Following the news that Australia, the US, and the UK (AUKUS) will cooperate on the development of hypersonic weapons, William Davies, Associate Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a data and analytics company, offers his view.
“Given that the hypersonic technology has been a priority for the US in recent years and Australia is increasingly concerned about the threat of China, the development of the hypersonic cooperation is a logical next step for the AUKUS alliance.
“The Pentagon has stepped up hypersonic development as it becomes increasingly clear that China has advanced significantly in the area, including a recent test of a hypersonic glide weapon which potentially has capabilities to evade missile defense systems.
“The UK will also benefit from this cooperation, though they have only recently committed to developing hypersonic weapons. They agreed a deal in 2022 with France to develop hypersonic anti-ship weapons. Australia is also likely to utilize hypersonic weapons within naval warfare, with the Indo-Pacific an area of interest for the nation.
“GlobalData estimates the hypersonic market to reach US$49 billion in 2030 with countries including the US making up a significant market share.
“A key US program scheduled for production this year – the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) program – recently suffered a setback due to failures of testing which led to Congress cutting funding for procurement and an increase in overall hypersonic funding. This included wind tunnels and key infrastructure which will benefit the development of a number of hypersonic programs.”
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