The high cost of hypersonic missiles, which could pull in a unit cost of tens of millions of dollars, is likely to mean the United States will not be exhibiting large numbers of them in the short term, U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said Feb. 15.
“The Chinese continue to invest on their side, so I don’t think we have any issues, we want to continue to advance technology,” he said at a forum at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Research. “But specific applications will be based on cost-effectiveness and a number of other factors. Price will be a great driver. Hypersonics will soon not be cheap. I think we’re more likely to have relatively small stocks of hypersonic than large ones, but that remains to be seen, and hopefully we’ll be able to lower the cost to make them more attractive. ”
Kendall also said Feb. 15 that hypersonic technology is not the only U.S. capability to penetrate heavily protected airspace, and that stealth aircraft can also serve that purpose.
Last month, Kendall warned against the United States a mirror image of the efforts of Chinese hypersonic weapons and said that countries have different sets of goals (Daily protection, January 19). On February 15, Kendall said the Air Force’s efforts focused on defeating maneuverable targets, while China’s efforts concerned fixed targets such as air bases.
During a virtual roundtable meeting with Pentagon senior executives this month, industry leaders working on hypersonic told officials they needed to expand access to modeling and testing capabilities “to adopt a ‘frequent test, fail and learn’ approach” that would accelerate the introduction of hypersonic and counter-hypersonic systems, ”the defense ministry wrote in a statement detailing the session.
“Leaders of more than a dozen companies of all sizes took part in the roundtable and discussed supply and capacity constraints in the markets; problems with standing resolutions; access to testing facilities; labor needs; and barriers to government acquisitions, ”the Pentagon writes. Defense Minister Lloyd Austin briefly joined the meeting, according to the Pentagon, and referred to “the need for ongoing dialogue to meet the agency’s current and future demands for defense and offensive capabilities.”
On February 15, Kendall said that each of the military services could play a role in the development and deployment of hypersonic missiles, and that any reductions could provide the U.S. with a deeper hypersonic rear field.
But he also said the Air Force needs more analysis of trade-offs between the benefits of hypersonic weapons and high gun prices.
The premiere was among the Air Force’s hypersonic efforts Lockheed Martin [LMT] The AGM-183A Air Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), which failed three acceleration flight tests last year in April, July and December.
“I think the previous administration was in a rush for hypersonic technology when at the time I asked, ‘Is this really the right path for the United States?’ I still have some of these issues, ”Kendall said last month.
https://www.defensedaily.com/high-cost-of-hypersonic-missiles-likely-means-low-inventories-in-near-term-air-force-secretary-says/air-force/ The high cost of hypersonic missiles is likely to mean low stocks in the near future, says BBC minister