27 April 2024

UK-made hypersonic missile ‘could enter service by 2030’

27 April 2024

Britain plans to deploy a UK-made hypersonic cruise missile by 2030, it has been reported.

Military chiefs want to catch up with China, Russia and the United States by developing a weapon capable of flying at speeds higher than Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, according to The Telegraph.

The newspaper said the Ministry of Defence (MoD) wants the missile to be designed and built in the UK and to enter use by the end of the decade.

We are pursuing hypersonic technologies to further develop UK sovereign advanced capabilities

Hypersonic weapons, which are capable of reaching far higher speeds than standard cruise missiles, could evade an opponent’s air defence systems because of their speed and mid-flight manoeuvrability.

No decision has been made on whether the weapon would be launched from land, a fighter jet or a warship, according to The Telegraph, which reported the plans are at an early stage.

It comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak this week committed to spend 2.5% of gross domestic product on defence by 2030.

The MoD declined to comment in detail on the development of hypersonic missile capability, citing national security concerns, but a spokesperson said: “We are pursuing hypersonic technologies to further develop UK sovereign advanced capabilities.

“We continue to invest in our equipment to meet current and future threats.”

The US and China are believed to be pursuing the weapons while Russia claims it has used them on the battlefield in Ukraine.

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