Hypersonic weapons are a new generation of missile weapons that have appeared in recent years, represented by China’s “Dongfeng-17”, Russia’s “Zircon” and “Dagger”. In contrast, the United States, which is considered to be the most technologically powerful country in the world, has made slow progress in this field and has so far failed to install even a single hypersonic weapon. However, the United States has not given up the pace of “catching up with China and Russia”. According to Chinanews.com, the Pentagon said a few days ago that the U.S. Navy and Army jointly test-fired a rocket that tested 12 types of hypersonic weapon components, and said all tests were successful.
According to U.S. reports, the sounding rocket was tested for related components of the U.S. Navy’s “Conventional Immediate Strike” (CPS) and the Army’s “Long Range Hypersonic Weapon” (LRHW). Given that the United States is clearly behind China and Russia in the competition for hypersonic weapons, it can be seen that the Pentagon is obviously anxious. It just makes one wonder why independent testing of these components and subsystems has not started until now? At this rate, when will the full bomb test be achieved?
We know that the US Air Force’s AGM-183A hypersonic weapon adopts a high-end waverider scheme, while the US Army and Navy’s hypersonic weapons choose a relatively low-end double-cone warhead scheme, and the technical threshold is not high. From the perspective of China, the PLA’s first missile equipped with a double-cone warhead is the “Dongfeng-15B” type that participated in the National Day military parade in 2009, 13 years ago.
In the impression of many people, even if the United States only began to vigorously develop biconical warhead missiles in 2009, it should take 5 to 7 years to achieve results. However, now, the U.S. Air Force and Navy’s hypersonic weapons testing is still at the level of components, not the whole bomb test, which obviously shows that even the relatively low-end double-cone warhead technology has caused Americans to encounter more than expected. greater difficulties and thresholds. With this slow progress, it is hard to believe that the U.S. Navy and Army will field the first hypersonic weapons in 2023, as originally planned.
To a certain extent, the emergence of this situation reflects that the United States is facing pressures similar to “green and yellow” in some military technology research. If it was more than 20 years ago, the group of technicians who inherited the technical achievements and scientific research accumulation of the Cold War did research and development, the US military might have already had its own hypersonic weapons. However, in the past 20 years, the number of domestic science and engineering talents in the United States has continued to decline; a large number of talents with higher education generally tend to work in the Internet or the financial industry; and senior technicians are constantly retiring. The phenomenon of “slow blood loss” appears in the ability, which is reflected in the research and development of a new generation of equipment such as hypersonic weapons, that is, the development progress is slow and unexpected.
Not long ago, there was a saying that made sense, that is, “Let time sink the US Navy”, which means that due to the lack of production capacity in the domestic shipbuilding industry, the installation speed of the US Navy’s new ships cannot keep up with the decommissioning speed of the old ships, and it is necessary to maintain the scale of equipment. There are problems in the aspect, and even “green and yellow do not connect”. Today, the same phenomenon is happening in the United States when it comes to military scientific research talents. When the US version of hypersonic weapons will come out and how high the technical level can be, I am afraid that it is not very optimistic now.