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REPORT: New Missile Technology Leaves U.S. Defenses Vulnerable

Posted on Saturday, August 19, 2023
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by Ben Solis
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AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis

missiles ready to launch with flag of china blended into background

A new report released earlier this month has highlighted alarming potential deficiencies in the United States’ missile defense shield as adversaries like Russia and China have brought newer and more powerful missile technology to the battlefield.

The analysis from the National Institute for Public Policy’s Steve Lambakis focuses specifically on shortcomings in America’s space-based missile defense systems in light of the recent rapid advancements in hypersonic missile technology. “The current state of space sensors is inadequate to meet near- and far-term evolving missile threats,” Lambakis concludes.

Moreover, the Biden administration has shown no indication that they even recognize the severity of the threat. The report accuses the White House of not having “a clear and unified vision,” calling it “a stumbling block” for U.S. national security. “It is not clear that the Biden administration is committed to the advancement of the nation’s missile defense capability, let alone the full deployment of missile tracking sensors in space,” Lambakis writes.

Space-based missile detection and defense systems have become increasingly important as China continues to stretch its lead in hypersonic missile technology. Hypersonics, some of which travel seven times the speed of sound, are virtually invincible against all current ground-based missile defense systems.

The United States does not currently have a combat-ready hypersonic missile, although military leaders are optimistic that will change in the coming months. Nonetheless, the rapid proliferation of hypersonics has underscored the urgency of new defense technology that can contend with the threat.

Several U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific are already investing heavily in developing their own defenses. Australia is also on track to build a hypersonic missile of its own as well as more capable defense systems by 2035. As part of Japan’s expanded military budget, Tokyo is looking to develop “high-speed glide weapons” in response to China’s provocations. Collaboratively with South Korea, the Japanese also announced plans to commission destroyers with the Aegis missile interceptor system which has seen some success at intercepting hypersonic missiles at very short range.

But further advancements in hypersonic technology could render these already strained defenses completely useless. According to Space Force Commander General B. Chance Saltzman, deploying a large number of satellites that track and warn against hypersonic missile attacks is a vital first step to developing a new missile defense shield, and should be followed by investment into space-based technologies that can eliminate hypersonic missiles before they reach their targets.

But instead of pursuing this path, Biden last year banned U.S. testing of space weapons. Even as the U.S. is limited by this self-imposed ban, Russia and China have continued to conduct such tests.

America’s two chief geopolitical rivals have also continued to develop delivery systems for their hypersonic technology. According to recent reports, China currently has 2,200 missiles in its arsenal capable of reaching American targets, including military bases in the Indo-Pacific. China also designs its warships to maximize the number of missile launchers on board and has ramped up production of missile launcher trucks capable of firing up to eight rockets in rapid succession.

China has also grown more aggressive in its deployment of these weapons. Earlier this year, Japanese television station NHK reported that 11 Chinese and Russian warships passed through U.S. waters off the coast of the Aleutian Islands and spent two days there. Of those ships, seven were armed with hypersonic-capable missile launchers. At such close range, hypersonic missiles could evade ground-based conventional missile sensors and defense systems.

This looming threat has been accentuated by North Korea’s continued antagonism in the region. Earlier this week, Kim Jong-Un called for a “drastic boost” in the country’s missile production capacity. Pyongyang is reportedly working on developing “hypersonic gliding warheads” – no doubt with assistance from their neighbors in China.

The prospect of a North Korea armed with hypersonic weapons should be a five-alarm fire for Washington, as it is for other U.S. allies in the Pacific. According to Defense of Japan 2023, Tokyo’s official national security strategy, “more than ever before,” the Hermit Kingdom poses a “grave and imminent threat” to Japan’s security.

Some U.S. military leaders may have been lured into a false sense of security by the performance of existing U.S. missile defense systems on the battlefield in Ukraine. Earlier this year, Ukraine successfully downed several Russian Kinzhal missiles, which the Kremlin had previously claimed were hypersonic.

But subsequent analysis revealed that the missiles in all likelihood reached nowhere near Mach 5, the official threshold to be classified as hypersonic. While the news was a major embarrassment for Putin, it did nothing to alleviate concerns about China’s hypersonic arsenal.

As China continues its military build-up, the United States stands at a crossroads. If American missile defense infrastructure falls further behind, it may be impossible to catch up.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher.

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Paul G.
Paul G.
11 months ago

The Left mocked the vision of our pearls in engineering, space, aerodynamics, and other technologies which Ronald Reagan put in motion. They claimed it was a fairy tale that the missiles would be stopped in its initial flight phase. Our other talented engineers achieved it. We had a fully protective shield against the most significant dangers – intercontinental missiles. Washington has to understand it. They must press White House to focus on the missile defense shield. We need to provide what is required and how long it takes to build a modern version of such a shield. It should be our national budget’s priority.

Lieutenant Beale
Lieutenant Beale
11 months ago

Apparently this administration is more concerned about having our service members “serving” in drag.
No wonder why Xi and Putin are laughing their butts off at us.
(But not to worry, General Mark Milley will warn China if we try to do anything)
Pathetic.

David Leo
David Leo
11 months ago

I really expect serious discussion during these elections on our defense policy in light of the war in Ukraine and conflict in the South China Sea or, better to say, the Pacific. I hope that the Republican debate will include questions on defense. I would like them to tell us what they want to do to accelerate the missile defense construction. The hypersonic missile is a real threat, not an imagined one. It should be on the minds of all voters regardless of the political line. If Australia, Japan, and South Korea take it so seriously, we should ask our leaders why we are late. Those who will be debating should ponder on this thought. It is a matter of security for our children and grandchildren – new generations of Americans. They must take it more seriously. 
Great article, thanks, amac. God bless the USA.

C. Stan John
C. Stan John
11 months ago

I was about to end my service when Army started installing the Reagan project’s first elements. I witnessed a discussion about our initial interceptors. We quickly prepared ourselves for them because no one knew whether Perestroika would get to the Soviet generals. Today we know that Perestroika was mainly a deception—one more trick to weaken us and, most notably, to disarm our brains. It was to prepare a ground for Putin and his group.
Thank God we had reasonable Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld, who began pressuring Pentagon to construct it. We achieved a lot in a short time. Then we lost eight years with Obama. I share the concern of those who said the nation should understand it is the only security measure for America. Nothing else exists. Our offenses are limited by definition. But the defense cannot be disregarded by Washington. We must finance it.
This article is very informative. I commend Amac, Ben. I appreciate Amac for providing us an opportunity to think about what is the most crucial. I can not find any other place like this.

Richard
Richard
11 months ago

Admiral Zumwalt gave our Navy shape that will secure us for generations. It does not concern only equipment or mainly, but the vision for our development. As a young officer, I saw him in Vietnam being nominated to Chief of Naval Operations, who reported to the President. Despite the troubles Kissinger created for him, he won, transforming our Navy. He heavily criticized then National Security Advisor to Nixon and Nixon for failed detente ideas. He saw it as a betrayal of American patriotism.
If not him, and great Americans like Air Force General Burchinal, who was Deputy Commander in Chief in Europe, or General Goodpaster, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, and of course then-Zumwalt boss Admiral Moorer the whole transformation of our Navy vis a vis the Soviet threat would not occur. He had a perfect rapport with President and Senate, especially Sen. Jackson. It helped. Zumwalt made a few steps by designing a new concept that lifted our Navy to the next dimension that the Soviets could not reach – simply because we were a free nation of unconstrained minds, and they served their Communists’ gods and dogmas. If anyone in Washington could think along Zumwalt’s lines, we could move ahead of the Chicoms and Russians. They serve the same gods which the Soviets worshiped.
Missile defense is the most vital element of it, but we also must place it in space, as this article correctly suggests. The nation must understand the challenge and know we have the capacity. We must choose better representatives and a much, much better President. Biden is not up to the job. He has to retire soon.
Amac, appreciations to you for this article and for animating this discussion.

George F. Mason
George F. Mason
11 months ago

When Putin acquired power over Russia, I was retired. But I could watch mainly from Japan and other places in Asia how Russians and Chinese were already re-joining forces in mid-1990s. It was clear to us, but not in Washington, that it was fast growing challenge. We saw them exercising in the air and waters together in the region, including Kuril islands, which the Japanese call their Northern Territories. But in Washington, there was an attitude that the song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life describes perfectly well. I remember specialists from DC with dozens of scientific titles and long CVs telling us what to think about alarming situations we saw. The priorities were different.
I agree; it is the highest time for redirecting attention to missile defense. I cannot find any issue more crucial than MD. I am glad Amac maintains this discussion.
But the time for debates on missile defense must be found during this campaign. Our leaders must tell what they have achieved and how they will accelerate the pace.

David Millikan
David Millikan
11 months ago

We didn’t have this problem when President Trump ran the country. We WERE #1 in the WORLD
Respected and Feared and the WORLD was the SAFEST it has ever been in modern times.
Now we’re LAST with Dictator Beijing biden and the WHOLE WORLD LAUGHING at US and the WORLD ISN’T SAFE ANYMORE.
Remember that Dictator Beijing biden said the same thing Obama did that if we were Attacked first that the United States would NOT RETALIATE and just let the UNITED STATES be DESTROYED.
It’s ALL ON RECORD.
Instead of Building OUR Military UP. OUR Military was TURNED INTO
LOSER WOKE where what Color you are was more important while Dictator Beijing biden has been SELLING OUT the UNITED STATES to COMMUNIST CHINA. Add SELLING OUR National Oil Strategic Reserves to Communist China (ESPIONAGE and TREASON) and STILL HASN’T REPLACED THE OIL.
Don’t forget turning OUR Military into DRAG QUEENS with LOSER WOKE.
HOW MUCH OF OUR TECHNOLOGY HAS BEEN STOLEN AND USED AGAINST US UNDER Dictator Beijing biden BOWING DOWN TO COMMUNIST CHINA?
And instead of SPENDING OUR TAX DOLLARS ON US he instead’s GIVES IT to ALL UKRAINE and his ILLEGAL ALIEN TERRORIST INVASION.
ALL this is more important to Dictator Beijing biden than abiding by his Oath in Office.
As I said, The WHOLE WORLD is LAUGHING AT US.

PaulE
PaulE
11 months ago

The political left in this country has been hard at work weakening our ability to actually defend ourselves from several sorts of advanced weapons for decades. Both China and Russia have developed and tested weaponry, both land based and space based, to destroy our orbital satellites for years. We have no equivalent capability. Both China and Russia possess hyper-sonic weapons and a number of anti-ship weapons for which we have no defense. To say we have gaps in our national defense would be massively understating the issue.

The most important statement in the article of “But instead of pursuing this path, Biden last year banned U.S. testing of space weapons. Even as the U.S. is limited by this self-imposed ban, Russia and China have continued to conduct such tests.” reflects the intentional perspective of not only the Biden administration, but also the Democrat Party in general that we should continue to stick our heads in the sand and hope no one tries to wipe us off the map. The priorities of this country are severely messed up under any Democrat administration or where the Democrat Party controls the purse strings and national policy direction in Congress.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
11 months ago

Its what we gave to China day 1 & by theft

PaulE
PaulE
11 months ago

I see my original comment, which is all completely accurate, remains awaiting approval by the illustrious AMAC censor. I guess it was a little too honest and we can’t have that now can we?

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
11 months ago

Biden is as blind as everyone since Clinton who believed a “prosperous China is good for Americs” (John Kerry). China is an enemy who should never have been given the opportunity to enrich itself on OUR MONEY! We paid for those missiles aimed at us…

sdg
sdg
11 months ago

We talk and we talk and never does anything get done to fix it. If President Xi demanded Biden to surrender the USA, I am sure he would gleefully comply and so would his partner Obama.
Might as well start flying the Chinese flag now, we don’t have the power or the will to resist, besides most everything you buy these days is made in China. CHINA CONTROLS THE MEDIA, THE TECH WORLD, THE ELITISTS, Big Pharma, everything. All we need to do now is start teaching our children Chinese.
Its over and you fools who thing the 2024 election is going to change anything, ha ha ha, all it does is eliminate the so-called republican party, the conservatives will be hunted down and imprisoned, guns will be conficated, and the marxist liberals will control everything. WATCH, I’M NOT WRONG

Rod Noll
Rod Noll
11 months ago

We’re about to lose this country ! Joe Biden and his corrupt administration has plunged us into what is the biggest presidential scandal in our nations history. At this time , 40% of the nation and 90% of the corrupt media ignore the ethics violations, lying, influence-peddling. and bribery allegations of Joe Biden, and his son and family.
Look at the spectacle of Trump’s four indictments accusing him of nearly 90 felony charges that could potentially put him in prison for over 700 years ! Radical “progressives ” are aggressively working to inflict enough political wounds on Mr. Trump to stop him from running because the left is scared to death of him and what he’s trying to do. If he’s reelected president, he’ll throw a monkey wrench into their agenda for one world government. It’s an all out effort as sinister and dangerous to America as 9/11. Forcing our once great military into their woke mentality is extremely dangerous for our country and its citizens !
The present corruption level is staggering, and yet the corrupt media is silencing the story . We must heed the prophetic warning of President Ronald Reagan, who told us, “Freedom is never passed on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day will spend our sunset years, telling our children what it was like in the United States , when men were free.

Jeri
Jeri
11 months ago

Given where I live, I understand, gratefully (strange but reality), that we would probably be some of the first to go if attacked.

jim
jim
11 months ago

Any “ally” that fully depends on the United States for their national security, while they happily build and sell televisions and automobiles to U.S. consumers, is shortly in for a rude ChiCom awakening.

Maggie
Maggie
11 months ago

I basically make about $14,000 to $18,000 a month online. It’s enough to comfortably replace my old jobs income, especially considering I only work about 10-13 hours a week from home. I was amazed how easy it was after I tried it copy below web.
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Jim
Jim
11 months ago

I don’t want to see any articles discussing deficiencies in our defense posture! Why would any America loving news agency publicize a lack of confidence in our defense capabilities? It seems almost treasonous to me.

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Secret Service agents rush Donald Trump off the stage.(AP: Evan Vucci)
Biden with Harris and Obama behind him

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