Key Words: prompt global strike weapons; weapons; nuclear; X-37B; military
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U.S. Boeing Company announced on Dec. 12, 2012 that the second X-37B space plane was successfully launched from Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. This is the third launch of X-37B space planes.
As the competitive product of prompt global strike weapons, X-37B space planes first achieved a breakthrough among numerous pilot projects.
As the basic concept embodied by prompt global strike weapons has begun to set trend of the development of international military technology, some other countries also started relevant tests. Some experts claimed that the prompt global strike weapons will become a new focus of international arms race.
An important choice to get rid of dependence on nuclear
Under the new situation, the nuclear weapons which had been used by the U.S. military to maintain its global strike capability and hegemony are no longer the ideal tools for the Pentagon to implement the prompt global strikes. The U.S. military must get rid of the dependence on nuclear weapons and develop conventional global strike weapons.
In addition to the nuclear weapons and terrorist threats, the space is also an important area for the U.S. military to implement global strikes in future. The Pentagon believes that the prompt global strikes are important means of fighting against the anti-satellite weapons of other countries. If the United States finds a dangerous target, it can use the prompt global strike weapons to destroy it before it is launched to the space, or destroy it in the space. The Falcon hypersonic UAVs and X-37B space vehicles on trial represent the future direction of development of space transportation technology.
Arms race has just begun
The tests conducted by U.S. military around the prompt global strike plan has taken the first to light a fire in the international military field, and the related arms race has begun. Some countries have regarded the hypersonic technology as an important direction of the development of military technology.
The world had a total of six flight tests of hypersonic aircraft in 2012, with the United States failing once while both Germany and Russia achieving success. On June 27, 2012, Germany had conducted a sharp edge flight test, with the speed of the aircraft reaching seven Mach.
Although these countries are far away from the United States in terms of investment scale and development process, they have obvious late-starting advantages because they can use the early experiences of the United States for reference.
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