A few weeks ago, before we started the study on the sustainability of aircraft carriers in the US Navy , Mark Esper, the secretary of Defense of the United States, had publicly questioned the relevance of replacing, at identical budget, an aircraft carrier by a fleet of 100 or 200 hypersonic missiles to ensure the initial defense of Japan or South Korea. Obviously, the idea made its way, since during a Webcast with the Air Force Mitchell Institute association, Mark Lewis, the director of modernization of the deputy director of innovation Mark Griffin , announced the creation of a "war room" devoted solely to the rapid and massive entry into service of hypersonic weapons in the US armed forces.
The Pentagon is currently funding 3 families of programs to design, test and commission hypersonic weapons, depending on whether they are launched from the surface or an aircraft, and whether they use a rocket engine and a hypersonic glider, or a Scramjet type air-breathing engine. For the time being, the air-breathing family with surface launcher is not the subject of any development, at least in the public sphere. The work is divided between the US Air Force (ARRW program ), the US Navy (CPS program), the US Army (LRHW program) and Darpa (HAWC and HSW-ab programs), which is currently the only one to develop air-breathing programs.
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