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Hypersonic Weapons: What Are the Challenges for the Armed Forces

4 October 2021


Hypersonic systems are becoming attributes of power for the states that design and implement them, at the risk of reviving an arms race. In just a few years, hypersonic glide vehicles and cruise missiles have become new symbols of military power, signaling a return to strategic competition between States. Hypersonic weapons are an alternative to “conventional” ballistic or cruise missiles and combine the advantages of speed and maneuverability to overcome theatre and homeland anti-missile defense systems, thus being able to reach targets deep in enemy territory or at sea. Although uncertainties remain with regard to the budgetary sustainability of such weapons, the gradually increasing maturity of hypersonic technologies makes the adoption of such systems by the major powers inevitable. They will significantly modify the nature of future military operations, notably influencing the decision-making cycles and command architectures



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