The US Missile Defense Agency has requested $247.9 million for the 2022 fiscal year to develop anti-hypersonic weapons, as Russia and China announced advances in this technology. The information and analytical center Janes reported this.
The Missile Defense Agency said that the funding will mainly be directed to the project of creating an anti-missile to intercept the GPI (Glide Phase Interceptor) hypersonic warheads. This project calls for “the development of a layered defensive architecture to eliminate regional hypersonic threats from any country and the use of sensors for long-range detection, identification, and tracking of regional and strategic hypersonic attacking targets.”
According to the Agency’s missile defense budget documents, this includes accelerating “development for operational demonstration of defense capability at the planning site of regional hypersonic targets using the Aegis system.”
“Most of the requested $247.9 million is being spent on the PR to intercept planning hypersonic weapons,” said Michelle Atkinson, the Agency’s director of missile Defense Operations. She added that the funding also includes design and planning to test the goals in the future.
The GPI anti-missile originates from a project that was previously called the Regional Glide Phase Weapons System (RGPWS) Hypersonic defense system, which, in turn, was intended to develop the former defensive weapons system to protect against hypersonic attacking targets.
The expanded statement of the Agency on missile defense, released on April 12, sets out the requirements for the concepts of the prototype of the GPI missile defense system with a kinetic energy destruction mechanism and its integration with the Aegis weapon system with a vertical launcher Mk 41. The Missile Defense Agency said that this work on the prototype will end with flight tests from the Pacific Missile Test Site on the island of Kauai (Hawaii).
The Aegis system already has capabilities for tracking, launching on command from a remote center, and an interception. The Agency’s missile defense specialists believed that the GPI missile defense system could fit well into this design, the Agency’s director, Vice Admiral John Hill, said on May 28. Gliding hypersonic aircraft move at a speed corresponding to the number M=5 or faster, and can also maneuver, which is a more complex target than a ballistic missile moving along a calculated trajectory. The ability to detect and establish radar contacts with a maneuvering target at hypersonic speed is a problem in itself, and it must be solved before it is possible to intercept a hypersonic target.