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Hypersonic Impacts: Operational Impacts of Hypersonic Weapons and the Change of America's Strategic Situation

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Master's Thesis]

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The advent of hypersonic weapons defines new relationships and boundaries between space and airspace. Traveling at Mach 5 on complex trajectories, they bring significant operational and strategic impacts, conquer the middle and upper atmosphere, leverage two main speed and altitude envelopes, and offer the possibility of a pre-stationing of hypersonic re-entry vehicles in space. The flight characteristics of HGVs and HCMs leverage the higher air layers of the atmosphere as hypersonic airspace, bridge the air and space domain, and call for an Integrated Air and Space Defense doctrine. Hypersonics have the potential to change the conduct of war at the operational level and influence the understanding of strategic deterrence. The Department of Defense DoD must consider the ramifications on the existing space and airspace doctrine and operational and strategic decision-making. The dual-use of hypersonic weapons needs political discussion and military advice and elevates the importance of international arms control negotiations.

Subject Categories:

  • Research and Experimental Aircraft
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]