NEW YORK, August 22. /TASS/. The United States will have hypersonic weapons in its arsenal within the next couple of years, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in an interview with Fox News.
When asked about how close the country was to having a hypersonic weapon, the US defense chief replied: "I think it’s probably a matter of a couple of years, if you will."
US Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy said earlier on Wednesday that his country was looking into the possibility of developing all types of rockets previously prohibited under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. "With respect to the INF ranges in particular, we're looking at where can we first find opportunities," McCarthy said. "Clearly, hypersonics, if you put a ballistic warhead on a hypersonic missile."
On August 2, Washington formally withdrew from the INF Treaty and the Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, officially confirmed that the Treaty had been terminated at the United States’ initiative.
On August 5, in a statement regarding the US’ unilateral exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the Russian Defense Ministry, the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence Service to monitor the steps taken by the US to develop intermediate- and shorter-range missiles. He said Russia would only place intermediate-and shorter-range missiles as a response to the corresponding steps by the United States.