04 March 2014
Recent reports indicated that China has successfully tested a hypersonic system – a potential precursor for a high-speed cruise missile. What is the role of high-speed cruise missiles in providing firepower for land-attack missions?
IN THE last two decades, cruise missiles were predominantly deployed by a select group of advanced industrial countries, in particular the United States. Subsequently, there had been a wider use of this weapon system by militaries, partly due to globalisation which accelerated technology diffusion, but also because of affordability and operational requirements (in particular the search for asymmetric capabilities).
Asian militaries top this list. The main advantage of cruise missiles involves the ability to strike targets accurately almost under any weather condition from a long range by evading most air defences, and with minimal risk to friendly forces.
… Kalyan M. Kemburi is an Associate Research Fellow with the Military Transformations Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
IDSS / RSIS / Online
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