Australia could become a test site for US hypersonic missiles

US Secretary of the Army, Christina Wormuth, recently conveyed that the Pentagon is contemplating the utilization of Australia as a potential testing ground for its advanced, long-range hypersonic and high-precision weaponry. This consideration emerges as part of the strategic alliance known as AUKUS. 

US hypersonic missile reached Mach 5 and 300 mi less than 5 min
Photo credit: SandBoxx

Wormuth pointed out the vastness of Australia’s territorial expanses as a key factor for its selection. The United States, constrained by a lack of suitable open spaces for such high-stakes testing, is actively exploring the feasibility of leveraging international assistance. 

Furthermore, Wormuth underscored the importance of Australia’s role in the AUKUS alliance extending beyond mere financial support. The strategic partnership – a tripartite agreement inked in 2021 among Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom – emphasizes the construction of an Australian nuclear submarine fleet and the provision of missile weaponry to Australia. Therefore, Australia’s contributions are expected to be practical and substantial.

What hypersonic missiles is the US developing?

Currently, the US is developing several hypersonic weapons, including the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) and the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW).

The AGM-183A ARRW is a hypersonic missile that can be launched from an aircraft, such as a B-52 bomber. It is designed to be able to travel at speeds of Mach 5 or higher and strike targets at long distances.

The HCSW is another hypersonic missile that is being developed by the US. It is designed to be launched from the ground and can also travel at speeds of Mach 5 or higher. The HCSW is intended to be used for long-range strikes against enemy targets.

In addition to these weapons, the US is also working on the development of a hypersonic glide vehicle, which is designed to be launched from a rocket and glide to its target at hypersonic speeds. This type of weapon is still in the testing phase and is not yet operational.

Details about the AUKUS project

The AUKUS project is a new security alliance between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The project was announced on September 15, 2021, and aims to enhance security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Unknown problem: Lockheed's AGM-183A missile didn't launch again
Photo credit: Wikipedia

One of the main objectives of the AUKUS project is to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines. This will allow Australia to significantly enhance its naval capabilities and better protect its interests in the region.

The AUKUS project has caused some controversy, particularly with France, as it led to the cancellation of a previously agreed-upon submarine deal between France and Australia. The French government has expressed its disappointment and frustration with the decision.

The AUKUS project is also seen as a response to China’s growing military presence and influence in the Indo-Pacific region. The project aims to strengthen the security of the region and maintain a balance of power.

The AUKUS project is still in its early stages, and it remains to be seen how it will develop and what its long-term impact will be on the region and international relations.


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