New missiles make aircraft carriers redundant?

The era in which aircraft carriers were the ultimate display of military strenght might come to an end, according to Michael Griffin of the research department of the Pentagon. The supersonic and hypersonic missiles that Russia and China are developing are so fast that they can not be intercepted by current US anti-aircraft systems. And that means that the large aircraft carriers are an easy target for the latest generation of missiles.

Russian president Putin announced at the beginning of this month a number of new missiles, which are too fast to be intercepted by the current anti-aircraft systems. Russia has already successfully tested a number of these missiles and put them into production, while China is also developing this supersonic and hypersonic rocket technology. This is what Griffin said about these developments:

“China has performed about twenty times as many tests with hypersonic weapons in the past decade as the United States. If the Chinese are able to use tactical or regional hypersonic systems, then that is a risk for our fleet of aircraft carriers.”

According to Griffin, the development of defense weapons against these hypersonic missiles must be given the highest priority within the Pentagon.

“Without the ability to defend ourselves and without having at least an equivalent attack power, a situation has arisen in which our stationed troops are at risk.”

Hypersonic missiles

Hypersonic missiles fly at more than five times the speed of sound and can not be intercepted by the current anti-aircraft systems of the United States. These super-fast rockets can be equipped with nuclear warheads or a conventional explosive charge and can reach any place on earth within three hours.

One of the missiles recently unveiled by Russian President Putin even has an “infinite range,” which means that it can be propelled to any target on the planet. This rocket is capable of following an unpredictable route to circumvent the anti-aircraft systems of the opponent.

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