The military unit, which has yet to be named, will soon receive equipment needed to handle the new cosmic weapons, according to Defense News. Lieutenant General L. Neil Thurgood, the director of the Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, told the publication that the unit would be fully equipped by September. However, they will not take possession of the weapon itself, as this is still under development.
The Lieutenant General said that the first missiles were on track to be delivered in 2023.
Hypersonic weapons have the ability to substantially transform future warfare and have become a top priority for the Pentagon.
The missiles can travel at speeds of up to Mach 5 or higher, which is at least five times faster than the speed of sound.
That means a hypersonic weapon can travel about one mile per second.
Its velocity, as well as its flat trajectory and ability to manoeuvre in flight, make the missiles far more difficult to intercept.
By all accounts, the US is lagging behind its main military rivals, Russia and China, in its development of its cosmic arsenal.
The Navy hopes to have a ship-launched weapon by 2023, followed by by a submarine-launched missile in 2024.
The Air Force is putting the finishing touches to its Lockheed Martin’s AGM-183A air-launched rapid-response weapon (ARRW).
This should become fully operational by 2022 after the completion of the testing programme