Breakneck speed

Hypersonic weapons take aim

Good morning, arsenal architects. This is your Stock Market Rundown for March 21st, 2024. Thanks for reading. Let’s dig in:


Imagine a really fast jet plane. Now imagine something considerably faster than that. In fact, make it five times the speed of sound. 

Hypersonic weapons are super-speedy projectiles that can move through the air at speeds so fast, they could commute from New York to Los Angeles in 30 minutes or less. But this ain't Domino’s—these delivery vehicles arrive with payloads of destruction, in the form of conventional explosives or nuclear warheads. 

Hypersonic weapons can fly at low altitude and maneuver mid-flight, which makes it tough for current defense systems to intercept them before they reach their target. 

That’s why it’s a big worry in Washington that the US is lagging in the race to build them. China and Russia already have operational hypersonic weapons in their arsenals.

The Air Force budget has already allocated more than $1 billion to the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile being developed by defense contractor Raytheon. And there are a handful of startups testing prototype hypersonic weapons, backed by Silicon Valley venture capitalists seeking a piece of the Pentagon procurement pie.

One of the startups, Castellion, bears a sobering slogan on its website: “Peace through Deterrence”. For the defense industry, making sure America keeps the upper hand is a full-time job.

What do you think? Chat with me in the comments:

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Signing off for now, folks; let's continue our journey tomorrow morning. Yours in capitalism, The Axe

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