- In the Oval Office on Friday, President Donald Trump boasted about US military strength, revealing the development of what he calls a “super-duper missile.”
- Trump said the weapon could reach speeds 17 times faster than current missiles and that it just got the “go-ahead.”
- The Pentagon did not offer any clarity on what the president was talking about, nor did the White House.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump said during an Oval Office event Friday that the US was developing a “super-duper missile” to compete against America’s adversaries.
“We’re building, right now, incredible military equipment at a level that nobody has ever seen before. We have no choice with the adversaries we have out there,” the president said.
“We have – I call it, the ‘super-duper missile,'” Trump added. “I heard the other night, 17 times faster than what they have right now, when you take the fastest missile we have right now. You’ve heard Russia has five times and China’s working on five or six times. We have one 17 times, and it’s just gotten the go-ahead.”
Secretary of Defence Mark Esper nodded along as Trump spoke but did not provide any details.
"I call it the super duper missile"
Trump explaining how he describes a missile being developed by the Space Force that is travels at a speed 17x faster than current missiles. pic.twitter.com/bFmJj2slIJ
— Brian A. Cahn, MD (@brian_cahn) May 15, 2020
Asked for more information on what the president was talking about, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said: “I’m going to have to refer you back to the White House on that. I don’t have any information to give you on that.”
“I would just refer you back to the president’s remarks & the Pentagon. I don’t have any new information on that at this point,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in response to questions about the weapon.
In February, the president touted US military strength while discussing “superfast missiles.”
“We have the superfast missiles – tremendous number of the superfast. We call them ‘superfast,’ where they’re four, five, six, and even seven times faster than an ordinary missile,” he said at the time.
“We need that because, again, Russia has some,” he added. “And China, as you know, is doing it.”
It is unclear what specific weapon the president may have been referring to in his comments, but the US is developing hypersonic weapons, a key area of competition with Russia and China.
While the name references speed, hypersonic missiles are not deadly because of their speed, but rather because they can manoeuvre and fly along unpredictable flight paths, giving them the ability to skirt defences.
The US conducted a test of a hypersonic glide vehicle in March, verifying a design that will be used to develop weaponry expected to come online in the years ahead.
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