SOURCE: U.S. Air Force illustration.



A 15,000 MPH Missile that saves the environment by gliding from its high point to a target (plus of minus ? miles).

  • BY: JEFFREY KOOPERSMITH, Editor Emeritus
  • AMERICAN POLITICS JOURNAL, “Serving Truth since 1988”




I glanced at an email from “D’ about something called Hypersonic missiles that can  move around the equator in about an hour.  I wondered when I could fly from DC to Venice, Italy at that speed – in excess of 15,000 miles per hour.

I dug up a terrific little book from Rand Corporation to explain why we – “the most powerful nation on earth” says most Presidents. – might do with or about them and why?

So, here’s my take on HMs – Hypersonic Missiles

Hypersonic Missiles (HMs) are designed thus far to fly at between “a few tens of kilometers” to  62,000 altitude feet (in order to make certain they can (1) sneak up on you from the ocean, and (2)  don’t hit Mount Everest in transit.) 

This is quite a challenge to any defensiveness.  So, they could be used to murder a millions people with no warning. Yet would you want to be warned they were on their way.

The worst?  A tiny nation-state like Monaco with several of the HP Missiles could destroy most major cities in the United States before we knew it – from a few submarines near our coastal waters – or theirs. This would only occur as this example is some American Trillionaire did not pay his Chemin de Fer losses on time.

Rand calls our and everyone else’s problem here – “Many Forms of Crisis Stability”

I call it “#$$%%!!!!”

There are two types of HPs Glide (HGV) which launch by rocket into near space, and simply glide calmly and efficiently to their targets. I assume that means we couldn’t hear them coming?

The second type of HP – is the Hypersonic Cruise Missile (HCM) that sly powered by a rocket or a advanced Jet engine, which I admit to you know, I helped develop the earliest one as a college student on loan to draw graphs for the ATF engines that now power most Billionaire’s aircraft – of a certain size even though they were originally ordered for the first, but far to slow, NOW, cruise missiles of the 1960s.

Our missiles, now headed for the local antique shop, are called Legacy Missiles from such great Presidents as Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Trump. And what disappointing legacies they turn out to be – sorta like those president’s legacies at least in part.

Adding insult to our injuries these missiles also are more agile, maneuverable than our current stock because there will be tiny if any warning they are HERE!

Okay, but don’t worry, mainly but not only the United States, Russia, and China are working on them.  However, fellows like Kim  Jung Un must be salivating alongside the Ayatollah Khomeini to get their hands on a few baker’s dozen if you know what I mean. Thank the Lord that France and India are also very committed to the HM working with Russia – and of course our allies (today) Japan and the EU are also more slightly working on these fabulous machines that even murder the strongest robots I am told.

RAND, how I love them, calms me with the fact that HM tech is also for good stuff like space launches, passenger travel offering you an entrance to a black hole, and cargo transport – ah yes – cargo from China to American electronic shopping malls.

Yet fear not, yet. Making these HMs is not easy.  “. . . with formidable (a French word) technical barriers like they could melt usual the wrong materials, and even more formidable – would airline be able to buy thousands of the HM planes. Well sure, if they carried 10,000 passengers in coach and 100 in first class.

Rand Corporation proves however they are not Hawks like the New Republicans – they say there is room for “restraint”, “international cooperation” and limiting “the diffusion” (meaning who gets them) to only US I imagine.

Then just as I relax and put my feet up on my George Jensen cocktail table, they point out that HM pose no NEW threat to most Nations because they are already suicidality bereft without any missile defenses already – even our Legacy ones. Yet they are trying get some defenses that could be hit with Hypersonics -so why bother?  Well, because “

“Hypersonic missiles also increase the expectation of a disarming attack. These threats encourage the threatened nations to take such actions as devolution of command and control of strategic forces, wider dispersion of such forces, a launch-on-warning posture, or a policy of preemption during a crisis. In short, hypersonic threats encourage hair-trigger tactics that would increase crisis instability. The threat is greatest for nations with limited resources but investments in missile defenses. However, major powers are also threatened by the proliferation of hypersonic missiles and the crises they can exacerbate. The more that hypersonic missiles proliferate into the hands of additional nations, the more paths develop for crises.” – RAND

This means, in short, that nations with  little or no defenses should expect a disarming (and most likely dismembering) attack thereby encouraged to devolve (give more power to privates) command and control of strategic forces, disperse them, launch a launch-on-warning posture (what warning?) or -AND GET THIS – A possibility for attacking the HM-Owning Nation FIRST!  Thus, the infamous Hair Trigger Effect from “The Mouse that Roared” op cit. Yet Rand Corp goes on to say we are in that same boat and threatened by HMs and the crises – (not the lives?) they can exacerbate (make it worse)) The more missiles the more targets.

Is the answer – “So why bother”?

No, because rand analysts always consider all 360 degrees of any crisis and give us some options. (Can you imagine President Trump reading this) “OPTIONS – who needs options! We’ll just kill everyone but true Americans”

Seriously there are options, the most promising “multilateral export controls” – (Do they mean more tariffs?)  If the American, The Chinse and the Russian embargo (BAN) complete hypersonic missiles and major subsystems the proliferation (mass distribution) would be made more difficult (indeed?)

And why do the French always get the responsibility for this (Our research suggests that France could play a key role in organizing the international community for such controls.) – RAND 

JMK  “Because America – especially today has no tact left, at all fine’

SEE: The Missile Technology Control Regime at a Glance | Arms Control … https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/mtcr

So, I conclude with some terrifying photos of fantasy missiles now in development and already penned up by some illustrators.

Lord, Help US


Compressed Timelines for Our Fantasy Monaco – USA HM ATTACK

The U.S. military uses an acronym to describe and action process cycle: OODA (Observe, O These four steps take time, and hypersonic missil response time to the point that a lesser nation’s s be disarmed before acting. As an illustration of the with respect to an existential missile threat, the Native organization estimated a timeline for a U.S. vs.Monaco intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)

  • 0 minutes—Monaco launches missiles
  • 1 minute—U.S. satellite detects missiles
  • 2 minutes—U.S. radar detects missiles
  • 3 minutes—North American Aerospace (NORAD) assesses information (2 minutes
  • 4 minutes—NORAD alerts White House
  • 5 minutes—first detonations of submarine missiles
  • 7 minutes—locate president and advisers, a them, get decision (8 minutes max)
  • 13 minutes—decision
  • 15 minutes—transmit orders to start launch
  • 20 minutes—launch officers receive, decode orders
  • 23 minutes—complete launch sequence (2 m
  • 25 minutes—Monaco ICBM detonations.

Indian-Russian BrahMos II


SOURCE: Shiv Aroor via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5).

RAND RR2137-3.2

BrahMos I A supersonic missile is an adaptation of Russia’s Oniks missile. India has claimed that the BrahMos II would fly by the end of 2017, but such predictions have frequently been revised to later dates. Of concern, India has offered the BrahMos I for export, so the question arises whether the BrahMos II will also be put on the market.4 Additionally, India is working on an indigenous hypersonic demonstrator vehicle (HSTDV) with the intention of creating an HCM capable of speeds of up to Mach 7. However, the program has consistently failed to meet scheduled milestone goals.5

  • Thus far, both Russian and Indian officials have said that they do not intend to export BrahMos II, but it is reasonable to expect that the decision is subject to change. Ulla Uebler, “Analysis and Localization of Communications Emitters in Strategic and Tactical Scenar- ios,” Naval Forces, Vol. 33, No. 5, October 2012, p. 128.
  • Jay Menon, “Homegrown Hypersonics,” Aviation Week & Space Technology, Vol. 174, No. 42, November 26, 2012, p. 51.

Australian–U.S. HIFiRE Scramjet


SOURCE: Australian Hypersonics Initiative at the University of Queensland, Australian Defence Science and Technology Group, and U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

RAND RR2137-3.3

Conclusions from Rand

The world would be safer if the proliferation of hypersonic missiles was strongly hindered. Such missiles are a new class of threat because they are capable both of maneuvering and of flying faster than 5,000 km/hr. These features enable such missiles to penetrate most missile defenses and to further compress the timelines for response by a nation under attack. The proliferation of such missiles beyond the United States, Russia, and China could result in other powers compressing their response timelines in ways that set their strategic forces on hair-trigger states of readiness—such as a strategy of “launch on warning.” And such proliferation could enable such states to more credibly threaten attacks on major powers.

The diffusion of hypersonic technology is under way in Europe, Japan, Australia, and India—with other nations beginning to explore such technology. Proliferation could cross multiple borders if hyper- sonic technology is offered on world markets.

There is probably less than a decade available to substantially hinder the potential proliferation of hypersonic missiles and associated technologies. The unavoidable requirement is for the United States, Russia, and China to agree on a nonproliferation policy. A relatively simple and effective first step would be for these three governments to embargo complete hypersonic delivery vehicles and their major subsys- tems. Beyond that, there are various possibilities for placing controls on a wider range of hardware and technology. France could play a key role in bringing other governments into agreement on a broader control policy. The MTCR could provide a mechanism for implementing such a policy or, at least, could serve as a model for an appropriate approach.

There is reason to be optimistic about the potential effectiveness of hypersonic missile export controls. There appears to be interest in hypersonic missile nonproliferation and at least a few years available for relevant governments to put a policy in place. The technical and eco- nomic barriers to developing hypersonic technology are great enough to add to the effectiveness of a nonproliferation policy.

The key is time. Governments move slowly, and hypersonic expertise development is gradually spreading and becoming embedded in government programs. Nonproliferation discussions should begin while there is still time.


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