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tkdguy
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One may recall that a few years back, Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia was developing devastating new hypersonic weapons -- basically, cruise missiles traveling above Mach 5, with 'round-the-world range -- that could strike the US without warning, impossible to defend against. China and the US are also said to be working on hypersonic weapons, and even to have deployed some.

 

"Hyped"... but not real, says an article in the August, 2021 issue of Scientific American. Or at least not nearly as revolutionary as claimed. Physics and aerodynamics put severe limits on such weapons, at least with any technology we have now or are likely to develop in the near future. Nor is the idea new: Various governments have tried developing hypersonic weapons since Nazi Germany, and haven't made them practical and effective. And anything current hypersonic weapons can do, can be done as well or better by other existing weapons.

 

Sorry, Pooty, but it's a big step from spiffy animations of weapons system to actual deployment of something that works. Something we in the US should remember from Reagan's 'Strategic Defense Initiative.' When that was new back in the 1980s, Scientific American printed another article that detailed the physics that stood in the way of the fantasy. And sure enough, we still don't have gamma-ray lasers, particle beams, or any of the other gaudy sci-fi technologies from that era's spiffy animations. RL missile defense remains a lot less dramatic.

 

So, I can't resist the joke. The next time someone tries to scare you or sell you on Mach 20 cruise missiles or whatever, an apt response would be, "Not so fast."

 

Dean Shomshak

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