U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that he had given the green light for the manufacture of a new hypersonic missile that would be faster than any produced by Russia or China, in an added sign that a new arms race is on the way.
“We have, I call it, the ‘super duper missile,’ and I heard the other night 17 times faster than what they have right now,” Trump said at the unveiling of the flag of Space Force, the newest branch of the U.S. military.
Referring to reports that Russia has a missile that is five times faster than any other and that China is working on a similar one, he said: “We have one 17 times, and it’s just gotten the go ahead.”
Russia recently announced that it has developed a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead at more than 20 times the speed of sound. President Vladimir Putin declared that the Avangard hypersonic missile would be operational by December.
China has also been developing hypersonic missiles. While they are not expected to be faster than the Russian ones, they are still expected to outpace those currently in the U.S. arsenal.