Prompt Global Strike, Without a Doubt

Former Air Force chief scientist Mark Lewis said Wednesday he thinks a hypersonic missile makes good sense to meet the Pentagon’s burgeoning desire for a prompt global strike system to take out time-sensitive targets virtually anywhere on the planet. Speaking at hypersonics symposium sponsored by AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies in Arlington, Va., Lewis said a hypersonic missile, because it remains in the atmosphere and is maneuverable, offers speed similar to a conventionally-armed ballistic missile, but without the risk that someone might interpret the launch as a nuclear attack. Fear of misinterpretation is one of the “main drawbacks” of a conventionally-armed Minuteman or Trident, said Lewis. (For more symposium coverage, see Hypersonic Breakthrough Coming Soon and Hypersonic Power for Theater Missions as well as The Race to Go Fast from Thursday’s Daily Report column.)