One of the U.S. Air Force’s most potent assets is speed.
It was in 1947 that Capt. Chuck Yeager flew the Bell X-1 faster than the speed of sound, about 770 miles per hour, for the first time.
But that’s history, and today’s speeds are surpassing that mark several times over, a trend that concerns senior U.S. Defense officials who are keeping an eye on the capabilities of America’s enemies, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
It’s why senior Air Force commanders and others met just days ago to discuss accelerating the research on hypersonic planes and weapons that could reach in excess of Mach 5, five times the speed of sound.
The development was reported by Sharon Evans for the Air Force News Service.
The Mach 5 threshold, from an Air Force view, she said, “is a game-changing capability which can amplify many of the enduring attributes of airpower including speed, range, flexibility and precision.”
“We must push the boundaries of technology in every area,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein said in the report. “Our adversaries aren’t standing still. They are looking for every advantage they can get.”
The report said China and Russia already are flight-testing hypersonic weapons, and several other countries, although with fewer resources, have expressed interest in the technology.
Greg Zacharias, the chief scientist for the Air Force, said there is a sense of urgency developing for America to maintain its heritage of excellence in the field.