With Chinese and Russian investment increasing in this field, the development of hypersonics in the West has taken on a new urgency.
The drive to develop a reusable, rapid-strike hypersonic weapon system has now accelerated, although various launch platforms and weapons systems remain at differing levels of development ranging from conceptual to prototyping. Integration of air-launched capability is proving challenging, and other submarine and space-based options are predicted to be time and cost inefficient. Ground-based launch platforms are therefore considered the most suitable environment for this next generation capability. However, in the year 2019, these weapons remain a long way from in-service.
Taking place across a series of round tables and panel discussions, this focus day will invite the leading agencies and SMEs to discuss the following key issues surrounding hypersonic missile technology, and the roadmap for bringing systems online:
- Is ‘boost-glide’ emerging as the most effective capability in the future toolset?
- Do cost-effective possibilities exist for space-based systems delivering a hypersonic weapon?
- Will hypersonics make traditional ballistic missile defence systems (like ground-based interception systems) ineffective?
- How will early warning radars evolve to combat hypersonics?
- Target acquisition changes and challenges
- Overcoming design stage challenges: Performance, delivery and maneouvre