of planning have gone well enough for DARPA to conclude a new contract to develop “unlocking technologies” for the glider.
“Promoting hypersonic technology is a requirement for national security,” Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake said in a statement.
“Our team is proud to apply our decades of experience in the development of hypersonic and rocket propulsion technologies to the Glide Breaker program.”
There are two general types of hypersonic weapons: hypersonic gliders and hypersonic cruise missiles.
Gliders are launched into the atmosphere on powerful rockets and then released at altitudes between 25 and 62 miles above the earth’s surface.
Gliders have aerodynamic designs with smooth outer shells that give them a high degree of mobility.
In December 2019, the Russian army successfully tested Avangard (pictured above), a hypersonic cruise missile that they claim can reach speeds up to 27 times the speed of sound
Hypersonic cruise missiles are usually powered by an engine that collects oxygen from the atmosphere and mixes it with hydrogen in a combustion chamber.
Hypersonic cruise missiles can reach speeds of up to 7500 km / h, or about ten times the speed of sound, and often even faster.
In December 2019, the Russian army successfully tested a hypersonic cruise missile called Avangard, which they believe is capable of traveling at speeds up to 27 times the speed of sound.
Hypersonic gliders tend to fly at lower altitudes and flatter paths than ballistic missiles due to their lack of an internal combustion engine, making them an ideal candidate for defensive tasks
Two weeks later, Donald Trump claimed that the United States is building a large stock of hypersonic rockets, possibly referring to a $ 2.5 billion contract signed with Lockheed Martin to develop a series of hypersonic weapons in 2019.
“Our rockets are big, powerful, accurate, deadly and fast,” Trump said.
“There are many hypersonic rockets under construction. However, the fact that we have this great army and equipment does not mean that we must use it. “
“We don’t want to use it. American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent. “
WHAT ARE HYPERSONIC WEAPONS?
There are two main types of hypersonic weapons:
Hypersonic sliding vehicles
A hypersonic gliding vehicle is propelled up on a rocket to heights between 25 miles to 62 miles above the earth before it comes off to glide past its upper atmosphere toward its target.
It is released at a height and speed with which it can slide to the target without force.
Control surfaces on the sliding vehicle means that it can steer an unpredictable course and maneuver sharply as it approaches the impact.
These sliding vehicles follow a much flatter and lower trajectory than the high, curved path of a ballistic missile.
Hypersonic cruise missiles
These rockets are powered by high speed, air breathing motors after they have reached their target.
Although they have internal engines, unlike regular cruise missiles, they travel much faster and higher.