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Hypersonics for Everyone!

USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian G. Reynolds/Released)

This is potentially a big deal.

As reported by David Larter, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said this week that an array of ships across the fleet will be upgraded to operate hypersonic missiles, starting with the Virginia-class nuclear attack submarines and continuing to the Zumwalt-class destroyers and then the Arleigh Burke fleet. This last has the opportunity to massively increase the lethality of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet, offering a critical edge in the Pacific.

Modernizing the entire DDG-51 fleet is probably too big of an enchilada, but reconfiguring even a substantial portion of the existing ships (along with new construction) would mean dozens of new mobile platforms that could reach out and touch people, ships, and military installations in China from very long ranges.

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