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Could the Pentagon’s hypersonic missiles trigger World War 3?
The US, Russia and China are embroiled in a high-speed arms race – and many are now worried it could go nuclear.
The Pentagon says it wants to fly hypersonic missiles by 2020.
Officials have said that weapons that fly at five times the speed of sound, or 3,500mph, will only carry conventional missiles.
But that hasn't stopped a number of experts voicing concerns that other nations will use the technology to launch a nuclear strike.
Traditional ballistic missiles already travel at hypersonic speeds.
Built to carry nuclear and conventional warheads, these weapons are capable of reaching outer space in the course of their flights, but they can't maneuver.
The latest class of hypersonic missiles would be smaller, guided and designed to carry conventional explosives for time-sensitive, rapid response in theater operations.
Launched from the ground, aircraft, surface ships or submarines, hypersonic missiles would allow warfighters to strike time-critical targets at long range much faster.
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