It is the goal of any society to continue to grow and adapt with the times. For the arms race this bring hypersonic missiles into the picture, which is being widely discussed among scientists and politicians around the world. The topic of discussion being the development of hypersonic missiles and if through the exploration start the next arms race. Tom Mahnken, president of the respected Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), has been urging on the side of caution when getting overly excited. As there is not enough information currently to properly give the pros and cons of these missiles being developed. Hypersonic missiles are created when we combine the speed of ballistic missiles coupled with the maneuvering capabilities of cruise missiles.
The discussion has caused controversy within the DOD over the study released by Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which criticized the “effectiveness of hypersonic missiles”. The study contained a poll, which consisted of mainly DOD officials, that laid out four viewpoints ranging across the political sphere. The viewpoints were simple, first, there is the viewpoint of getting ahead. This of course would urge us to, by any means possible, advance our technology with regards to hypersonic technology. A second viewpoint says that the country should be on the defensive and advance the technology to protect against the usage of them from other countries. Third, is the idea of “draw the line” between what will be tolerated and will not be. Which means that we should be able to advance the technology but be mindful not to cross boundaries that prevent certain weapons to be created. Lastly. There is the view that weapons, such as the Avangard, should not be created. Rather, we should be able to stick with what we have and prevent possible catastrophe. Avangard being the Russian hypersonic glide vehicle that is said to be fully functional and have been tested several times.
With the advancements in science continuing, it stands within reason that countries would address questions of if this type of technology should be invested in. It seen back when scientists were working on the Atomic Bomb when there debates on whether nuclear arms should continue in the trajectory they are. This brings into play questions of morality and the amount human life they are willing to give up.
Which side of the fence are you on?
Where do you see the exploration hypersonic technology leading us?