The world has evolved into a dangerous multipolar nuclear environment where the US and its allies and China and Russia are rapidly developing and deploying hypersonic weapons.
A collection of our past reports show the West has yet to field hypersonic weapons, while China and Russia have been rapidly testing and deploying. Russia has even used hypersonic weapons in the invasion of Ukraine, and China just flew a hypersonic weapon around the world.
China's rapid expansion of its military modernization efforts has spooked the West. That's why President Biden is expected to announce a new trilateral security pact with the UK and Australia as early as Tuesday to advance hypersonic technology, according to FT.
Biden's new trilateral security pact will be called "Aukus." According to three people familiar with the situation, it will include Scott Morrison, the Australian prime minister, and Boris Johnson, the British prime minister.
The move to co-operate on the development of hypersonic weapons comes as the West has no hypersonic weapons fielded, only in the development stages. US hypersonic testing has been hit with multiple setbacks, and the Pentagon might not have its Lockheed-Martin's ARRW (Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon) ready until later this year. Meanwhile, China has conducted hundreds of tests.
Hypersonic weapons are problematic for the US military. These high-tech weapons travel more than five times the speed of sound and can evade Western missile defense shields.
US Admiral John Aquilino, head of Indo-Pacific Command, and General James Dickinson, director of Space Command, recently told FT that the US and Australia were expanding cooperation in space and cyber domains, mainly because of China's hypersonic weapons.
"The ability to identify and track, and defend against those hypersonics is really the key," Aquilino said.
General Dickinson said his main focus is improving "space domain awareness," which indicates Western powers are also working on new advanced counter-systems to detect and track these high-speed weapons.
Responding to the news, China was absolutely furious with Washington. China's UN Envoy warned that a hypersonic pact between the three countries could "lead other parts of the world into a crisis like Ukraine."
In a multipolar world, countries will choose their partners, as it appears the West will form a new hypersonic pact; this may push China and Russia closer together.