New technology, familiar risks

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, June 25, 2015

Rajaram Nagappa, Head-ISSSP, National Institute of Advanced Studies

Bulletin of Atomic ScientistsHypersonic missiles, if successfully developed, will cover long distances in a short time. Some observers argue that these missiles, in the hands of a nation that intended to overwhelm an adversary’s early warning and missile defense systems, would pose a serious threat to global security and therefore should be banned. This is a contestable idea. The technology surrounding hypersonic missiles is still very much under development—but even if it is perfected, it will not add much to the security threats already posed by deployed weapons systems such as ballistic missiles.

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