As the entire planet braces for World War 3 and watches the United States and Russia play brinkmanship politics, the U.S. has announced that it would be upgrading its advanced missile system in such a manner as to give it the capability of hitting a moving target not only on land but on sea as well. The move comes in response to Russia announcing its own set of military upgrades in the past week.
The Express reported earlier this week that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ forum, said that the U.S. believed it could upgrade the existing Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) to include a “seeker” feature that would enable each missile to hit moving targets on both land and sea. Carter’s announcement was seen as a direct response to Russia’s recent openness about new military armaments it was working to implement.
As the Inquisitr reported, Russia has boasted of upgrades to its military arsenal in the past couple weeks as well. The Russian Federation said it would field a new version of the Night Hunter attack helicopter that, according to Russian military leaders, could “substantially outperform” any known attack helicopter the West currently employs. The new aircraft will join the RS-28 Sarmat missile, labeled the Satan 2 by the West, in Russia’s growing list of new and/or improved weapons. The just-announced Satan 2 will replace the R-36M Voevoda (the original Satan missile) by 2020, according Russian news sources.
“By integrating an existing seeker onto the front of the missile, they’re enabling it to hit moving targets, both on land and at sea,” Carter said at the forum, according to Defense News. “With this capability, what was previously an Army surface-to-surface missile system can project power from coastal locations up to 300 kilometers into the maritime domain.”
Weapons specialists believe the upgrade will be a relatively simple fix.
William Roper, head of the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) that will oversee the upgrade on the ATACMS, told reporters at the forum, “I think you can all imagine we’re very likely to succeed on this because we have all the technologies on hand and it’s just a question of if we’re lucky and they’ll fit together, Frankenstein-style, or whether there is some peculiarity of the missile that makes integrating a seeker on it difficult.”
Carter also hinted about breakthroughs in “swarming” technology, a domain of military applications that also come under the umbrella of the SCO. Noting that in an announcement made earlier this year he had talked about SCO projects regarding an arsenal plane, providing the SM-6 missile with anti-ship capability, and swarming sea and air drones, Carter said, “In fact, this technology took a large step forward this week. You’ll be hearing more about it in the months to come.”
Roper corroborated Carter’s remarks and explained why they weren’t openly talking about the swarming technology.
“You just don’t talk about your best capabilities, plain and simple. So one of the things we have to remember, which we did well in the Cold War, is having a good balance about the capabilities we show to the world for deterrence” versus what is kept hidden, Roper said. “We are keeping our best ideas behind the door, and probably always will, because what we owe to our future operators is an unfair fight.”
With leaders in both Russia and the U.S. talking about limited or surgical uses of nuclear weapons as acceptable, a slippery slope appears that very well could lead to World War 3, so the stratagem of keeping advanced capabilities close to the vest, though nothing new, is a deterrent in and of itself. And, as has been reported by the Inquisitr, given that both Russia and the U.S. have also begun work on replacing and modernizing their nuclear missile systems, a deterrent that in any way alleviates the possibility of a devastating World War 3 will be welcome news, especially in European NATO nations that have been fearing a Russian invasion.
[Featured Image by Dejan Lazarevic/Shutterstock]