The United States, United Kingdom and Australia on Tuesday, April 5, made a cooperation pact to increase hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare capabilities as Russia and China rapidly advance cutting-edge technology, according to Reuters.
In a statement, the leaders of the newly formed AUKUS defense alliance, U.S. President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, announced they were initiating new trilateral cooperation on hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, and electronic warfare capabilities, as an expansion of the pact they made last year.
In September 2021, the three countries formed the Indo-Pacific security alliance, AUKUS, which would include sharing nuclear-powered submarine technology, to counter China’s growing military influence.
Australia and the United States were already working together since 2020 on a program called SCIFIRE, to develop hypersonic weapons, but as officials indicated, Britain will not be part of that alliance for the time being.
Regarding the announcement of the new tripartite cooperation pact on hypersonic weapons, the Chinese ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, warned that it could generate a crisis similar to the conflict in Ukraine in other parts of the world, according to Reuters.
“Anyone who do not want to see the Ukrainian crisis should refrain from doing things which may lead the other parts of the world into a crisis like this,” said a Chinese regime official.
The Biden administration has long been dabbling in improving hypersonic missile technology, which unlike ballistic missiles that fly in an arc to reach their target, travel in a straight line at more than five times the speed of sound and can maneuver in mid-flight, making them more difficult to track and intercept than traditional projectiles. They can also carry nuclear warheads.
The Kremlin announced in March that it had used them for the first time in its incursion into Ukraine to destroy Ukrainian weapons depots, and the Russian Defense Department showed on Twitter a video of the moment of impact of the missile called Kinzhal (“Dagger” in Russian).