Joint Hypersonic Program
Australia and the United States’ agreement to come together and produce hypersonic cruise missiles is borne out of the desire to remain strong in the face of adversaries and protect its people. The defence Minister confirmed this with a promise to ensure the safety and security of the people’s lives and properties.
While Australia and the United States are forming allies, Russia and China are equally producing similar missiles. As expected, the weapon must involve long-distance travel (should be able to travel at least five times the usual speed) and possess a good level of skill of manoeuvrability and altitude. The latter quality covers it from external penetration and, therefore, cannot be tracked.
The defence minister agrees that the bilateral agreement would boost the Australian defence force’s status. However, no detailed report is released, for instance, the operational costs or the primary purpose of entering into such a program or its duration.
Nevertheless, the program is referred to as a means of protection from external attacks and aggressions. The defence minister reiterated that the steps taken would not jeopardise the state’s peace and stability but rather strengthen its defence.
Through its secretary of defence, the United States government reveals that the partnership with Australia is a 15-year project titled “SCIFiRE (Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment).” The project has been described as a necessary tool for cultivating hypersonic development programs.
Another reason for engaging in this project is the fear that Australia may lag in emerging warfare capabilities and innovations. Hence, it is always at the forefront of any changing warfare capability.
Furthermore, the government has invested about 9.3 billion Australian dollars in the military sector, primarily to fund the hypersonic research program. The government also speculated that this investment would boost spending by forty per cent over the coming ten years, which would be a long period to gather more capabilities across land, sea, and air. The objective of this is to widen the military attention from the Pacific to the indo-pacific zone.
Nonetheless, many have connected the partnership between the two countries to form a hostile union against China, with whom none of the nations is on good terms. The tension between Australia and China started with specific influence campaigns claimed to be Chinese by the Australian government and further heightened by the accusation that China intentionally spread the coronavirus diseases.
A silent war is currently breeding between the two countries. For instance, Beijing recently placed sanctions on Australian goods, and a Chinese is circulating a fake picture of an Australian officer killing an Afghanistan child. China may have suspected this or, merely, its relations with Russia’s defence unit is merely coincidental.
Australia would start its trial process for the prototypes of missiles in months, and the hypersonic missiles would be designed in a way that suits a particular aspect of ADF. For instance, a rocket for the Royal Australian Air Force is built along with specifications that fit the current aircraft collection and includes Growlers, joint strike fighters, etc.